A Toast from Lee Ann

A Toast from Lee Ann

I hate goodbyes. So let’s not make this one.

Instead, let’s make this a celebration of US — you, me, and thousands of others who made Pacific Arts Movement what it is today. So pull out the champagne and lift your glasses (apologies in advance because there’s a lot of people to toast)…

Cheers to:

  • The good folks at University of San Diego who hosted our very first film festival, and our original co-organizers: Mark Arbitrario, Beth Accomando, and Leeva Chung;
  • The hundreds of independent filmmakers who went into debt to bring us stories that changed our lives;
  • Our members — past and present — who are our extended family;
  • My fellow festival founders — the late George Lin (founder of the DC APA Film Festival) and Mye Hoang (founder the Dallas Asian Film Festival), who shared my vision and moved to San Diego to be a significant part of this journey;
  • Thousands of volunteers, former staff, and contractors who have had the heart to serve;
  • Those who funded us every year from the very beginning, including the City and County of San Diego, Wells Fargo, and Anheuser-Busch;
  • Many thoughtful and generous funders — sponsors, donors, grants, family foundations — who are stakeholders of our mission;
  • The many artists and celebrities who attended our events and brought credibility to our work including Margaret Cho, Tamlyn Tomita, George Takei, Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim, Randall Park, Ken Jeong, Jamie Chung, Kelly Hu, John Cho, Joan Chen, Ming-Na Wen, Sung Kang, Nancy Kwan, Dustin Nguyen, Keiko Agena, Lisa Ling, Lynn Chen, Grace Park, Anna Akana, Eugene Yang, and even MC Hammer;
  • Our educational, community, and corporate partners — too many to name, but each so important;
  • Our board — past and present — for bringing on the work, wealth, and wisdom; and all of our board chairs: Lorin Stewart, Bobby Saito, Dan Hom, Ed Lee, Stephen Chin, Harlen Bayha, and Kent Lee;
  • The Fieldstone and Clare Rose Foundations who gave me the time to breathe;
  • My personal mentors and coaches — Matt D’Arrigo, Sheryl Russell, Tali Thomas, Lani Lutar, Janine Mason, Connie Matsui, Amielle Moyer, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Sharon Browning, and Dan Hom;
  • Lina Park — thank you for leading the critical search for my successor;
  • My staff, whom I admire and respect so dearly — Brian, Cynthia, Glenn, Vic, and Joanna;
  • And finally, the love of my life — Louis Song — and my boys Weston and Samuel.

It’s been said, “Your greatest contribution may not be something you do, but rather someone you raise.” After raising my first baby, Pac Arts, for the last 16 years, I am genuinely excited to now focus on my own children and family.

I’m also excited for the future of Pac Arts and having a different relationship with the organization. As a lifelong supporter, I will be in the audience during the upcoming Spring Showcase and beyond.  I’m especially excited for the Yo-Yo Ma documentary THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS on our opening night, April 28. I certainly hope you will be there too.

So here’s to Pac Arts and all of you. May we always seek stories that bring meaning to our lives and connect us to one another. Cheers!

Lee Ann Kim