The visual media projects of Steve Arounsack, associate cultural anthropology professor at Stan State, will be on national display in May, as PBS member stations across the country will be airing his documentary Next Gen Asian American Art.
The documentary, formerly titled Halfway Home, explores how Asian-Americans in California’s Central Valley are using art to reveal their legacy as immigrants and to reshape tired narratives. It received a documentary fund award from the Center for Asian American Media. Arounsack, a Stan State alumnus, has been the Director of Keck Visual Anthropology Lab (KVAL) at the University since its 2013 inception.
“Our region is often marginalized, and I think national audiences will be amazed at what’s being created here,” Arounsack said. “What do we see when we hold a mirror to the Central Valley? Having grown up here, I always saw something magical, something worth sharing.
“Stan State has strong community ties and this film is yet another example of what can be produced when we view the entire Valley as a center of learning,” Arounsack said, adding that the advanced technology available in the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab makes this the first KVIE documentary shot in 4k. “The nation will now have the opportunity to see what many of us already know of our incredible art scene — all in exquisite detail.”
Arounsack has recorded a PBS promo for the film, which is part of the network’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. It will be shown more than 500 times on member stations, including four times on Sacramento’s KVIE (May 22 at 7 p.m., May 24 at 4 p.m., May 25 at 7:30 a.m. and May 26 at 6:30 p.m.) and on San Francisco’s KQED on May 18 at 10:10 p.m.