2013 Women Who Rock UnConference and Film Festival

The 2013 WWR UnConference and Film Festival is coming up! Mark your calendars for March 9th, 12pm at Washington Hall.



Women Who Rock 2013’s featured speaker, Nobuko Miyamoto, founded Great Leap @ greatleap.org, an arts organization that has been at the forefront of creating a cultural voice for Asian Americans since 1978.  Great Leap engages diverse communities in the artistic process to deepen cross-cultural understanding.  Miyamoto started her career as a dancer on Broadway, being cast in the film version of West Side Story.  Her first singing job was as a jazz singer in Seattle’s Colony Club, but the Vietnam War began igniting her interest in activism. In 1968, she helped Italian filmmaker Antonello Branca to document the Black Panther Party for his film Seize the Time.  She became an activist in the social movements of the 1970’s, leading her to find her own voice as a singer/songwriter.  Known as the Joan Baez of the Asian American movement, Miyamoto remembers that “music helped to really organize young Asian Americans and also helped them connect with the black community and Latino community as well.”    In 1973, with her group Yellow Pearl, she created the first Asian American folk rock album “A Grain of Sand,” now included in the Smithsonian Collection Archives. Great Leap expanded her work into music and theater productions for the stage that expressed the Asian American experience.  She collaborated with a host of artists to explore intersections of cultures and faiths. Her recent works focus on climate change, leading her to produce, write and perform in Great Leap’s series of environmental music videos, “Eco- Vids” working in collaboration with UW GWSS PhD candidate Martha Gonzalez.  (click here to view Nobuko’s and Martha recent music video cycles.greatleap.org) (Gonzalez, a 2012-2013 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow was recently nominated for a Grammy.) Miyamoto has been recognized with the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, and a California Arts Council Director’s Award for her contribution to the arts and social change.

Check out some more videos of the amazing Nobuko:

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