Mia Nakano is an artist, archivist, and social change maker rooted in Oakland. Her work is shaped through her experiences as a proud 4th generation Japanese American, queer woman of color, daughter of a single mother, and sister of a deaf adult. She is a self-taught artist, who advocates the strategic and ethical use of the arts to make social change. Nakano is the Director of the Visibility Project and Director of the Resilience Archives. She is a board member of Banteay Srei, whose work is dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of young Southeast Asian women in Oakland. She works full-time as the IT Director of the Asian American for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE) network, and co-founder of Hyphen magazine. Nakano has dedicated the last two decades of her life to uplifting the stories and histories of LGBTQ Asian Pacific Americans. She has contributed work to Colorlines, the Kathmandu Post, Democracy Now! the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Institute, Salon.com, APEX Express, Intersection for the Arts, and de Young. She is a strategic consultant for numerous artists, non-profits, and small businesses, bringing ethics, accessibility, and mindfulness around digital security and privacy to all work.
Photo by Andria Lo.