Programs are free for museum members and included with admission for visitors, unless otherwise noted.

To see a complete listing of the JANM’s programs, visit



Friday, January 31, 2020
7:00 PM—9:00 PM

Upper Level Members’ and VIP Reception: Transcendients


Members at the Director’s Circle level and above are invited to preview Transcendients: Heroes at Borders before it opens to the public.

Program with a light reception to follow. Invitations will be mailed in late December.

In the Aratani Central Hall

Saturday, February 1, 2020
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Film Screening—ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066


ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is an award-winning documentary feature film about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film exposes the lies used to justify the decision and the cover-up that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. ALTERNATIVE FACTS also examines the parallels to the current climate of fear, targeting of immigrant communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.

Join producer and director Jon Osaki for a discussion and Q&A following the film.

Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Saturday, February 8, 2020
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Transcendients Artist Discussion with Taiji Terasaki


Join us to celebrate the launch of the exhibition catalog, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the new exhibition, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders. Art critic and curator, Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, will discuss the process of developing the exhibition with contemporary artist, Taiji Terasaki. A light reception and catalog signing with Terasaki and some of the heroes featured in the exhibition will follow.

Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

Saturday, March 7, 2020
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Transcendients Community Celebration: Challenging Borders



Immerse yourself in this free one-day celebration of the Transcendients “heroes” and their work. This day of discussion, conversation, music, dance, art, and interactive activities will allow you to learn, to celebrate, to challenge, and to grow. New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to deliver keynote speech.


Plaza Stage

On the JANM Plaza

  • 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.—DJ Set: Betto Arcos

  • 12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.—East LA Taiko

  • 1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.—DJ Set: Betto Arcos

  • 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.—El Santo Golpe

  • 3:30 p.m.–4 p.m.—DJ Set: Betto Arcos

  • 4 p.m.–5 p.m.—FandangObon

Presenter Series

JANM’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

  • 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.—Food & Los Angeles
    Rudy Espinoza, Ron Finley, Evan Kleiman

  • 1:15 p.m.–1:30 p.m.—Keynote Speaker
    Viet Thanh Nguyen

  • 1:30 p.m.–2:15 p.m.—Arts Activism & Los Angeles
    Kim Abeles, John Malpede, Nobuko Miyamoto

  • 3:15 p.m.–4 p.m.—Human Rights & Los Angeles
    Lucia Allain, Aziza Hasan, Lisa Watson

  • Reception with light refreshments to follow each session.



On the JANM Plaza

    Get involved! Register to vote! Learn more about local organizations doing groundbreaking work surrounding borders—invisible and visible.


Admission will be free all day to view the exhibitions:

Produced by Community Arts Resources (CARS) in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum and Terasaki Exhibitions.

Thursday, March 12, 2020
6:00 PM—8:00 PM

VIRTUAL TEA & LETTER WRITING: Reflecting on Heroes


UPDATE: We’re moving Tea & Letters to a virtual room!

To join, click on the link below. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download and open the Zoom desktop app. Once downloaded, you will be taken to the room.

More info, including Zoom etiquette and troubleshooting will be added to the Facebook Event discussion page later today. Please contact if you have any additional questions.

In-depth walkthrough of how to use Zoom >>



Do you miss the art of letter writing? Would you like the opportunity to write a letter to someone you consider a hero?

Gather with us in the comfort of your own home to share tea and conversation and write letters—with plenty of prompts provided by traci kato-kiriyama, former Little Tokyo +LAB Artist-in-Residence at JANM. In conjunction with the exhibition, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders, participants will be encouraged to reflect on who their own “heroes” might be and explore what messages they might want to share with them. We will read aloud some letters on the theme from JANM’s permanent collection.

Make yourself a warm cup of tea and read along with some letters on the theme from JANM’s permanent collection! All ages are welcome to join.

This program was launched through the +LAB Artist Residency program presented by the Little Tokyo Service Center in partnership with JANM and continues now in partnership with Tuesday Night Project’s TNTalks initiative.

Thursday, March 26, 2020
6:00 PM—8:00 PM

CANCELLED: Artists at Borders: A Conversation Led by Jonathan Ryan



Join RAICES CEO and President Jonathan Ryan and other featured heroes of the exhibition, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders, for a critical discussion on and artistic performances about how art can inspire social and political change at borders, both visible and invisible.

RAICES is a nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. With legal services, social programs, bond assistance, and an advocacy team focused on changing the narrative around immigration in this country, RAICES is operating on the national frontlines of the fight for immigration rights.

This program is free but RSVPs are encouraged at the link below. We encourage you to arrive early to view Transcendients and our other exhibitions before the program.

Presented in partnership with RAICES.

Saturday, June 20, 2020
2:00 PM—3:00 PM

COVID-19 Community Heroes: Taiji Terasaki and Kristin Fukushima



Artist Taiji Terasaki will join us from his studio in Hawai‘i to discuss his latest project, Transcendients: COVID-19 Community Heroes, in which he is highlighting unsung heroes who are working tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kristin Fukushima, Managing Director of the Little Tokyo Community Council, will be participating in the program from Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo.

Fukushima helped found Community Feeding Community, an initiative to purchase meals from Little Tokyo restaurants and distribute them to workers in Little Tokyo impacted by COVID-19. She was highlighted in Terasaki’s project alongside James Choi and Nancy Yap, co-founders of Community Feeding Community. This program will explore what being a “hero” means in times of crisis and what we can do to support and uplift our heroes.

Taiji Terasaki is the artist behind our most recent exhibition, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders, that looks at the consequences of prejudice, fear, and misuse of power and the “heroes” who confront and challenge borders, both visible and invisible. Visit to learn more about the exhibition.

This program is FREE, but RSVPs are required using the link below. You will be emailed links and instructions 24 hours before the program begins in order to join our conversation on Zoom. Please confirm that the email that you register with is the best way to reach you. Contact if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns. Please note you only need to register once per each device.

Saturday, June 20, 2020
1:30 PM—2:00 PM

Members Only Meet-and-Greet with Taiji Terasaki


All members are invited to meet artist Taiji Terasaki before our COVID-19 Community Heroes program at 2 p.m. for a virtual Members Only Meet-and-Greet. Hear more from Terasaki about his process of developing the Transcendients: Heroes at Borders exhibition for JANM and how he is staying creative in this time.

This program is FREE for all members, but RSVPs are required at the link below, by email to, or phone at 213.830.5646. Please note you only need to register once per device.

You will be emailed links and instructions 24 hours before the program begins in order to join our conversation on Zoom. Please confirm that the email that you register with is the best way to reach you. Contact if you have any additional questions about the program or specific access needs.


Photo by Paloma Dooley



Photo by Paloma Dooley


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