We’re looking for your ideas about who should receive the 2016 Storyteller’s Prize at the Mixed Remixed Festival next year. We have a stellar list of distinguished past honorees including: Key & Peele, Al Madrigral, Susan Straight, Jamie Ford, Cheerios and Honey Maid. Who do you think we should consider? Let us know!
“Growing up, until really last year, I don’t know that I would have readily brought up my white mother to anyone. It was not something I’m embarrassed by, but to announce that was synonymous to some black people to saying, ‘I think I’m better than you.’ This whole thing has felt almost like a coming out as biracial – saying ‘this is a thing, we exist, and this is a future.'”–Jordan Peele
We got a huge shout out from NBC News for the Mixed Remixed Festival this year! It’s a great story and it attracted a ton of attendees! Thanks so much NBC!
Nearly 700 people from across the country—including artists, writers, comedians, musicians, multiracial and multicultural families—are expected to gather at theMixed Remixed Festival on June 13 at the Japanese American National Museumin Los Angeles, to celebrate the stories and lives of multiracial people and families.
“Our goal is to raise awareness that the mixed race experience is very much the American experience,” Mixed Remixed Festival Founder and Executive Producer Heidi Durrow, told NBC News. “The festival isn’t about mixed-race pride. It’s about breaking the silences we have about the complexities of racial and cultural identity.”
Mixed Remixed will feature storytelling, workshops, panel discussions, readings, film screenings, music, comedy, spoken word, and the largest Loving Day Celebration on the West Coast to mark the 1967 Loving v Virginia Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in America.
Mixed Remixed will also be awarding its annual Storyteller’s Prize to the Daily Show’s Al Madrigal who hosts and produces “Half Like Me” and author Jamie Ford who wrote “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet.”
To read the rest of the story click here.
We’re so excited that thanks to the generosity of Greg Pak we’re giving away 15 copies of The Princess Who Saved Herself. The children’s book based on a song by Jonathan Coulton, and follows the story of the multiracial Gloria Cheng Epstein Takahara de la Garza Champion. You will be among the very first to get the book! Come early and snag a copy in the giveaway!-Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
We are excited that the Costco Connection has written a story about mixed race artists and the Mixed Remixed Festival. The reporter Hana Medina really captured what the Festival is all about!–Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
You can also download a copy of the article here.
Not to many people relate to the multiracial experience or the stories of their mixed friends, this is why forums for open discussion and collaboration are so important. These may take the form of literary festivals such as our beloved Mixed Remixed or may be told through artistic presentations. It’s not always easy explaining your personal experiences to a wider audience who may have no idea where you’re coming from, but the effort within this community is still invaluable to thousands around the globe. With that being said, let’s meet Jason Cuthbert – writer, director, filmmaker, and multiracial dude!
His upcoming documentary circling his, like many other biracials, experiences hopes to tackle the issue head on in a new and refreshing light. His team is a wonderfully diverse and highly educated group whose dedication and incredibly precise work ethic will bring you a film that is multidimensional in context and that combines subjective perspectives with objective experience.
Why is telling the story of the multiracial experience so important to your team, as is evident with your current project?
Multiracial and interracial experiences effect each and every member of our team…directly! My brother James, my sister Teisha and myself are biracial: African Trinidadian (father) and Caucasian American (mother). Francesca D’Amico (Ph.D. candidate, producer, researcher, educator), an Italian Canadian, not only teaches hip hop culture and African American history, but she has personally felt the social obstacles associated with her own interracial relationships. My sister-in-law Jessica Molina-Cuthbert (Ph.D. Candidate, researcher, educator) is El Salvadorian American, and is not only well versed in the effects of race and the American penal system, but she is also raising multiracial children with James. And my brother-in-law Fabian is Puerto Rican American (IT computer network systems) and has mixed race children with my sister. There is plenty of racial ambiguity going on over here.
What do you hope to achieve by producing such a dynamic film?
How would you describe it?
Race needs a real reality check. As rusty, ugly and outdated of a concept that it feels to be in 2015, why do we all still buy into it? “COLOURING BOOK: The Mixed Race Documentary” aspires to define, dissect, document and direct a dialogue about the value of race from not just those that study it, but by those whose identity exceeds its boundaries.
Do you think the growing multiracial community has the power to inspire positive change/enlightenment (through diversity and loving one another across colour lines)?
As mixed race people, we are the living, breathing proof that the concept of race doesn’t really work and may be unnecessary. We are those blurred lines, the colours in-between colors, the reds and blues that make purple. With “COLOURING BOOK: The Mixed Race Documentary” we are pushing to give a voice to those who feel just as excluded from the racial discussion as I did while growing up.
A question for Jason (if possible), what has it been like coming from a mixed family and how did it influence your creative perspective as a writer and director?
I grew to truly love the cultural crayon box that my family is. My love of all cultures comes from experiencing them first hand, whether they were part of my family tree or our diverse social circles. But as a child, I just wanted to fit in. Point blank. But being “normal” was never a reality for me. Racial boxes were rigid and I just didn’t fit. It also didn’t help that I rarely saw myself, a mixed kid, on screen in my favorite films and television shows. To this day, I write and relate to underdog characters in my stories, inherently, even if race has nothing to do with their story, because I felt like a strange foreigner in my own city.
What’s one of the biggest frustrations/misconceptions within the mixed community that you want to bring attention to with this film? If any.
I am not subscribing to stereotypes…like cancel that subscription…immediately. And just like any other racial category, we the “non-race” have some horrible stereotypes too. There is that super corny idea that mixed race people are more “beautiful” and “desirable,” and that we all feel we are better than everyone. Mixed race, or light skinned black, whatever you want to call me, …by no means do I feel that I’m any better than other humans of a darker complexion. You will not see me laughing at or co-signing dark-skinned jokes. Not-at-all. That divide and conquer mentality doesn’t work with me. Dark skin is gorgeous.
What can people who may not be directly part of the multiracial experience learn or take away from Colouring Book?
Our world is becoming more like a coloring book. Like those innocent years when kids use whatever colors they want, before they are taught to make tigers orange and make grass green. Mixed race may come to a shock to those that would rather see life neatly left in black and white instead of full color. We all need to get over ourselves. We have biases that we have learned, not that we were born with. Diversity training is not just for people in the racial majority. We ALL need to “colour” each other in by behaviors, talents and personalities rather than by which shade we were painted with in the womb. Race affects everyone. When diversity wins, we ALL win because it means we are relating to each other as a shared loving species, not as divided, hateful and inhumane beasts.
Lianne La Havas is one of the few soulful voices of our generation that maintains her classic style and regal elegance while remaining contemporary and in the loop. She was born and raised in London, England to an Afro-Jamaican mother and a Greek father.
The unique melting pot that is London played a very interesting role in shaping the way young Lianne would grow up to see race, identity and culture. The following is a brief snippet of an interview she did a while back with noisey.vice.com’s Kim Taylor Bennett.
“This subject really interests me. I knew that I was brown, let’s say, but I never felt like I belong necessarily to any racial group. At school, there would be a lot Muslim girls hanging out with other Muslims and a lot of African and Jamaican girls hanging out together. That was never my thing: to be part of a group that you’re the same as. A lot of it was music related too, like goths and grunge kids. I was with the group that wasn’t with any other group. It had an African girl, some very English girls, a Bangladeshi girl, and it didn’t really matter. We all knew where we came from, we knew our parents were from different places, we just thought that we were all hilarious and we hung out with whoever we thought was the funniest. Doing what I do now and seeing the plethora of creeds, colors, and religions I’m reaching with the music I’m making—it’s amazing. This is going to sound cheesy, but I think the beauty of music is that it doesn’t see color. The kind of music that I’m doing comes from many different worlds. I like to think that it doesn’t matter anymore.”
Her very refreshing take on what race should mean is not the only colourful thing about this young lady. As previously mentioned, her regal style that incorporates modern twists surely mimic the thoughts of a free-spirited city gal.
Lianne on her first style inspirations:
Really early on it was the Spice Girls. Scary Spice in particular. I liked the leopard print and it stuck with me. I can’t really think of anyone else when I was growing up that had that kind of natural hair.
Just having natural ringlets and that being really beautiful. I was attracted to her hair, the leopard print, and she had a lovely face and body shape. I just wanted to be like her.
Diane Keaton in Annie Hall is also one of my style icons. The way she comes across is still very feminine, but kind of a slouchy and casual tomboy. I really like that and mixing it with more of a Whitney Houston-in-the-90s look and Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince—they’re both style icons.
Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Scary Spice herself! #multiracial #MixedRemixed
Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut
Cracking Open the Dialogue of Our Families: Racial Micro aggressions and Whiteness (A Panel and Writing Workshop)
Nerio Educaiton Center, June 13, 2015, 1:00pm-2:20pm
“As transracial adoptees, cultural workers and authors, we—Lisa Marie Rollins and Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut—have both written extensively about negotiating racism and white privilege in adoptive families. These difficult aspects also commonly play out among interracial and multiracial family members and relatives. It is a challenge to delve deeply into these painful moments, especially when they occur with family members and community we are close with, or with whom we spent our childhood years. This panel will be structured in two parts. First, a panel where we plan to each read a short personal essay based on our experiences about micro aggressions in our families. Next an interactive workshop, where we would lead participants in short, guided writing exercises around exploring their own experiences and providing space for sharing stories. Finally we will work as a group to develop collaborative strategies that will support ourselves and push our families to have more open dialogues around racial difference, hybridity, and privilege.
Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut is a poet who teaches literature and creative writing in Los Angeles. She holds an M.F.A. degree in poetry (2002) from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. degree in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California (2012). Her first book of poetry, Magnetic Refrain, was published in February 2013 by Kaya Press and she is currently working on a second book of autobiographical, critical essays entitled Vaguely Asian: Being In-Between As A Korean Adoptee, and a literary novel, Missing Persons.
Nicky Sa-Eun Schildkraut on-line:
Tehran Von Ghasri
Panel: What’s So Funny About Being Mixed?
June 13, 2015, Tateuchi Democracy Forum, 1:00pm-2:20pm
One of the hottest entertainers in Hollywood, Tehran Von Ghasri, better known as simply Tehran is an international comedian, host, TV and radio personality. Born to an Iranian father and African-American mother, Tehran is rare in every sense of the word. With undergrad degrees in International Politics and Communications, a Masters in Economics, and a Law Degree his humor is made up of unique life experience, intriguing cultural perspective, academic intelligence, and pure charm. As seen on Shahs of Sunset, Summer Break, hosting Take Part Live you can see Tehran live Mondays and Thursdays 10PM at The World Famous Laugh Factory on Sunset or hear him weekly on Imperfect Gentlemen.
Facebook: I am Tehran