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Writ Large Press: Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed, Alan Nakagawa & Jenny Yang

August 28, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

For this third event of the Icons series, Writ Large presents writer and podcaster Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed (Good Muslim/Bad Muslim), sound artist Alan Nakagawa and comedian Jenny Yang.

“Icons & Influences” is the title of this three-event discussion series from Writ Large Press. At each event, three artists are invited to read, show, or perform a work that profoundly influenced them, then present one of their own works. Over the course of these readings and discussions, the touchpoints and inspirations of contemporary artists working in a variety of modes and cultural backgrounds will be explored.

Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and organizer based in Los Angeles. Her writing developed around creating a counternarrative for the communities she belonged to, whether youth, Muslim, South Asian, or counterculture. She is cohost of The #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast, which has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Wired, and Buzzfeed as well as live shows recorded at South by Southwest and the White House. She can be read monthly in her “Radical Love” column at loveinshallah.com. She was a long-time writer for Sepia Mutiny and is published in the anthology Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women. Her personal projects include writing about Desi music at Mishthi Music, where she co-produced “Beats for Bangladesh,” making #MuslimVDay Cards and curating images for Mutinous Mind State. In 2016, Ahmed was honored as a White House Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. An avid essayist, she had a monthly column called Radical Love, was a blogger for Sepia Mutiny, has written for Truthout, The Aerogram, The Nation, Left Turn Magazine, and more. She is published in forthcoming anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors (2016) and poetry collection Coiled Serpent (2016) and was published in the anthologyLove, Inshallah (2012). Her third poetry chapbook Emdash and Ellipseswas published in early 2016. Taz curates Desi music at Mishthi Musicwhere she co-produced Beats for Bangladesh and she annually makes #MuslimVDay Cards. Her artwork was featured in the shows Sharia Revoiced (2015), in Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s “H1B” (2015), and Rebel Legacy: Activist Art from South Asian California (2014).You can find her rant on Twitter @tazzystar and at tazzystar.blogspot.com.​

Alan Nakagawa is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working with sound, occasionally incorporating video, sculpture, drawing, paint, performance, food and most recently perfumes. Since 2014, he has been working on a semi-autobiographic sound-based environment, utilizing multi-point audio field recordings of interiors; Peace Resonance; Hiroshima/Wendover combines recordings of the Hiroshima Atomic Dome (Hiroshima, Japan) and Wendover Hangar (Utah); Conical Sound; Antoni Gaudi and Simon Rodiacombines recordings of Watts Towers (Los Angeles) and the Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain). Nakagawa is currently the Artist in Resident for Great Streets, a neighborhood improvement program through the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles. He recently completed a fourteen-month residency with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Other residencies recently completed include the Getty Villa (2016), Smithsonian Museum of American History (2015), Cerritos College Printmaking Studio (2017) and Echo Park Film Center (2017). He is the host of VISITINGS Radio Show on DUBLAB radio 99.1 FM, co-founder of the now defunct arts collective Collage Ensemble Inc. (1984-2011) and was the curator of Ear Meal Webcast (2010-2016). Nakagawa is a recipient of two Art Matters grants, City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship, California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship and a Monbusho Scholarship. alannakagawa.com

Jenny Yang is a Los Angeles-based writer, actor and stand up comedian. Taiwan-born and Southern California-raised, she is a frequent collaborator on viral videos with Buzzfeed and Fusion that have amassed over 35 million combined views, and actor in digital projects from Comedy Central, Funny or Die, MTV, Sourcefed/Nuclear Family, and Cracked.com. Yang produced the first-ever, mostly female, Asian American standup comedy tour, Disoriented Comedy, and The Comedy Comedy Festival: A Comedy Festival, a comedy festival showcasing the best in Asian American comedic talent. She is also the creator of the viral Bad Appetite Magazine comedy videos that skewer food and “foodie” culture with a satirical edge (#HowToEatPBJ / #FoodToWork). In 2016, she was honored as a White House Champion of Change for her leadership in Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. In 2015, she was dubbed one of Los Angeles’ “most fascinating people” in LA Weekly‘s annual “People” issue. Yang is a Creative Change fellow with The Opportunity Agenda and a Google Next Generation Leader. Drawing from her former career in politics, she is a regular commentator on politics and pop culture with contributions featured in The New York TimesVariety, National Public Radio, MSNBC, The Guardian, NBC News, BBC News, Al Jazeera America, Complex Magazine, Southern California Public Radio, South by Southwest, BlogHer, and numerous college and industry panels. (jennyyang.tv@jennyyangtv)

Writ Large Press is a downtown LA based small press. Founded in 2007 to publish overlooked Los Angeles writers, WLP continues to experiment with the idea of publishing and explore the role of the book in society with DTLAB, a pop-up bookstore and performance space project, PUBLISH!, a continuing underground publishing project, and Grand Park Downtown BookFest, a festival for LA writers and publishers. As of June 2017, the Press is in a partnership with Civil Coping Mechanisms and Entropy. The three publishing entities are known as The Accomplices.

Beach=Culture programs are made possible by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs. smgov.net/arts #ArtSaMo

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Stop by early to save your seat and check out the historic site. Picnickers welcome (no pets, alcohol or glass permitted onsite.)

Tickets are free but space is limited and reservations are required. Arrive by 15 min before start time to retain your reservation. Late seating, even for reservation-holders, is not guaranteed. To adjust or cancel your reservation for this event, email culture@smgov.net. We appreciate your keeping in touch!

Getting Here: The Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402 on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway. Enter off PCH at the Beach House Way traffic light.

Parking: The parking rate is Apr – Oct: $12/day or $3/hour; Nov – Mar: $8/day or $3/hour, payable at the park and pay machines in three areas of the ACBH parking lot. Credit cards or exact change only. Handicapped placards and Senior Beach Permits are accepted. For other parking info and lot hours, please check the website for details.

Other events: To view & make reservations for future free Beach=Culture events, check annenbergbeachhouse.com/beachculture.

General Info: For hours, events and more, visit annenbergbeachhouse.com, or call (310) 458-4904. Back on the Beach Café hours are subject to change but are generally through 8pm in the summer and 3pm in the off season, call (310) 393-8282 to confirm.


August 28, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


The Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, CA 90402
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