If you were one of the fortunate ones to attend this year's revival of Dragonfest back in May and wanted more, then you're in luck! Martial Arts History Museum's own founder and curator Michael Matsuda is already kicking things off ahead of next year's events - the second following its 2014 revival since its intial host and creator, actor Gerald Okamura back in May.
Plans are now in motion to host Dragonfest 2015 in July as the Museum's biggest convention, host to a wide array of appearances from actors, authors, martial artists and filmmakers, and a display of cool merchandise for your own enjoyment. These and other things have all been a major part of shedding light on the history and legacy that martial arts has in entertainment and other aspects of everyday culture and life, as per the motive of the museum's existence. There's something special happening here, and anyone who has grown up with martial arts in some capacity may want to take notice. Read on:
BURBANK, CA (NewMediaWire) - December 16, 2014 - With the successful resurrection of the famed martial arts-themed Dragonfest convention by the Martial Arts History Museum in 2014, the museum will follow-up the expo with a two-day event and is encouraging sponsorships and shops to get an early start on securing a booth. The expo will be held on July 18 and 19, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Media Center's Grand Ballroom. The 2014 event sold out in just three weeks and 35 vendors had to be turned away.
“In order to accommodate a larger amount of space for booths, we have decided to make Dragonfest a two-day event, this way some booths can have a space for one day, while others can be for both,” says museum president Michael Matsuda.
Dragonfest, the martial arts equivalent of comic book conventions in which fans come in from all over the world to meet some of their favorite celebrities, action stars, pioneers, champions and also learn about the history of the martial arts. Nearly 1,500 visitors came to the convention, 3,000 are expected for 2015.
A new touch to this year's Dragonfest is the addition of a variety of new and unique sections in the convention including: Films, an area in which new action film producers can introduce their latest projects; Authors, a place for those martial artists with newly released books; Movie Celebs, those with primary roles in action films; and Products, booths that focus on toys, weapons, jewelry and fun things to purchase.
Last year, Dragonfest was attended by such notables as John Saxon from Enter the Dragon, James Hong of Kung Fu Panda, Cynthia Rothrock, Master Ken, Michael Jai White, Gerald Okamura, James Lew, Benny Urquidez, Doug Wong, Art Camacho, Peter Kwong, Leo Fong, Tak Kubota, Donnie Williams and dozens of other well-known figures in the arts.
Dragonfest 2015 plans to rotate the stars within the two-day expo. New celebrities this year include Joe Mantegna of Criminal Minds, Steve Odekerk of Kung Pow Movie, Fumio Demura, Robin Shou, Don “the dragon” Wilson, “bad guy” Al Leong and many more.
The goal of the Dragonfest convention is to not only pull the martial arts community together, but to support the museum, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. One hundred percent of all funds received goes directly to support the museum.
“A museum makes an immediate impact on the entire martial arts community. It shows the world that the martial arts is important enough that it deserves a place in history. It also keeps the memory of all those pioneers alive for future generations and it shows large companies that they should consider sponsoring the museum which will lead to sponsoring tournaments and special events,” adds Matsuda.
“We have a large number of very successful martial arts companies and that's wonderful, but it's time to give back to the community by supporting the museum. The museum was built by school owners and individuals who purchased your products, saw your movies and attended your events. Show your support and give back to the arts by giving to the museum,” concludes Matsuda.
To purchase a booth at Dragonfest, to become a sponsor or to buy your tickets early, please visit their website at www.MuseumDragonfest.com or email them at MAmuseum@gmail.com.