Elizabeth Ito’s City of Ghosts Nominated for Peabody Award

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The Peabody Award Board of Jurors has recently announced the nominees for the 82nd annual Peabody Awards, recognizing the “most compelling and empowering stories” broadcasted and screened during 2021. Among the 60 nominees is the Netflix series City of Ghosts, created by award-winning animator and CalArts alum Elizabeth Ito (Film/Video BFA 04).

Established in 1940, the Peabody Awards annually honor the best in storytelling, with the latest edition especially taking note of reporting of contemporary societal ills across the globe, as well as human interest stories of resilience and joy. The nominees were chosen by a unanimous vote of 19 jurors from over 1,200 entries from television, podcasts, radio, and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s and youth, and public service. 

City of Ghosts was inspired by Ito’s experience as a “yonsei” (fourth-generation Japanese American) growing up in LA’s multicultural neighborhoods, the series offers a look at the city through the lens of the five members of the “Ghost Team”—Zelda of Boyle Heights, Thomas of Santa Monica/Venice, Eva of Leimert Park, Peter of Koreatown, and Jasper of the Tongva tribe, the indigenous people of the entire Los Angeles basin. The series was also influenced by Ito’s realization that the city in which she grew up has significantly transformed and her desire to relate the stories of communities that threatened to be overwritten by gentrification.

“Following yet another turbulent year, Peabody is proud to honor an array of stories that poignantly and powerfully help us make sense of the challenges we face as a nation and world,” Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody, was quoted in the official press release. “Demonstrating the immense power of stories, these nominees exposed our societal failures and celebrated the best of the human spirit. They are all worthy of recognition, and Peabody is proud to celebrate them.”

The winners will be announced virtually during a multiday celebration from June 6-9.

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PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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