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This weekend: The Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival

June 6, 2011 | 11:00 am

Sarah Culberson was brought up in West Virginia by adoptive parents; it was only after she grew up that she learned that her mixed heritage went back, on her father's side, to a noble family in Sierra Leone. She wrote the memoir "A Princess Found," and will lead a youth-focused storytelling workshop Saturday and read Sunday at the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the festival addresses issues of identity and role models for people of mixed heritage. Organizers point out that recent census figures show that 6.8 million Americans identify as mixed; 7% of marriages are interracial and 1 out of 5 mixed heritage Americans live in California.

Heidi Durrow, author of the bestselling novel "The Girl Who Fell From the Sky," is co-founder of the festival, along with actress Fanshen Cox. The combination of attention on writing and Hollywood encourages conversation about storytelling across art forms. Other writers and performers who will be participating include Susan Straight, Nina Revoyr, Marie Mutsuki Mockett and Danzy Senna.

Readings, workshops, screenings and performances begin at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday; on Sunday afternoon, the festival concludes with a screening and discussion of the documentary "One Big Hapa Family."

The Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival takes place at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo; admission is free, and advance registration is encouraged.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sarah Culberson, author of "A Princess Found." Credit: Los Angeles Times