FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MIXED REMIXED FESTIVAL
STORYTELLER’S PRIZE PRESENTATION HONORS:
TV & FILM STAR
AND AWARD-WINNING ILLUSTRATOR SHANE W. EVANS FOR
GROUND-BREAKING CHILDREN’S BOOK, MIXED ME
(Los Angeles, CA) Mixed Remixed Festival will present the annual Storyteller’s Prizes to television and film star Taye Diggs and award-winning illustrator Shane W. Evans on June 11, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles, 100 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
The Festival, which takes place June 10-11, celebrates stories of the Mixed racial and cultural experience and stories of multiracial Americans, the fastest growing demographic in America. A free public event, the Festival brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial families and individuals for workshops, readings, and film screenings.
“We are ecstatic to honor Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans for their work creating Mixed Me!, a ground-breaking children’s book that features a mixed-race character,” says Durrow who calls herself an Afro-Viking because she is African-American and Danish.
“Growing up I didn’t have any images of families that looked like mine or any affirmation that I could claim the whole of my complicated heritage. Diggs’ and Evans’ book Mixed Me changes that for this increasingly multiracial generation.”
The Storyteller’s Prizes are awarded each year to artists, scholars, and community leaders who have shown a dedication to celebrating and illuminating the Mixed experience. Past honorees include Comedy Central’s hit comedic duo Key & Peele, The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal, New York Times bestselling writer Jamie Ford and Cheerios.
The Festival is produced by New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, Algonquin Books) and a wonderful group of volunteers.
The event is free and open to the public. Honorees have confirmed their attendance for the prize presentation, which will be presented as part of the Festival’s dynamic live performance, featuring some of the best comedians, musicians, and spoken word poets. Registration will open April 22, 2016. For more information and the complete festival schedule, visit www.mixedremixed.org.
Festival sponsors include: Japanese American National Museum, Zapier, Zevia, Total Wine, Algonquin Books, My Family Builder.
The 2016 Storyteller’s Prize recipients are:
Taye Diggs is an actor whose awards include the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. His performance credits include motion pictures (The Best Man Holiday, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Chicago), stage (Rent, Wicked), and television (The Good Wife, Murder in the First, Private Practice). He lives in Los Angeles and New York with his son, Walker.
Shane W. Evans in the illustrator of numerous aware-winning books for children, including Underground, winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, We March, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012, and Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He is also the illustrator of The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens finalist. He lives with his wife and daughter in Kansas City, Missouri.
Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans’s first book together, Chocolate Me!, was praised as “Sure to strike a chord with many young readers/listeners, and a variety of subjects, not just race,” by School Library Journal, and as “embracing a difficult topic with wide arms” by Essence magazine.
As I got ready to run the “Putting the “M” in LGBT – writing mixed and queer” workshop at Mixed Remixed 2015, I put together a list of mixed/queer writers and writing. A piece of cake, I thought, as I wrote down the names of all the mixed queer writers I could think of. There were five. I scratched my head. Did Langston Hughes even count? He was considered gay or bisexual but probably hadn’t confirmed this in writing given the times he lived in.
My back of the envelope list included: Scottish/Nigerian poet, Jackie Kay, Afro/Chinese Jamaican poet Stacyann Chin, Latina writer Cherie Moraga and me.
My search continued as I travelled into the cold reaches of Minnesota in April for the AWP writing conference. I wrote to poet, and conference panelist, Carl Phillips . Yes, he was mixed and queer, and yes, I could feature one of his poems in my workshop. My list of mixed-queer writers was growing exponentially, almost hitting double figures. Later in the conference I attended “Paris is still burning” featuring black gay poets and one of them was Charif Shanahan who read a poem about being bi-racial. We exchanged cards and bingo! Another name to add to the list.
What about mixed/queer characters or couples in fiction? After the adrenalin rush of AWP I was back in my MFA class, reading Chang Rae Lee’s novel, On such a full Sea, which conjures up a post-apocalyptic future. Here we meet an interracial gay couple who run a B&B in the “Counties”. As one of the characters, Quig, knocks on the proprietors’ office door, we meet Landon when “the shade went up, revealing a bespectacled fellow, youngish but already bald, his Afro tightly sheared on the sides and meeting his neatly groomed beard and moustache.” Quig, in contrast, is “wide-eyed and pale-skinned”.
Soon we meet Dale, Landon’s partner, in their “chintz-heavy” abode. Dale is “a short tubby, florid-faced older white man”. I appreciated the fact that Lee racialises the white characters as well as the people of colour in his novel.
We learn Landon’s backstory when Dale tells new guests the story of how he met his partner. This reinforces their status as a couple and also shows how public their relationship is. We learn that they met at an “LGBT roadhouse”, this phrase and the fact that none of the guests questions it, tells us that in Lee’s world that such a thing as an LGBT roadhouse is not only possible, but usual. Dale loved the food at the roadhouse, and on meeting the chef, Landon, it was “love at an instant” for Dale (if not for Landon).
Landon and Dale are only present for thirteen pages but made a huge impression on me. Although they are secondary characters they don’t read as flat and their backstory gives a very strong sense of family life in, or despite, this dystopian future. However, I’m still looking for a novel that is as well-written as Lee’s, with main, rather than secondary, characters who are mixed and queer . Let me know if you find it first.
We’re excited to tell you about this very special scrapbook called My Multicultural Album, the perfect family album for multiracial families. This is how the creator, Ekaterina (Katya) Dorozhkina, describes this lovely little book.
“This book is for multicultural families who want to share their unique family history with their children and celebrate what it means to be biracial/multicultural. In a scrapbook format, children, with the help of their parents, can personalize the book with their own pictures and family stories. The journey of filling out the pages of this book celebrates each child’s unique and extraordinary story and cultivates appreciation for all the cultures that have come together to write it.”
We have 5 copies to give away to the first five people who donate $15 to Mixed Remixed! Don’t miss this great opportunity!Donate via Credit Card
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MIXED HERITAGE BONE MARROW REGISTRY DRIVE
AT MIXED REMIXED FESTIVAL
(Los Angeles, CA) The Mixed Remixed Festival will register bone marrow donors with the help of Mixed Marrow on Saturday, June 13, at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles (100 N. Central Street).
Mixed Marrow strives to inform, educate, and register more minority/multiracial donors so that people of all races and colors can have an equal chance at finding a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Mixed Marrow, founded in 2009, recruits donors for Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, Be The Match, and the National Marrow Donor Program. Mixed Marrow is currently working on a documentary film, Mixed Match, to help bring awareness.
Mixed Marrow founder, Athena Mari Asklipiadis, shared the importance of the cause, stating, “Patient-donor matches rely heavily on inherited genes so similar ancestry (race) is usually the case which is why it is important all communities register as donors.”
About 70% of patients in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. They depend on the Be The Match Registry® to find a match. Siblings with the same two parents only hold a 1 in 4 chance of matching. Because ethnicity is a determining factor in finding a match, patients will most likely find a donor within their racial and ethnic community. Yet, of the 6 million people on the registry, less than 7% are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent, less than 6 % are of Hispanic descent, and only 7.6 % are African Americans. Of the 11 million donors on the registry, only 4% are mixed race (all possible combinations).
Prospective donors between the ages of 18-44 can register in only 10 minutes at the Festival by filling out a registration form and having their cheek swabbed for a sample. All donors will be placed on the National and Worldwide registry so that every patient can have a fair chance to look for a match.
The Mixed Remixed Festival, which takes place June 13, celebrates stories of the Mixed experience and stories of interracial and intercultural relationships, blended families, and anyone who identifies with having mixed roots.
A free public event, the Mixed Remixed Festival brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial families and individuals for workshops, readings, film screenings, a special series of family events Saturday afternoon, and a dynamic live performance of music, comedy, and spoken word Saturday evening. Registration is strongly encouraged.
Thank you so much for your support of the Mixed Remixed Festival! Because of you, we were able to raise $12,067 for the Festival this year! That’s way beyond our goal of $10,000 and even more than last year’s final funding number! WOW!
It was truly a community effort: 140 donors in 6 countries donated over the course of 40 days! THANK YOU!
So now, we can’t wait to see you on June 13 to see what your donations have helped support! Don’t forget to register. We want to know that you’re coming so we can give you an extra special hello!-Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
We want to thank all of you who have donated to the Mixed Remixed Festival and are helping to keep this event viable and free! We have met our target goal of $10000! Whew! Now, can you help us meet some of our stretch goals?
With more funding we are excited to tackle some of these goals for the Mixed Remixed Festival for 2016:
What can we do if we raise more than our goal? A lot!
- Travel Scholarships for Participating Artists
- Travel Scholarships for Festival Attendees
- Add more days of programming to create a 3-day Festival
- Sponsor a money prize merit scholarship for an emerging artist
- Stream the Mixed Remixed Festival Live
- Produce regional festivals in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, etc.
- Institutionalize this annual festival with a paid staff member so that the festival has a long life and supports many artists and attendees
And we’re making this easy for you: you can donate just $1! We just need to know that you value this project! We need to know that you need this home space for stories that reflect you and your family. Make sure the crowd is funding this crowdfunder!
Our Indiegogo crowdfunder ends on MAY 4! HURRY! DONATE NOW!
We’re in the middle of our annual crowdfunding campaign and we’ve got just a couple of weeks left to raise almost $3700. We can do it with your help. All we’re asking for is your $5 donation. Yup. Just $5.
Why $5. Well because 1) if everyone who attended the Festival gave $5 we’d meet our goal easily; 2) If everyone who follows us on Facebook or Twitter or even here gave $5, we’d meet our goal easily; 3) it’s fun to say Feel Good Five Dollar Friday!
Please give $5 today. (Or more if you can afford it.) And show us that even the Festival is free to you it’s something that you value. The Festival won’t continue in future years if we don’t have your support plain and simple. Please donate now! Celebrate Feel Good Five Dollar Friday!