A Message from Executive Director Kent Lee

A Message from Executive Director Kent Lee

Pac Arts Family, Friends, and Supporters,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy amidst these unprecedented times.

I am writing to you today because Pac Arts needs your help. Over the last few months, we have all witnessed the growing impacts of COVID-19 upon our families and our communities as we work together to combat not only the virus, but also increased racism and xenophobia against API communities, as well as a quickly changing landscape for our work.

For over 20 years, Pac Arts has proudly presented stories by and about Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. In doing so, we have transformed San Diego by bringing hundreds of thousands of audiences together through the magic of cinema, shared culinary experiences, and a mission of inspiring a more compassionate society. This is what drew me personally to Pac Arts, as a volunteer, more than 10 years ago – as I discovered a second family and community that is part of why I call San Diego home.

It is hard to believe that just this past week, Pac Arts would have been gathering with thousands of you to celebrate our 10th Annual SDAFF Spring Showcase – with one of our most exciting film lineups to date. Although we may no longer be congregating in the halls of the UltraStar Cinemas, we are certainly heartened to be able to find new ways to connect virtually through SDAFF Online screenings and Zoom Q&As.

It is now clear that recovery from this crisis doesn’t mean a return to the status quo. With significant cuts to arts funding recently announced and additional impacts anticipated, Pac Arts faces serious challenges ahead. Even while a pivot to serving audiences virtually will allow our work to continue, the loss of sponsorships and ticket revenues still remains. 

We are in our most vulnerable state ever yet face the most critical moment of need for our existence. Especially at a time when API communities are facing increased racism, xenophobia, and violence, our role in sharing stories, building community, and spreading compassion must continue.

Our team at Pac Arts is ready and committed to face these challenges head-on as we explore new and innovative ways to showcase API voices – as well as educate the next generation of storytellers through Reel Voices – in the weeks and months ahead. We are especially excited to soon unveil our latest plans celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May!

To all of you as audiences, members, and community partners who have always helped us to thrive – now, more than ever before, we need your support to ensure we survive.

So please consider supporting Pac Arts in several ways. Make sure to engage in our upcoming SDAFF Online screenings and Q&As. Join the Pac Arts family by becoming a member or renewing your membership for the year ahead. Most importantly, make a charitable donation to invest in our work now and into the future.

On behalf of all of us at Pac Arts, thank you for your ongoing love and support. We look forward to being able to gather and connect with all of you in person again soon and until then, wish you each the very best.


With gratitude,

Kent Lee

Executive Director