Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Christine Toy Johnson to Receive 2012 Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service at Asian American Arts Alliance Gala on October 9, 2012

On October 9, 2012, the Asian American Arts Alliance will present the Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts to Christine Toy Johnson, at the 30th Anniversary Gala on October 9, 2012, at the TriBeCa Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street in New York.

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Established in 2011, the Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts is a tribute to the life and work of Wai Look, who served on the Asian American Arts Alliances board of directors from 1999 until her death in December 2010. The Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts is intended to recognize and encourage Asian American individuals working as an arts administrator, advocate, leader or equivalent whose active participation in or for the arts has made a considerable impact.

This year the Alliance is also honoring Physician/Writer Deepak Chopra, Vishakha N. Desai (President, CEO, Asia Society), and Musician Composer Fred Ho.

The Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) is dedicated to strengthening Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups in New York City through funding, promotion and community building. a4 helps support individual artists and arts organizations access and share resources online and in person. A4 builds community through programs that lead to peer-learning, collaboration, and professional development.

Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning actor, playwright, and filmmaker. As a performer, she has been breaking the color barrier in non-traditionally cast roles for over 25 years, and has been featured extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide.

An anthology of her written work was inducted into the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. She is currently writing book and lyrics to BARCELONA with composer/lyricist Jason Ma, and is a new member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Christine was the Executive Producer and Co-Director with her husband, filmmaker Bruce Johnson, of TRANSCENDING – THE WAT MISAKA STORY, the award-winning documentary feature film about Japanese American basketball star Wat Misaka, the first person of color to be drafted into what is now the NBA by the 1947 New York Knicks.

An avid advocate of inclusion, Christine has been a member of the elected leadership of Actors’ Equity Association since 1992, serving as co-chair of the union’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and also on the executive board of the Tony-honored Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and is a founding steering committee member of AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition).

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Mu Performing Arts’ Artistic Director Rick Shiomi takes home Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement
The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival: Daryl “Chill” Mitchell Stars in Staged Reading of Christine Toy Johnson’s Internal Bleeding, directed by Denise Burse at the Woodruff Arts Center 14th Street Playhouse on October 6, 2012
Greg Watanabe, Julyana Soelistyo and Jennifer Lim Lead the Cast of Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, October 23-December 2, 2012
Berkeley Rep’s Production Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Starring Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge, Extends through October 21, 2012
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s Heartless Starring Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jenny Bacon, Betty Gilpin, and Julianne Nicholson Extends through September 30, 2012
MTC’s An Enemy of The People Starring Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas Begin Previews at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Video: Academy Award Winner Chris Tashima Talks About His Roles in Lily Mariye’s Model Minority and Lil Tokyo Reporter
Photos: 4 Wedding Planners’ Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang at Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY
Multimedia: Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park of $upercapitalist
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
André De Shields Returns to The Laurie Beechman Theatre with I Put A Spell on You, October 5 and 12
Photos: Tonya Pinkins, André De Shields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Billy Porter and George C. Wolfe at 54 Below
Sean Dugan Set for West Coast Premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Tony Award-Winning Production of The Normal Heart at A.C.T., September 13 – October 7, 2012
Raul Aranas, Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert and Michele Pawk Set for New York Premiere of GIANT at The Public Theater, October 26-December 2, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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