The Japan Society Annual Dinner Reimagined
June 2020. Virtual Event
As a new reality set over New York City with the outbreak of COVID-19, the Japan Society moved swiftly to engage their supporters in the United States and Japan around a “Reimagined” virtual version of their signature Annual Gala fundraiser.
With new leadership at the Japan Society, and the inability to open its doors due to Covid, this was a singularly important time to tell the story of Japan Society’s work building bridges between the United States and Japan, and to recognize those who’ve made indelible contributions to the U. S. - Japan relationship. To accomplish this, Japan Society turned to Empire’s New York and Tokyo offices to produce an Annual Gala Reimagined like never before.
Working on an accelerated timeline, across 12 time zones and two languages, and entirely remotely, Empire’s team of producers, creatives, video editors, and technical directors supported the Japan Society with an event narrative strategy, content development, run-of-show, scripting, graphics, animations, host coaching, rehearsals, pre-recording sessions, pre-recorded package production, technical production and the livestream broadcast.
Incorporating a beautifully-scripted video broadcast, streamed to viewers worldwide, and five curated live virtual sponsor receptions, the NY-evening / Japan-morning event brought together leaders from government and business to raise money and awareness for the century-old organization. Program highlights included participation from:
· Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
· Co-hosts Mika Ahn, Japanese Television Personality & International Model and Joshua W. Walker, President and CEO of Japan Society
· Daniel P. Amos, Chairman and CEO, Aflac Incorporated
· Governor George Pataki, 53rd Governor of New York State
· The Honorable Caroline Kennedy, Former US Ambassador to Japan
· Ambassador Joe Young, Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy, Japan
· Pianist Yuri Aoki and Soprano Yunuet Laguna, Lindemann Young Artist Program, Metropolitan Opera
The virtual event’s culminating moment was a heart-felt presentation of the Japan Society Award by Dr. Larry Kominz to Japan’s very own “national treasure,” Mansaku Nomura – celebrated for his life-long commitment to Japanese Kyogen (traditional Japanese comic theater), and cross-cultural exchange.
Founded in 1907, the Japan Society is a leading U.S. organization committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan in a global context. Now in its second century, the Society serves audiences across the United States and abroad through innovative programs in arts and culture, public policy, business, language and education.
Empire Entertainment is honored to work with Japan Society and support its critical mission.
Highlights of the program can be seen here.