Amy E. Kato

Amy E Kato met her husband, John Esaki, in Little Tokyo while working at Visual Communications on the filming of HITO HATA: Raise the Banner, the first narrative feature film about Japanese Americans produced entirely by Asian Pacific Americans (1981). Discovering a common commitment to community media, they combined their complementary skills in production on the documentary Yuki Shimoda: Asian American Actor(1985) and on Maceo: Demon Drummer from East L.A. (1993), a Chicano taiko drummer’s odyssey broadcast on KCET-28 and in WGBH-Boston’s national PBS series, La Plaza. In 2004 they teamed to produce Stand Up For Justice, based on the true story of Ralph Lazo, a Latino high school student who chose to live with his Nisei friends at Manzanar concentration camp during WW II.

In 2003 Amy and John were married at the Japanese Garden of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and celebrated their reception as part of Past/Forward, Visual Communications' gala annual fundraiser. In 2008 Amy left her position as Operations Manager at VC and presently is a caregiver to her elderly Issei parents. In the summer of 2013, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Linda Mabalot's passing, Amy&mdsh;along with the Friends of Linda Mabalot, an ad hoc committee&mdsh;helped to organized a community potluck. Friends and colleagues came from all parts of the country to celebrate Linda’s life and memory with music, food and friendship.

Updated May 2014 

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

VC – A Quarter Century in Little Tokyo

Twenty-five years have passed in what seems only a few moments: the Little Tokyo years of VC. Its founders pragmatically called it Visual Communications, Southern California Asian American Studies Central, Inc. in 1971 after a humble birth in the living room of photographer Bob Nakamura, where the first project emerged as an ingenious modular exhibition of the camps for the JACL “Visual Communications” committee. A cadre of dedicated media workers grew through a succession of offices from the Seinan district on Jefferson to Silver Lake and eventually to San Pedro and Boyd downtown…

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