YouTube star Kevin Wu aka “KevJumba” will be honored by East West Players at the 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards and Silent Auction taking place on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at the Universal Hilton, and will join fellow visionary honorees Steven Yeun (AMC’s The Walking Dead) and seminal Asian American comedy improv group COLD TOFU. As a trailblazing and sought-after comedian, movie director, and actor who has raised the visibility of Asian Americans with a commanding online presence, Wu has amassed over 320 million YouTube video views and 2.8 million subscribers. As he told Forbes Magazine, “A lot of the biggest personalities on YouTube are Asian American, and I think this is attributed to the fact that there’s no Asian American faces in mainstream media that young people can relate to.”
“It’s an honor for me to be recognized by East West Players along with fellow honorees Steven Yeun and COLD TOFU,” says Wu. “East West Players has provided opportunities for the Asian American voice for 47 years, so to recognize my work as ‘visionary’ is truly a privilege and honor.”
“Kevin is a great example of the ‘next generation’ taking the lead to raise the visibility of Asian Americans through new media and the art of comedy,” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “At a relatively young age, he has achieved a level of recognition that has garnered a new and vital audience. He is also an innovative philanthropist, leveraging his celebrity to engage his audience in giving to charity and building his own school in Kenya through his JumbaFund YouTube channel. As new opportunities arise bridging various media with various audiences creating mega-connectivity, he has a bright future ahead, integrating comedy, entrepreneurship and social good in his sincere, genuine style.”
East West Players (EWP) is the largest creator of Asian American artistic work and the longest running professional theater of color in the country. EWP has been working with Asian Pacific American actors, writers, directors, designers, producers, stage management, crew, box office and administrative staff for the last four decades. EWP celebrates its 47th Season, themed “Spirited Away,” with its captivating Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, and salutes those who have made a valuable impact on the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their artistic excellence and support of the Asian Pacific American performing arts. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.
Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid Part II, Joy Luck Club) will serve as emcee for the event. Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film The Last Days) will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.
Additional entertainment and presenters to be announced at a later date.