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George Takei and Robert Kennard to be honored at Inner City Cultural Center's anniversary celebration

George Takei and Robert Kennard to be honored at Inner City Cultural Center's anniversary celebration
Actor George Takei, left, and architect Robert Kennard. (Inner City Cultural Center)

The alumni of the Inner City Cultural Center will be presenting actor George Takei and the late architect Robert Kennard with special awards during the ICCC's 50th anniversary celebration.

"Star Trek" alum Takei will receive the Inner City Essence Award at the event, while Kennard, an original board member of the ICCC, will be honored with the Elaine Gayle-Kashiki-Josie Dotson Award. Kennard's award will be accepted by his daughter architect Gail Kennard.

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Titled "Out of the Ashes: From Multi-Culturalism to Diversity 1966-2016," this is the second celebration honoring the legacy of ICCC's founder, C. Bernard Jackson. In addition to an awards gala, the two-day event also will feature educational panel discussions about Jackson and the ICCC's legacy, current theater-related issues and the 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report.

Started formally in 1965, ICCC was the first fine arts institute in the U.S. focused exclusively on multiculturalism, which is generally referred to now as "diversity." By working with organizations such as Teatro Campesino and East West Players, ICCC built bridges between minority communities and also helped spawn and nurture the career of alums who include Takei, Lou Gossett Jr., Nobu McCarthy, Mako, Sab Shimono, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe, Edward James Olmos, Ted Lange and Danny Glover.

The ICCC was an early promoter of colorblind and non-traditional casting and also provided training for minorities who sought entry-level positions in the technical and administrative areas in the entertainment industry.

The anniversary event and specifically the library panel is exploring the concept of establishing a library in honor of Jackson and archiving his collected works as well as those of ICCC alumni and L.A.-based community artists.

"Out of the Ashes: From Multi-Culturalism to Diversity 1966-2016" will be held on Nov. 4-5 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Tickets are available online.

Twitter: @tracycbrown

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