ABOUT VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS
Our mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Visual Communications (VC) is the first non-profit organization in the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts. VC was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between peoples and generations through the development of AAPI film, video, and media. The organization has created award-winning productions, nurtured and given voice to our youth and seniors, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved our visual history.
Founded in 1970, VC has been a pioneer in the development of Asian Pacific American film, video, and media. VC was founded by Duane Kubo, Robert Nakamura, Alan Ohashi, and Eddie Wong. Along with a core group of artists, filmmakers, photographers, and educators, VC’s founders began searching for visual resources to build a greater consciousness of Asian Pacific history in America. Fueled by the burgeoning Civil Rights and Anti-War movements, they set out creating learning kits, photographing community events, audiotaping stories, and collecting historical images of Asian American lives.
VC premiered the first ever full length Asian American film in 1980: HITO HATA: RAISE THE BANNER. This landmark film was a building of a community-in-progress, involving artists, professional media personnel, scholars, community organizations, and countless number of individuals and community businesses in the making of the film. Beginning in the 1980s, VC transitioned from a film production collective to a full-service media arts center. While VC still produced films in this period, the organization also provided support services for Asian American artists and filmmakers, workshops and trainings for the community, and more presentation opportunities for independent media in Los Angeles.
Throughout our history, VC programs have evolved to meet the changing needs of a diverse Asian Pacific Community of over 25 different languages, cultures, and nationalities. The organization has created award winning productions, nurtured and given voice to our youth, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved our visual history. Today, VC continues to be a conduit for the Asian Pacific global communities to the American public through its numerous arts programs.
Our programming includes: the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and year‐round screenings and exhibitions; the Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists; the Digital Histories media production and digital storytelling program for senior citizens; a Film Development Fund for independent filmmakers; and C3: The Conference for Creative Content. Visual Communications is also home to the VC Archives, one of the largest photographic and moving image archives on the Asian Pacific experience in America. We see media as a powerful tool to create and share meaningful perspectives, and our programs ensure that the AAPI community has access to the resources tell their unique stories.