11th Annual Gala

Let’s Celebrate!

We can’t wait to see you in person this fall for our 11th Annual Gala!

Join us on October 1, 2021 at Tribeca 360 as we celebrate three incredible trailblazers and our community. More information coming soon so be sure to follow us on social media or visit this page to stay up to date.

When

Friday, October 1, 2021
Time: 6:30PM

Where

Tribeca 360
10 Desbrosses St, New York, NY 10013

Note: KoreanAmericanStory.org staff and volunteers have all been vaccinated and will be following COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions

Tribeca 360’s COVID-19 safety guidelines

Honorees

TOKiMONSTA

Producer + DJ

As TOKiMONSTA, California producer Jennifer Lee has charted a fascinating career over the past decade, and 2020’s is her exhilarating next step. The fourth full-length album from TOKiMONSTA is a labyrinthine mix of echoing beats and soulful melodies that display the culmination of the seminal DJ’s experiences through her rise to fame.

 

Lee’s work as TOKiMONSTA gained widespread recognition from the very start: her 2010 debut album, Midnight Menu, saw release on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint and cemented her reputation as a formidable presence of the then emerging West Coast beat scene. 2011’s Brainfeeder release Creature DreamsEP expanded on Midnight Menu‘s palette with successful forays into vocal-led cuts thanks to the presence of regular collaborator Gavin Turek; the 2013 LP and Ultra Music debut Half Shadowsfound Lee exploring darker shades of her sound with guests such as Kool Keith and MNDR in tow.

 

Following Half Shadows ’ release, Lee collaborated with artists like Jessie Ware, Anderson.Paak, and Kelly Rowland, while also putting out several records on her own Young Art Records imprint that served as practical blueprints for the dusky environs of Lune Rouge and Oasis Nocturno . Mini-albums Desiderium from 2014 and 2016’s FOVERE elegantly deployed pitch-shifted vocal samples to add new textures to the TOKiMONSTA sound, and in 2015 she added her capable touch to Turek’s mini-album, You’re Invited.

 

At the end of 2015, Lee’s career temporarily came to a halt after being diagnosed with an extremely rare and potentially fatal brain disease known as Moyamoya. After undergoing two brain surgeries to treat the rare brain disease, Lee was left unable to speak, create, or even listen to music. Through perseverance and faith, Lee’s memory returned, and shortly after taking a break from making music, was finally able to regain her music making abilities. After regaining much of her memory and music making talent in March of 2016, Lee made her triumphant return with jaw-dropping performances at SXSW and Coachella.

 

In 2019, TOKiMONSTA released her first album post-surgery, Lune Rouge, consisting of 11 mesmerizing songs that perfectly showcased TOKiMONSTA’s signature sound. TOKiMONSTA’s sound has always kept one foot in the pop stratosphere, but Lune Rougefound her diving in with glee. Lune Rougewas so highly praised that in 2018, TOKiMONSTA released a reinterpretation of the album titled Lune Rouge Remixed. The LP featured remixes from some of the world’s most creative producers such as Sofi Tukker, Felix Cartal, Kingdom, DâM FunK, Qrion, Penthouse Penthouse and more. After an astonishing recovery and monumental year, TOKiMONSTA was recognized for the critically-acclaimed release, which was officially nominated by the Recording Academy for a Grammy Award as 2019’s Electronic Album of the Year. The nomination was not just an accolade but an astounding achievement for TOKiMONSTA, since she’s not only the first Asian American producer to ever get nominated in the Grammy Electronic category but the first woman to do so.

 

TOKiMONSTA’s journey and tribulations gained more wide-spread attention after having starred in the season finale of the Vox-Netflix series Explained, narrated by Carly Rae Jepsen. The finale features live performance footage and interviews discussing Lee’s recovery from Moyamoya.

 

A year later, TOKiMONSTA shared her fourth full length album Oasis Nocturno. Her fourth full-length album showcased the pioneering DJ’s progression as an artist, combining her far-reaching influences with an effortless flow between the stylings of deep house, funk-soul, hip-hop production, and bass-heavy electronic music. TOKiMONSTA curated a diverse set of features from EARTHGANG, Drew Love, Dumbfoundead, Bibi Bourelly, Jean Deaux, Sunni Colon, VanJess, and Rosehardt to compliment the mercurial and multifaceted album. The result was an intricately mixed, soulful project that drew in critical praise from NPR, Pitchfork, LA Magazine, Hypebeast, DJ Mag, Dancing Astronaut, and more.

 

In September of 2020, she followed up with Oasis Nocturno Remixed. The fully reworked album included20 remixed versions of standout tracks fromOasis Nocturno, featuring production from both fast-rising DJ’s and producer-mainstays like Soul Clap, AC Slater, Damian Lazarus, Dombresky, GroovyRoom, Falcons, POSIJ, and more. The remixes offer a reimagined take on the original album and demonstrated a unique adaptability that is baked into her sound.

 

From overcoming a debilitating medical condition to returning triumphantly to the spotlight, Oasis Nocturno and Oasis Nocturno Remixed are two more notches in the belt of one of the world’s most talented producers. TOKiMONSTA continues to deftly remain between the tastemaker and dance world with each release pushing boundaries and in turn leading to a phenomenal career as one of the top producers of the moment. Lee is well on her way to becoming a household name and is finally getting the recognition she very well deserves.

Eugene Lee Yang

Writer + Director

Eugene Lee Yang is a producer, actor, director, writer, and one of today’s most recognizable queer Asian-American performers. His digital work over the past seven years as a viral video producer has been viewed billions of times and he has been distinguished as one of the world’s most culturally influential YouTube creators. In early 2018 he and the comedy quartet The Try Guys launched their own independent production company, amassing millions of followers with projects such as a New York Times bestselling book, an international live tour, and an upcoming Food Network series. Yang’s official coming out video, “I’m Gay,” in June 2019 went viral and raised nearly $150,000 for The Trevor Project. Yang recently released his full-length documentary, “We Need To Talk About Anti-Asian Hate” which raised over $600K to GoFundMe’s Stop Asian Hate campaign. Yang is currently in development for his own television, film, and writing projects.

Juju Chang

Journalist + Anchor

Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” In 2021, Chang co-anchored an ABC News Live special “Stop The Hate: The Rise In Violence Against Asian Americans” and the “20/20” breaking news special “Murder In Atlanta” after the mass shooting at three spas there.

Chang has been recognized for her in-depth personal narratives set against the backdrop of pressing national and international news: from immigration and terrorism to racial equity and LGBTQ+ rights.

Chang has covered major breaking news for decades including extensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic: the science, the economic fallout, the racial disparities, the impact on hospital ICUs and essential workers.

Chang has reported extensively on mass shootings and the myriad issues raised by shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, at the concert in Las Vegas and at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.

A former news anchor for “Good Morning America,” Chang joined ABC News just after college and rose to become a producer for “World News Tonight.” Chang’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including multiple Emmys, Gracies, a DuPont, a Murrow and Peabody Awards.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Northern California, Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communication. She is married to WNET president and CEO Neal Shapiro and, together, they have three sons. Chang is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation.

 

Special Guests

Vivan Lee

EMCEE

Vivian Lee is a freelance writer, director, producer and moderator after a 25 year career as a TV journalist in the US and Canada.

She was most recently an Emmy-winning TV anchor, reporter and host for NY1, working at the 24/7 local news outlet from 2008 to 2020. During that time she anchored NY1’s weekend news hours, covering issues of vital local and national interest, including the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020, and President Joe Biden’s election win in November 2020. She began at NY1 as the weekend anchor and breaking news reporter.

She was part of the anchor line-up for Pope Francis’ historic visit to the US, and reported on Hurricane Sandy in from Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens in 2012. She was also the first local NYC reporter to break news of Francis’ election as pope from Vatican City in March 2013.

 

Vivian also hosted an arts and culture show, Spotlight New York, focusing on the arts and culture landscape of the five boroughs of NYC.

 

Vivian’s career in New York started at WNBC in 2002, where she was a general assignment reporter. Before that she was CityTV Toronto’s Parliamentary Correspondent in Canada’s capital, Ottawa and a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor on CityTV and its sister cable channel, CP24.

Her stints as a reporter ranged from CJOH TV in Ottawa, ATV-ASN News in Halifax, and A Channel in Calgary, where she also anchored the award-winning weeknight evening news show “A Channel News@Night.”

 

Vivian has received numerous awards recognizing her industry and community contributions, including the 2021 “Pillars of Courage” award with four of her former NY1 colleagues from the New York Women’s Foundation; a 2020 Emmy for her work on Spotlight New York in New York; and the 2019 Lifetime Engagement Award from the Korean American Family Service Center in New York. She serves as a board member of KoreanAmericanStory.org.

 

She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.

 

Paul Song

Auctioneer

Paul Song is the Director of Trusts & Estates at Bonhams in Los Angeles. He joined the company in 2009 and has taken on such responsibilities as business getting, valuations and day-to-day management of the department, which holds three sales annually in Los Angeles and New York. 

 

Song has more than 20 years of experience in numismatics, with special expertise in appraising and selling 19th and 20th century American coinage. Throughout the course of his career, Song has been privileged to participate in the sale of more than $250 million worth of numismatics internationally.

 

Prior to his position at Bonhams, Song was Senior Vice President of Auctions at a California-based auction house, with a focus upon rare coins, jewellery and timepieces. He was responsible for business development, infrastructure and growth of new auction categories. 

 

From 1994 to 2001, Song was Vice President of an international auction house in New York. Song played an integral role there in organising impressive sales. Examples include one of the world’s most valuable collections of ancient coins ever to be offered at auction, formed by Nelson Bunker and his brother, William Herbert Hunt, as well asthe famed treasures from the SS Central America – one of the most valuable salvaged shipwrecks in history.

 

Song holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Management in International Finance and Marketing and a BA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In addition, he is a graduate of the American Works of Art course at an international auction house in New York.

Heesun Lee

Musical Guest

HeeSun Lee isn’t your average Hip Hop emcee. Put up for adoption in her native Korea at the age of four months, she was brought to America and raised by Chinese parents on Staten Island, NY.

 

“My biggest struggle growing up was with my identity, dealing with stereotypes, and not knowing where I belonged because I was adopted. I had to constantly remind myself that I am legit. Hip Hop saved my life and from a lot of things,” she confesses.

 

All of Lee’s diverse experiences fused to create the illuminating backdrop for her sophomore CD, Stereotypes, which was released in 2014 and placed #7 on iTunes Christian/Gospel charts and #24 on Billboard Christian Gospel. On her third album, Beauty For Ashes (released in 2016 as an independent artist), HeeSun makes her epic comeback to music with a bombastic wall of sound. Its progressive energy and hype will change the game of hip-hop for many years to come. Her fourth album, Flying Cars, dropped on March 8, 2019 and hit #14 on iTunes’ hip-hop charts.

Sponsorships

Tickets

Designer: Yuliya Kim stuffyuliyamade.com

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