SPARK! 12th Annual Visions and Voices Multimedia Kickoff Featuring Chicano Batman, Javon Johnson, Atsuko Okatsuka, and Jessica Sele

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 8:00pm

USC Village 3301 S Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Pre-show with DJs Urban Assault (aka Faust and Shortee) at 7:15 p.m.

*Admission is free and open to USC students, staff, and faculty only with valid USC ID. USC students, staff, and faculty may bring one non-USC guest per valid ID. All guests must arrive with their USC hosts. T-shirts and bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Arrive early!


Kick off the 2017–18 academic year and the 12th season of Visions and Voices at our annual arts extravaganza! Presented outdoors as part of the grand opening of the University Village, this lively evening of music, comedy, and spoken word will make you laugh, dance, and think. Come early for a pre-show featuring the electrifying beats and bass lines of DJs Urban Assault (aka Faust and Shortee). Get inspired by the socially charged spoken word of National Poetry Slam champion Javon Johnson and the hilarious critical comedy of stand-up comedians Atsuko Okatsuka and Jessica Sele. Then stay for a concert featuring the inimitable music of one of L.A.’s favorite bands, Chicano Batman. The event will also include a welcome by Provost Michael Quick and a presentation by USC cinematic arts professor Tara McPherson. Plus, attendees will receive free Visions and Voices T-shirts and bags.

About the Artists:

Chicano Batman is four young men in vintage formalwear, playing songs that blend Brazilian Tropicalía with early-’70s psychedelic soul and romantic pop. They have played Coachella, FYF Fest, and headlined Echo Park Rising; toured with Alabama Shakes and Jack White; and released three albums, most recently, the critically acclaimed Freedom Is Free. (Facebook, Twitter)

Award-winning spoken-word/slam poet Javon Johnson is the author of the new book Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities. Formerly a postdoctoral fellow in American studies and ethnicity at USC and a professor at San Francisco State University, Johnson begins teaching at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in fall 2017. (FacebookTwitter, YouTube)

Atsuko Okatsuka is a stand-up comedian, actress, filmmaker, and the co-founder of Dis/orient/ed Comedy, the first ever all-Asian, mostly female stand-up comedy tour in the United States. She has performed on Comedy Central Asia and as an opener for Margaret Cho, among many other events. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.)

Jessica Sele is a California comic who feels fine. She has performed on Viceland’s Flophouse and has a monthly show at Giant Robot. Bitch magazine calls her a “hilarious and talented queer woman.” (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Urban Assault (aka Faust and Shortee) specializes in dubstep, drum and bass, drumstep, glitch hop, and electro house. Faust was ranked as one of the top five turntablists in the world by SPIN, and Shortee has been described as “the world’s premiere female DJ” by the Grammy Foundation. (Facebook, Twitter)

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.

Photo (Chicano Batman): Josue Rivas
Photo (Javon Johnson): Steve Cohn

Event Type

Arts, Music, Dance/Theater, Student Life, Reception


Students, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus




Admission is free and open to USC students, staff, and faculty with valid USC ID.

Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative


Add this to your calendar

Recent Activity

Linda Kim

Linda Kim left a positive review 8/17/2017

I thought that some of the comedy was irrelevant to the audience in that the comedian spoke about a different life stage but other than that, it was a lovely evening. Thank you for bringing Chicano Batman to USC. Wish more people could have experienced them!