Bruce Lee Foundation Celebrating Self-Expression, Las Vegas, Nevada
To continue the yearlong tribute to Bruce Lee’s 75th anniversary, the Bruce Lee Foundation traveled to Las Vegas to host a series of panel discussions, martial arts & fitness demonstrations, film screenings and book signings. The two-day event, aptly called “Celebrating Self Expression,” took place in the Downtown Freemont Street area, at the Inspire Theatre on Las Vegas Blvd, a multi-purpose entertainment venue, and Downtown Container Park, an open-air shopping center and live entertainment space.
“Celebrating Self Expression” was a perfect bookend to the Wing Luke Museum “Do You Know Bruce?” Year Two Opening Weekend activities earlier in the month, focusing on intimate stories by Bruce Lee’s close friends & family, and those who have studied his life & legacy for decades. Speakers included Lee’s wife, Linda Lee-Cadwell, his daughter Shannon Lee, along with: martial artist & author Tommy Gong; martial artist & friend Peter Chin; martial artist, actress, stuntwoman, activist & filmmaker Diana Lee Inosanto – whose father Guro Dan Insanto appeared on screen with Lee in Game of Death; Hollywood producer Stephen Chin; writer, blogger & martial artist Daniele Bolelli; and popular culture & branding expert Sharon Ann Lee.
Digital Royalty founder Amy Jo Martin hosted activities at the Inspire Theater, which offered a relaxed location for speakers to talk about their thoughts on Bruce Lee’s life & legacy, how the martial arts & entertainment icon influenced pop culture, and how Lee’s legacy endures today. Later in the evening, the Theater’s rooftop bar hosted a meet & greet with the weekend’s guests, auctions supporting the Foundation’s activities, and live music from Las Vegas musician Daniel Park. A Las Vegas local named Michael Lui-Kwan, a professional video editor, made me feel right at home when he introduced me to a great New York style pizzeria at one of my favorite new casinos on the strip, The Cosmopolitan. It was a little out of the way joint I never would have found on my own.
There were also a number of dance, fitness & martial arts performances, including those by: the Lohan School, which performed a lion dance parade and martial arts demonstration; a dance performance and workshop led by Jon BOOGZ of Control Freakz; An introduction to Bruce Lee’s evolution of techniques that ultimately let to his creation of Jeet Kune Do, demonstrated by JKD Guro Chris Kent & Shihan Ryan Keller; a dance performance by Culture Shock Las Vegas; a Shaolin Kung Fu demonstration by the Chan Demo Team; a Yoga session with Lululemon Athletic Ambassador Meagan Marcotte; and a self-defense class for kids led by Quest ATA’s Jesse Pino.
To help document this historic event, I traveled to the city and created the following five-part photo essay during the weekend’s activities. You can read the captions for part one below and click the links to access the other sections.
To support the Bruce Lee Foundation’s many activities, which are ongoing and include – educational grants, expanding on Lee’s desire to spread Chinese martial arts culture & traditions and an eventual Bruce Lee Action Museum in Seattle, Washington – visit their website at bruceleefoundation.org.
You can view my CNN report on the event at the links below, or see all images in the gallery.