Our first Washington Leadership Program (WLP) Session: Advocacy in the Arts will focus on the power of art to affect change in ourselves and our communities. The session will present art as a tool for impacting advocacy, for preserving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) stories, and for engaging and inspiring people. It will provide attendees with knowledge on how they can use art as a universal form of expression to transcend language and cultural barriers in order to raise awareness and understanding. Lastly, attendees will be introduced to artists and public service leaders who reflect their heritage and can provide insight on the role art can play in attendees’ individual public service journeys. Registration for the event will begin at 5:30pm with our program following promptly at 6:00pm. All WLP sessions are free to the public, but seating is limited. Please register online to reserve your seat. Dinner will be provided.
Jeanny Kim, a business development and media expert, was named Chief Advancement Officer of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC) in 2015. In this role, Kim is responsible for the planning and execution of all aspects of fundraising for APAC in support of the Center’s overall goals and director’s vision; developing effective and creative ways to advance the mission of APAC through innovative partnerships and funding programs; and creating unique means of supporting APAC’s work in expressing the importance of Asian Pacific American history, art and culture.
For the past year, Kim served in dual roles of Acting Director and Chief Advancement Officer following the departure of the director at the end of 2015. During this time, Kim grew the operating budget and staff by 125%. Kim came to APAC with an extensive background in content asset management, corporate relations, new business development, corporate marketing sponsorships, product development, and television and film development and production.
Prior to APAC, Kim spent over 14 years at the Smithsonian developing and launching new businesses for the Smithsonian at large, beginning with Smithsonian Enterprises, formerly known as Smithsonian Business Ventures, the revenue-generating arm of the Smithsonian and one of the largest operational divisions at the Institution and, the Smithsonian Channel, a partnership with CBS/Showtime Networks that was launched in 2007. The channel has since gone on to garner numerous critical acclaim, including recognition as the youngest channel to win an Emmy® Award. Kim was instrumental in negotiating contracts that generated over $55 million in new business for the Smithsonian, including operating and licensing partnerships with Showtime Networks, Discovery Communications, and McDonald’s.Prior to arriving at the Smithsonian in 1999, Kim spent a number of years in Hollywood, California, in television and film development and production at Columbia Pictures, MGM Studios, and MTV Networks. She also managed the Office of the Registrar at the Sundance Institute for the Sundance Film Festival, and spent a year working with the Rust Capital Group in the successful acquisition of Propaganda Films from Universal Studios.
Kim earned two bachelor of arts degrees in English and Political Science from the University of Utah and a Business Certificate from The Wharton School of Business. She served two nominated internships at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Utah State Legislature, taught English in Japan, served on the board of the Internet Safety Coalition, and is a published poet.
Gowri Koneswaran is a Tamil American writer, performing artist, and lawyer. She is a fellow of the Asian American literary organization Kundiman, poetry coordinator at the non-profit arts organization BloomBars, a poetry events host at Busboys and Poets, senior poetry editor at Jaggery, and co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. Gowri has performed her work at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Atlas Performing Arts Center, SpokenWord Paris, and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Her advocacy has addressed animal welfare, environmental protection, the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused in the U.S., and justice and accountability in Sri Lanka.
Yasmin Radbod, the founder and director of Femme Fatale DC , was born in DC, grew up in Maryland, and attended college in Baltimore where she studied Chinese language and culture. During her undergraduate studies she worked for various nonprofits and human rights advocacy groups. She organized Baltimore VegFest, which is an annual festival that continues to this day. Miss Radbod also founded The Shambala Foundation’s first university chapter, raising several thousand dollars for their programs in Amdo, Tibet. She studied at Nanjing University her junior year of college, and after graduating Summa Cum Laude received a Fulbright ETA Grant to teach English in Nepal in 2013. After finishing her grant, she traveled while teaching English and decided to take a job offer to co-lead a post-high school program in Umphiem Refugee Camp on the Thai-Burma Border. Finishing her contract there, she set to moving back to the States and follow her own creative pursuits and entrepreneurial goals. She was contracted to work as Imar Hutchin’s personal assistant upon moving to the DC area, and won the Great Streets Small Business Grant for Mr. Hutchin’s Florida Avenue Grill in 2016. She also writes music and is a background vocalist, and has worked with different local artists on marketing, event planning, and styling. Shortly after moving to the area, Miss Radbod felt that she was lacking a community of women, a support system, and wanted to create something to fill that void, and create opportunities for female entrepreneurs such as herself. She created Femme Fatale DC, the District’s fashion, art, beauty, and wellness platform and collective, focusing on the advancement of local women creatives and small business owners. She recently launched a WMATA ad campaign at four different Metro stations, each featuring different local, women-owned businesses, and placed two exhibitions of local fashion designers’ work on display for Women’s History Month at both The Howard Theatre and Current Boutique on 14th St. As part of Femme Fatale DC, Miss Radbod curates one to two events per month at different venues around the city highlighting different local women creatives and entrepreneurs in the forms of fashion shows, art exhibitions, styling competitions, photoshoots, themed brunches, concerts, comedy shows, and more. Miss Radbod has a unique, creative mind with a passion and drive for the advancement of women. For more information on Femme Fatale DC, visit femmefataledc.com, and @femmefataledc on the gram.
Shani Shih is a visual artist based in Washington D.C. dedicated to supporting transformational work within immigrant communities and communities of color through teaching and community-oriented artwork. In addition to having worked with a number of local community organizations, Shani is a member of the 411 Collective, a collective of graffiti writers and street artists addressing race/class injustice and neoliberal systems of inequality with community arts empowerment and strategic art action. With multimedia painting, illustration, and street art as her primary mediums, her personal work features chaotic scenes with bold lines and gritty textures and draws influence from street art, graffiti, and hip-hop. In 2015, Shani worked with local artist Monolith to curate Bern the System: DC Artists for Bernie Sanders, a political street art showcase uplifting the Sanders campaign and core social & economic justice issues.
Support for the Advocacy in the Arts session is sponsored by Google
**Registration for Washington Leadership Program Session I: Advocacy in the Arts is now closed. Please contact Camille Sanchez (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be put on a waitlist.**
More About The Washington Leadership Program
The Washington Leadership Program (WLP) provides a space for young AANHPI students interning in Washington, D.C. to come together, build community, and explore their heritage within the context of public service. Through five sessions over the summer, WLP introduces students to AANHPI public service leaders who can inform and inspire students’ own civic engagement.
The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) seeks to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth by increasing access to public service opportunities and building a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. We envisions a future with equitable AANHPI representation throughout all levels of government and public service.
By registering for CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program, you give permission to be recorded or photographed during the session. Food provided at this event may contain nuts, dairy, gluten, and other allergens. Vegetarian options will be available.
Check out our other WLP sessions!