American icon George Takei has launched what he is calling his “legacy project” to both fund “Allegiance” - a Broadway musical about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and to create an endowment for the nonprofit Japanese American National Museum (JANM).
“George Takei has been an invaluable friend to the Japanese American National Museum since its founding,” JANM's President and CEO Greg Kimura told NBC News. “He is continuously generous with his time and resources, and the Indiegogo campaign is just the latest example of his commitment to JANM and its mission.”
Using an Indiegogo campaign and his social media swagger to raise awareness, Takei has created an innovative funding model that, in just a few days, has already raised over half the $250,000 target amount, with nearly two months left to go. Broadway shows are typically funded by a group of producers and investors, but crowdfunding will allow a wide cross-section of the community to also be a part, some with as little as a $1 donation. “Allegiance” will treat the funds raised as if they had been invested by JANM, which will in turn receive a proportional percentage of the profits, thus creating a permanent source of funding.
Takei is a founding member of JANM and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees. He also married his husband, Brad, at the museum, which is located in Little Toyko of Los Angeles.