Asian Influences

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, ABC7 presents 'Asian Influences'... an Emmy award-winning program that shines the spotlight on Chicago's Pan-Asian American community. ABC7's Judy Hsu hosts 'Asian Influences' along with contributors Cate Cauguiran, Eric Horng and Ravi Baichwal.

In this edition, you heard their names at the Oscars, now meet the talented film-making duo behind the critically-acclaimed documentary, 'Minding the Gap'. We also introduce two real political trailblazers.. one, a former judge who has dedicated his retirement years to giving back.. the other, a driven 26 year-old in Northwest Indiana who was a passionate volunteer, turned activist.. but when he couldn't find a candidate he wanted to 'back', he ran -himself- and won a seat in the Indiana State Legislature. He also made history in the process! You'll also see how music helped to heal a Chicago woman, now she's returned to her hometown.. to help -others-. And get a closer look at a fixture in Chinatown that shines a light on the rich culture and history of Chicago's Chinese Americans... then meet a former business exec who's trying to 'disrupt' the online fashion business... with an innovative new APP!!

Bing Liu and Diane Quon

The past year has been a whirlwind for Director Bing Liu and Producer Diane Quon. They are the talented Chicago duo behind the critically-acclaimed documentary, 'Minding the Gap'. In fact, the film won the jury award for breakthrough documentary filmmaking at Sundance and went on to earn an Oscar nod for best Documentary. What began as way to document Liu's passion for skateboarding in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois.. turned into a powerful look at domestic violence, race relations and the 'gap' these young skateboarders must face as they enter adulthood. Host Judy Hsu caught up with Liu and Quon at Kartemquin films, the company that first brought Liu and Quon together. Then, we follow Bing Liu and cast member Keire Johnson as they returned to their Rockford roots to take part in a hometown screening of 'Minding the Gap'. Along with adoring fans, Liu was greeted with donations to help several agencies that serve at-risk children.. and welcome news about several initiatives underway in Rockford, to help combat some of the social issues highlighted in the film. Bing and Diane -will- soon work together again.. this time, the topic for the documentary.. is Millennial love.

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Indiana State Representative Chris Chyung

You -could- say its part of the 'blue wave' or that voters just want -change-... but the fact remains, a 26 year-old from Northwest Indiana has made -history- in the Hoosier state! Chris Chyung is Indiana's youngest state lawmaker but he is also the very FIRST Asian-American to be elected to the Indiana Legislature. Chyung was born in Merrillville to Korean immigrant parents who -hoped- their son would follow them into the medical field.... but that wasn't to be. After earning a degree in Engineering from Columbia University, he worked for a time in Chicago real estate, all the while, volunteering for several agencies in Northwest Indiana. That volunteer work led to activism but when Chyung couldn't find a candidate to back for State Representative in his home District... he decided to run for the office, himself! After knocking on thousands of doors, Chyung was able to defeat the longtime Republican incumbent by less than 100 votes.

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Judge Kenneth Moy

Another political trailblazer is Judge Kenneth Moy. Moy was the first Asian American elected to County office in Illinois.. and he went on to take 'the bench' in DuPage County. But in his retirement years, his focus has really become 'giving back'! Moy has long funded scholarships through the DuPage Foundation.. and recently, he gave $2 million to a place that is an important refuge for more than 300 residents. At DuPage Care Center in Wheaton, 70% of the residents are Medicaid recipients. It also happens to be the special place where Judge Moy's wife resides, Patricia Moy has battled Alzheimer's disease for 8 years. The Care Center plans to make a host of renovations with the new funds. To honor their benefactor, the new name of the facility is the Kenneth Moy DuPage Care Center.

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People's Music School/Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa

For four decades, a very unique place in the Uptown neighborhood has been exposing young people to the joy of music, while transforming lives! And Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa should know, she was so moved by the mission of the People's Music school that she returned to her roots, to lead it. That 'homecoming' has even provided all-important healing for her. Matsuzawa and her husband lost their first 2 children to an undiagnosed genetic disorder. During a long period of mourning, it was Matsuzawa's love of music that became her greatest comfort. She left her high-paying executive position, to play and teach again as the President and Artistic Director of the People's Music School. The school gives music lessons to hundreds of Chicago children, free of charge.

People's Music School

931 W. Eastwood

Chicago, IL 60640


Style 545/Disha Gulati

We've all seen the ads for the 'new way' to shop for clothes, when a box arrives at your door with 'looks' to try on. But for the founder of a new Chicago-based 'start up', improving that shopping experience while driving people -back- into the brick and mortar stores... was KEY. Disha Gulati will soon launch her APP, Style 545. The concept is simple, the subscriber details what they are shopping for, their size, how much they want to spend and Style 545 sends back stylist-curated looks for them. Once a Style 545 user has singled out 5 or 6 looks they really like, they set up an appointment to try them all on... in-store. Style 545 has partnerships with several local boutiques, including Cinnamon Boutique in Roscoe Village. When Gulati isn't working on her fashion start-up, she is has another important role at Chicago's big Tech Incubator, 1871. Gulati is 1871's Vice President of Corporate Innovation, which means she works tirelessly to help other entrepreneurs find important partnerships with bigger corporations.

For more information:


222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212

Chicago, IL 60654


Cinnamon Boutique

2104 West Roscoe

Chicago, IL 60618


Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

The Chinese American Museum of Chicago is the largest institution in the Midwest, dedicated to promoting the history and culture of Chinese Americans. In fact, 6-thousand people visit the museum each year! It showcases exhibits about Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad.. or 'Great Wall to Great Lakes'... all about immigration...and My Chinatown, that offers up a glimpse of what life was like in this historic neighborhood through the years. The museum first opened to the public in May 2005 but a devastating fire in 2008 forced it to close its doors for a time. After an extensive renovation, CAMOC reopened in 2010 and has been delighting visitors ever since.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

238 West 23rd St

Chicago, IL 60616

Holly Grisham and Justyna Syska are the producers of Asian Influences.