Tag Archives: Los Angeles

laapff films

Win Tickets to See ‘Twinsters’ and ‘Ktown Cowboys’ at LAAPFF 2015

The 31st annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) is kicking off tomorrow, and KoreAm Journal is giving away tickets for the West Coast premieres of Twinsters and Ktown Cowboys!

Presented by Visual Communications, this year’s LAAPFF will be screening a wide variety of narrative films, documentaries and short films in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, Koreatown and West Hollywood from April 23 through 30, 2015.

As a proud co-presenter of documentary Twinsters and indie comedy Ktown Cowboys, KoreAm will be giving away 5 tickets for each film’s Saturday, April 25 screening.

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win tickets for each film:

Ktown Cowboys (Festival Centerpiece Presentation)



When: Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m.
Location: Aratani Theatre | 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

How to win tickets:


Step 1: Like KoreAm’s Facebook page

Step 2: Tell us why you want to see Ktown Cowboys in the comments section of this article’s Facebook post.


Step 1: Follow KoreAm on Twitter @KoreAm

Step 2: Tweet us @KoreAm and tell us why you want to see Ktown Cowboys the hashtag #LAAPFF.

We’ll choose a total of 5 winners based on the creativity of their answers. Each winner will receive one ticket.




When: Saturday, April 25 at 5 p.m.
Location: Aratani Theatre | 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

How to win tickets:


Step 1: Like KoreAm’s Facebook page

Step 2: Tell us why you want to see Twinsters in the comments section of this article’s Facebook post.


Step 1: Follow KoreAm on Twitter @KoreAm

Step 2: Tweet us @KoreAm and tell us why you want to see Twinsters the hashtag #LAAPFF.

We’ll choose a total of 5 winners based on the creativity of their answers. Each winner will receive one ticket.


- Contestants must be at least 21 or older to apply.
– You can only enter the giveaway for ONE film and from ONE media outlet.
– The tickets are non-transferrable.
– Transportation to the event will not be provided.
– If selected, please bring your ID to the event.

For any questions regarding the giveaway, please email reera@iamkoream.com. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.



UCLA and USC’s Korean American Student Organizations to Present ‘3 Steps to College’

by GRACE LEE | @grace_koream

Attention, high school students: UCLA’s Korean American Student Associations (KASA) and USC’s Korean Student Association (KSA) will be presenting its third annual “3 Steps to College” seminar series at the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA) headquarters this Saturday.

The “3 Steps to College” series consists of three seminars aimed at informing prospective students on how to write personal statements, apply for financial aid and prepare for college life.

The final seminar, “How to Prep for College,” will include one-on-one discussions on how to adjust to dorm life, join clubs and apply for internships.

“How to Prep for College” will be presented by a panel comprised of students and alumni from UCLA, USC and other universities located in southern California. About eight panelists, including USC alumnus Paul Shin, USC student Shelby Matsumura, and Pepperdine student Sara Um, will share their college experience and what to expect for prospective students.


Irene Choi, the event’s project coordinator and a sophomore at UCLA told KoreAm, “This is a way to give back to the community because we were in their shoes once, and because their parents are first generation, it’s our responsibility to guide these high school students to their dream schools.”

Seminars regarding writing personal statements and applying for financial aid were held successfully last year at KAFLA, where 50 high school students got to network and follow up with UCLA and USC students and alumni. Choi and other panel members hope that this experience will continue to build strong relationships within the community.

“I hope that students will utilize our services so they can get accepted to the top schools they want to go to,” Choi said.

The “How to Prep for College” seminar is scheduled to take place on April 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at KAFLA, which is located on 981 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006. There is no admission fee for the event. 

To learn more about the event, check out the event’s official Facebook page.


Featured image courtesy of KAFLA


Los Angeles Film Festival to Hold Gala Screening for ‘Seoul Searching’

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Seoul Searching has been selected for the Los Angeles Film Festival‘s annual gala screening.

Written and directed by Benson Lee, the coming-of-age indie film premiered to popular acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and screened at CAAMFest last month. The movie is loosely based on Lee’s own experiences at a Seoul summer camp in 1986. With an ensemble cast led by Justin Chon, Jessika Van, Esteban Ahn, Albert KongTeo Yoo, Byul Kang and Cha In-pyo, the John Hughes-inspired teenage romantic comedy and its director were the subject of KoreAm‘s February/March issue.

On the television side, the Festival will hold a gala premiere for the new MTV/Dimentsion TV series Scream on June 14.

The festival runs from June 10-18 in downtown Los Angeles at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. LIVE. You can find more information on passes and the full list of films screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival website.


KAC National mugshot jane lee kwon

Sponsored Post: Jane Lee Kwon Takes on National Board Chair Position for Korean American Coalition (KAC National)

Our Community, Our Dream


by JANE LEE KWON, Board Chair of KAC National, 2015-16

“To every man, woman and child listening to me today, I ask you to consider the need and examine your skills, and find a way to contribute to the salvation of your city. In return for your investment, in return for your sacrifice, I promise you this: that you will be the richer for what you invest, that you will be the happier for the troubles you absorb, that you will be healthier for the afflictions you confront, for the sake of our city, Chicago.” – Inscribed in the lobby of the Harold Washington Library

It was the perfect inspiration to start my great adventure in America—I left Toronto (yes, I am Canadian!) 17 years ago with a few months’ rent money in my bank account and two years of graduate studies ahead of me, and I had faith that somehow, some way the universe would take care of me and see me through the unknown road ahead.

Now in 2015, I am settled in Chicago, contentedly married to most certainly my better half, John, with three adorable feline children, wonderful friends and family, and a great job. Who I am and the blessed quality of my life today would not be possible without KAC.

KAC National board retreat2015 KAC National Board Retreat in Orange County, Calif.

The dream of KAC started 32 years ago in 1983, in Los Angeles, when Keith Kim inspired three college students to start an English-speaking, community-based, advocacy organization to take on important issues of the day. KAC National was launched after 1992 in response to the aftermath of the L.A. Riots, which devastated much of Koreatown in Los Angeles—a critical lesson that we needed a national voice and network to deal with such crisis. At the spry, young age of 79, we are most fortunate Mr. Kim is still encouraging, supporting and driving the KAC vision—he would like it to go global and I quite agree that this is definitely a lofty and prudent goal to work towards.

The last several years have been tough for KAC. I make no qualms about it. When I told several local KAC colleagues that I had been nominated for the National Board Chair position, they advised: Don’t do it. But certainly many individuals who are about to embark upon an improbable task have been given the same advice by their loved ones.

Like the 102 first Koreans who first arrived on the Hawaiian shores of America in 1903. Like your parents and mine who left everyone and all that they knew in Korea in the 1960s and 70s, in search of a better future for themselves and their families in an unknown country and culture. What they did was hard. What I have been asked to do is a privileged responsibility. After all, you try looking Keith Kim in the eyes and telling him you can’t do something because it’s too hard.

So it is with great humility, trepidation and awe that I take on the National Board Chair position for the Korean American Coalition. I am fortunate that members of my KAC family—Peter, Ann, Tracy, James, Hansol, Carla, Jenny, and Thomas, as well as my KAC idols Young and Charles—have agreed to come along for the ride. Based upon my 17-year American Dream, I know that where there is a will, there is a way. I ask that you consider the need, examine your skills, and join us as we work together to realize our Korean American Dream.


Ryu rap

Hyun-jin Ryu Shows Off His Rapping Skills in Korean Commercial

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Hyun-jin Ryu can drop a sweet change-up. But did you know he can drop bars, too?

The Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw may have one of the best résumés among his peers when it comes to commercials and guest appearances. Ryu’s commercial for NH Card is just the latest in his exploration of his artistic side.

Ryu has always taken on side jobs in South Korea during the offseason, including an earlier commercial for Ottogi noodles and a guest appearance on the popular show Running Man, alongside fellow Korean baseball players Shin-soo Choo and Jung-ho Kang. Ryu also has a couple of K-pop singles under his belt, by the way.

During the regular season, he drags his teammates into his antics, like when he used Clayton Kershaw and (now former teammate) Matt Kemp as backup dancers. Maybe he can include Hank Conger the next time, too—the new Houston Astro’s twerking puts Miley Cyrus to shame.

In regards to his professional work, Ryu has been slowly resuming throwing activities while nursing a sore shoulder. The Dodgers began the season with him on the disabled list, and the team has stated they will allow him take as much time as needed before getting Ryu back on the mound.

If you’re looking for an in-depth read, be sure to check out our Hyun-jin Ryu cover story from August 2013.


KFAM Photo 1

Sponsored Post: KFAM’s Integrated Service Management Model (KISM) Provides Integrated Care to Koreans in L.A. County

Since 2013, Korean American Family Services (KFAM) has partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) to provide culturally appropriate mental health services to uninsured and indigent Korean Americans in Los Angeles County.  As a part of an Innovations program funded under the Mental Health Services Act, Koreans who have a mental health issue plus a co-occuring substance abuse and/or chronic physical illness can receive integrated services that address their multiple needs.

The ISM program was designed by the LACDMH to incorporate a holistic approach in treating mental health for severely undeserved ethnic populations like Koreans.  Individuals with mental health issues have a 20 year shorter life expectancy than others. KISM recognizes the connection between the mind, body, and spirit for overall wellness.  In addition to these services, KISM also uses “non-traditional” services to engage thecommunity and promote wellness, including acupuncture, yoga classes, spas (jimjilbang), writing classes, jewelry making classes, and kimchi making classes.

By providing these services alongside with the formal treatment methods, it encourages an individual to tap into resources in his or her community and to rebuild one’s social support.  With integrated care becoming an important component under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been a growth in services that address not only one area of treatment, but treating an individual holistically to cover  their multiple needs.

KISM is open to Korean American residents of LA County who are uninsured or on Medi-Cal with a mental health condition plus a co-occuring chronic illness and/or substance abuse issue.  For more information about the ISM program and other counseling services, please contact Jonathan Kang, PhD, PsyD, clinical counseling director at JKang@kfamla.org.



Sponsored Post: KYCC Supports Women Entrepreneurs

Above: KYCC Business Counselor Young-Gi Harabedian (right) leads small business workshops and consultations in Spanish, Korean and English.

KYCC Program to Promote Women-Owned Businesses

This spring, the Small Business Development Program at the Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC) is promoting our Women’s Business Center (WBC) to encourage and support women entrepreneurs in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. KYCC, as part of the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (APISBP), received a federal grant in 2003 to operate a WBC from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership to foster, recruit, and assist women entrepreneurs.

Our four APISBP partner agencies are Chinatown Service Center, Little Tokyo Service Center, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, and Thai Community Development Center.

“Since there is a tendency for the business climate to be male-dominated, it is crucial to provide networking opportunities, resources and tools to women business owners,” says KYCC Business Counselor Young-Gi Harabedian. “We are looking to create an environment where women entrepreneurs—particularly those who are economically or socially disadvantaged–can exchange their ideas, concerns and best practices to help each other thrive.”

In 1988 the SBA established the Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today there are WBCs in almost every state. KYCC’s WBC offers comprehensive training and counseling for women entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their own businesses.

The return on investment of the program is high, as businesses that receive assistance from WBCs have significantly better survival rates than those that don’t receive similar support. These successful businesses directly affect the communities in which they are located by bolstering the local economies.

Currently, the majority of KYCC’s Small Business Development Programs clients are male (51 percent), but Harabedian hopes that by building up recruitment and marketing efforts for women entrepreneurs the percentage of women’s involvement will increase.

She adds that though these efforts are underway, the SBDP, a program of KYCC’s Community Economic Development unit, is not segregated by gender. The SBP, which has offered workshops and one-on-one counseling for Korean American and Koreatown businesses since 1992, is open to any first-time or current business owners who are in need of assistance.

As the new KYCC Business Counselor, Harabedian is particularly adept at this role, given her professional background in local government, private sector agencies and media organizations. She is also fluent in Korean, Spanish and English, which enables her to provide trilingual business counseling.

Clients spend hours in one-on-one business counseling sessions, monthly workshops and an eight-week Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) concentrating on industry-specific topics that provide key resources and tools.

One of the strongest components of the program is brainstorming, receiving feedback and accessing resources to create a sound business plan, which can be a daunting first step for many small business owners.

In March 2015, KYCC’s SBP workshop reviewed licenses and permits to start a business in the City of Los Angeles, and detailed the local government agency’s process. A second workshop discussed target audiences, multicultural marketing, and public relations. Wells Fargo Bank delivered a third “Access to Capital” workshop, which outlined step-by-step procedures to qualify for small business loans.

KYCC 4.15.b

Free Trees for L.A. Residents!

Lower your electric bill, reduce air pollution, provide habitat for birds, raise your property value, and beautify your neighborhood this spring by planting a tree! KYCC can plant a tree for FREE for Los Angeles City residents. Through our partnership with Los Angeles CityPlants, residents can adopt up to seven free trees for their property. For more information, contact KYCC Environmental Services Manager Ryan Allen at rallen@kyccla.org.


Light Reignfall_photo by Florian Holzherr

LACMA, Hyundai Forge Major 10-Year Partnership

Pictured above: James Turrell,”Light Reignfall” (2011), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Hyundai Motor as part of The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA in honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary. (Photo by Florian Holzherr/LACMA)


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Hyundai Motor Company last week announced a major 10-year partnership that aims to promote global interest in Korean art and foster further development in LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab, which supports artist experiments with emerging technologies.

“The Hyundai Project,” as the partnership between the largest museum in the western U.S. and the world’s fifth-largest automaker is known, will be the “longest and largest programmatic commitment from a corporate sponsor in LACMA’s history,” according to a March 26 LACMA press release.

The deal, reported by the Los Angeles Times to be in the “millions of dollars,” will allow Hyundai to support LACMA through sponsorships in exhibitions, acquisitions and publications through 2024. As part of The Hyundai Project and to celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary, LACMA has acquired Robert Irwin’s “Miracle Mile” and James Turrell’s “Light Reignfall.”

Both Irwin and Turrell were part of the museum’s original Art & Technology Program from 1967 to 1971 that inspired the Art + Technology Lab, which combines the two elements by matching artists with corporations. Thanks to the new partnership with Hyundai, the Lab can continue providing grants and facilitating innovative projects for artists until 2020.

The Hyundai Project will also focus on the Korean Art Scholarship Initiative, which will consist of several exhibitions and publications over the span of the partnership. The three anticipated exhibitions will showcase the history of Korean calligraphy (2018); contemporary Korean art in the U.S. (2022); and Korean art in the 20th century (2024).

Another upcoming exhibition to be sponsored by Hyundai includes “Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination,” which is scheduled to run at LACMA from Nov. 22 to April 17, 2016.

Furthermore, Hyundai and LACMA are working on a website to expand the world of art to a broader audience. According to Hyundai’s press release, the website will allow users to customize and create their own print catalogs of a wide variety of works from LACMA’s collection.

This is not Hyundai’s first time partnering with a major art museum. The automaker giant has also partnered with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Tate Modern in London.

“Art is a creative expression of human values that transcends age, gender, race and culture,” Euisun Chung, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, said in a press release. “The Hyundai Project at LACMA seeks to support global art communities in the areas of technology and Korean art. I am confident that this collaborative partnership will realize mutual objectives and bolster a deeper understanding of people, culture, and our environment.”