Born in the Central Valley of California, Nikiko Masumoto spent her childhood slurping over-ripe peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm (an 80-acre organic farm in Del Rey, CA). She has never missed a summer harvest.
She graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in gender and women’s studies. It was there that she realized she wanted to return to the Valley to farm. But first, she completed a master of arts in performance as public practice from the University of Texas, Austin. Her area of research focused on the performance of memory and Japanese American history (specifically the movement for Redress).
In 2013, she published her first book (a cookbook), called The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm, which she co-authored with David Mas Masumoto and Marcy Masumoto. In 2015 her family was the subject of a documentary film Changing Season which explores a moment in the family story of transition and living on the land.
She continues to develop her creative practices, exploring civic practice, creative entrepreneurship, storytelling and site-specific performance. She’s currently a Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies, serves on an advisory board for the College of Arts & Humanities at California State University, Fresno, and is a board member of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Western States Arts Federation.
On most days you can find her on a tractor, dreaming of projects yet to be born.
People and projects discussed
- Masumoto Family Farm
- Nikiko’s TEDx talk “Reigniting the Soul of Farming”
- Nikiko, Mas, and Marcy’s cookbook The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm
- Nikiko’s play What We Could Carry
- Story about Nikiko and feminist farming
- Changing Season, documentary about Nikiko and Mas Masumoto directed by Jim Choi
- Nikiko on Twitter
About Imagine Otherwise
Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/imagine-otherwise-podcast. Imagine Otherwise is hosted by Cathy Hannabach and produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.
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