The Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee will host a benefit screening featuring three Japanese-American internment-themed films beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the committee’s effort to erect a memorial marker identifying the location on Venice Boulevard, just west of Lincoln Boulevard, where local Japanese-Americans boarded buses in April 1942 for transportation to the Manzanar internment camp.
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker committee has raised over $10,000 towards its $25,000 goal since September. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, an early supporter of the campaign initiated by the Free Venice Beachhead, the Venice Peace and Freedom Party and the Venice Arts Council, has contributed $5,000 towards the project. In addition, the Venice Neighborhood Council has pledged $1,300.
Filmmaker Brian Maeda, who was born in the war relocation camp at Manzanar, will emcee the screenings, which begin with his “Music Man of Manzanar.” This 30-minute film incorporates re-enactments to tell the story of actor Lou Frizzell, who taught music and drama to teenagers interned at Manzanar, and features Maeda’s older brother, Arnold, now a member of the committee.
Director John Esaki’s visual communications production, “Stand Up for Justice,” dramatizes the decision of Mexican-Irish American Ralph Lazo to accompany his Japanese American high school friends to Manzanar.
The third film, Academy-award winning director Steven Okazaki’s documentary, “Days of Waiting,” tells of artist Estelle Peck, who married Arthur Ishigo in Mexico when intermarriage was illegal in California, and found acceptance among her husband’s Japanese-American friends and family while incarcerated in the internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyo.
A VIP sushi and sake reception will precede the screenings, beginning at 1 p.m., featuring Mary Kageyama Nomura, known as the “Song Bird of Manzanar.” Kageyama and the Modernaires sang at club dances for the youth imprisoned in Manzanar, and she has agreed to sing again Oct. 29. She will share the stage with Suzy Williams, and a performance by the Shoo Flies.
Tickets for the VIP sushi and sake reception should be ordered in advance for $100, and include reserved seating and a DVD.
General admission is $25 in advance, or $30 at the door, and includes a DVD of one of the films screened.
Information, www.venicejamm.org, or firstname.lastname@example.org.