Mia Nakano is a photographer, filmmaker, and visual artist rooted in Oakland, CA. She is the Project & Media Director at The Cheese School of San Francisco (yes…there is a cheese school).

Her work has been published in media outlets such as Colorlines, the Kathmandu Post, and Democracy Now!. Nakano has contributed work to numerous organizations including the Smithsonian,, and the de Young. She is the founding photo editor of Hyphen magazine.

Nakano is a board member of Banteay Srei, whose work is dedicated to ending sexual exploitation of young Southeast Asian women in Oakland. She is on the leadership team of the Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE) network. Her work is shaped through her experiences as a proud 4th generation japanese american, queer woman of color, daughter of a single mother, and sister of a deaf adult. She is a self-taught artist, who advocates strategic and ethical use of media arts to make social change.

She believes in doing what you love as much as possible and that no meal is complete without cheese. 


Curriculum Development, Tracy Ngyuen, 2017
Curriculum Development, Monna Wong, 2017
Production assistant, Un Jung Lim, Columbus, 2014
Logo design, Tricia Yang, 2013
Video production, Lisa “yimesh” Boghosian, 2013
Lighting assistant, Maggie Lee, Philadelphia, 2012
2nd photographer, Shawn Tamaribuchi, New York,  2011
Youth educator, Tonilynn Sideco, Oakland, 2010
2nd photographer, Christine Pan, San Francisco & Los Angeles, 2009
Lighting assistant, Lydia Gonzales, San Francisco, 2009
Videographer, Becca Leung, San Francisco & Los Angeles, 2009