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Education Grantees 2010

Asia Society. New York, NY
Explore Asia: Art and Japan Today Family Series on Yoshitomo Nara and Manga
Project Director: Michael Roberts
In conjunction with the major Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool exhibition at Asia Society Museum on view Sept 2, 2010-January 2, 2011, Explore Asia: Art and Japan Today presents a series of 8 youth and family-oriented hands-on programs that explore and enrich understanding of Japanese art and culture. With seven art-making workshops, each following a tour of the Nara exhibition and one day of a manga workshop following an animated Japanese film, NYC public school students and families in the community use paint, collage and other media to create their own works of art inspired by leading Japanese artists of today.

Denver Art Museum. Denver, CO
Japanese Art on Creativity Resource
Project Director: Chiara Robinson
“Japanese Art on Creativity Resource” allows the Denver Art Museum to add eight art objects from the Japanese permanent collection to their Creativity Resource website, including accompanying lesson plans, object information, and high-quality images. The museum engages schools in three Colorado districts that include Japan in their cultural studies curriculum with development of online resources and will conduct a teacher workshop for 200 teachers from the three districts.

Elon University. Elon, NC
Origami as a Gateway for the study of Japanese Culture and Society
Project Director: Alan Russell
Elon University will provide professional development for teachers at a rural North Carolina school using traditional Japanese paper folding as an entry point for study. That training will then be utilized to impact students’ and parents’ knowledge of Japanese culture and society during a day of school devoted to the topic.

Friends of Middleton Public Library. Middleton, WI
Middleton Community Origami Mural Project
Project Director: Pauline Harrop
The promotion of global awareness is one objective in the Middleton Public Library’s long-range plans with a focus on Japan. As a community building event, all ages and all backgrounds were welcome to become artists as they share a fun-filled, educational experience creating a permanent art piece they can see and be proud of for many years. Working on the origami mural as a community allows visitors a free and creative opportunity to create a unique work of art that may also pique collective curiosity in the culture of Japan.

Honolulu Festival Foundation. Honolulu, HI
Pacific Harmony: We Are All Neighbors, Around the World
Project Director: Masakazu Asanuma
The 17th annual Honolulu Festival focuses on the sharing of cultures and traditions from four indigenous populations–the Ainu of Japan, Alaska’s Native People, Aborigines from Australia, and the Native Hawaiians of Hawaii. Last year, UNESCO registered the Ainu traditional dance as an “intangible cultural heritage”, in recognition of its historical and cultural significance not only to the people of Japan, but to the broader international community as well. The sharing of culture and traditions promotes mutual understanding, harmony, and respect.

Education Consortium. St Louis, MO
Japan in the Classroom: Professional Development for St. Louis Teachers
Project Director: Sheila Onuska
The International Education Consortium designed a series of four free workshops for teachers interested in updating and increasing their knowledge of Japan. The sessions feature film, curriculum and resources, anime and manga, and contemporary life in Japan with an emphasis on content that can move into the classroom. There have been no similar programs offered in the IEC since 2004.

Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA
Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Group Performances
Project Director: Aaron Dilliplane
This project brings the Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance group to Philadelphia region for a week-long tour with the aim to entertain as well as increase the interest in Japanese culture in this region. Furthermore, the bond between the countries is strengthened by the interaction of the young people from Tamagawa with the students from area high schools and colleges where they will perform.

Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Taiko: Dynamic Japanese Drumming for Students
Project Director: Katsuko Shellhammer
The Pittsburgh Taiko- Dynamic Japanese Drumming for Students program will foster interest in Japanese culture by reaching out to regional educators in two ways. First, it will provide free tickets for Japanese language teachers and students to attend a Kenny Endo Taiko Concert and workshop Nov. 6, 2010. Secondly, in order to reach uncultivated audiences and widen educational outreach, the JASP will contact regional music educators with the opportunity to host Pittsburgh Taiko at their school during the year. During the school visit, Pittsburgh Taiko will perform and hold a hands-on workshop which includes a tutorial for teachers to make taiko drums out of everyday materials.

Japan Day, Inc. New York, NY
Share the World in NY
Project Director: Mayuha Kunisue
Share the World in NY provides New York students with an opportunity to know, learn, and experience Japanese culture through interaction with other collaborators. Several groups of high school students in Manhattan will work with Japanese choral groups and students from a Japanese high school to learn how to perform in both Japanese and English. By collaborating with one another, students are able to learn about each others’ cultural heritage and develop lasting friendships.

Japanese Cultural Center, Tea House & Gardens of Saginaw. Saginaw, MI
Japan Festival of Saginaw
Project Director: Yoko Mossner
Each performance at the Japanese Festival of Saginaw teaches viewers a new aspect of traditional Japanese culture. Participants will enjoy interactive learning demonstrations in shodo (calligraphy), children’s games, origami and ikebana (flower arranging). The ceremony opens with a lecture on the 400 year history of the Urasenke school, and also features an organizational tent with digital presentations and an oral history of the construction of the Saginaw tea house.

Lawrence Arts Center. Lawrence, KS
Re/Collections: Roger Shimomura and the Japanese Internment Camp
Project Director: Susan Tate
Re/Collections explores the cultural and artistic legacy of Roger Shimomura, giving an in-depth look into the personal and national history that shaped his career. It is a contemporary examination of the “other” during war and peace time that guides exhibit visitors and audience members to a deeper understanding of the issues facing Japanese Americans during World War II. The exhibit examines Japanese traditions that served as the foundation of the spirit of survival during internment and the complex issues of identity that racial and ethnic minorities faced during the 20th century. Visitors to the exhibit will learn about the meanings given to personal objects and the connections to history they provide, and how history reverberates throughout our lives today.

Marquis Studios. New York, NY
Japanese Arts and Culture Project
Project Director: Maxine Montilus
Marquis Studios will provide the students and families of Staten Island’s PS 45, a school with a diverse student body in a borough with virtually no exposure to authentic Japanese culture, with 10 sessions of Taiko, 3 of Origami and a session on the art of Bunraku (traditional Japanese puppetry). At the culminating event for the entire school and 3rd grade parents, there will be a display of student created origami as well as a Taiko performance. Each day’s lesson emphasizes a better understanding of the culture, history and geography of Japan. Students also will learn a new phrase or word of Japanese each week.

Memphis Botanic Garden. Memphis, TN
Celebrate Japan: School Day and Family Festival
Project Director: Gina Harris
This event is a celebration of many of the traditions of the Japanese culture. Over 500 students will participate in activities such as Haiku writing, Japanese Calligraphy, Origami Art, Tea Ceremony, Leaf Pounding, Koi Windsocks and Taiko Drumming. These students will also learn the history of Memphis’ Japanese Garden and hear classic Japanese folktales. Additional events continue the theme of celebrating Japan’s interesting history, including demonstrations and workshops from local organizations specializing in Bonsai, Ikebana, Tea Ceremony, Kimono, and the creation of Koi Ponds.

Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese. New York, NY
Harumatsuri, “Spring Festival”
Project Directors: Ayako Takeda and Masayo Ohyama
The purpose of the NECTJ Harumatsuri is to help students understand Japanese language and culture with real interactive cultural exchange and provide a community-based learning environment. Hosted by the United Nations International School, the day-long event includes an introduction by a Japanese diplomat, a performance by an artist, a chance to visit over 40 interactive booths by students, and an awards ceremony honoring the results of a speech contest. The festival will reach over 400 students of Japanese language and culture, and involves at least 100 Japanese volunteers and 50 Japanese heritage speakers.

One to World. New York, NY
Passport to Japan
Project Director: Samara Hoyer Winfield
One to World’s “Passport to Japan” program brings Japan into the classrooms of underprivileged children, exposing them to Japanese culture, history, and geography. Using Japanese students studying in New York as “Global Guides”, New Yorkers interact face-to-face with international peers, fostering meaningful cultural exchange and dialogue. This program seeks to break down stereotypes and misconceptions, while building up understanding and knowledge of Japanese culture. Many of these students do not have the financial means to travel to Japan. However, One to World’s “Passport to Japan” program affords them the unique opportunity to experience Japanese culture in person.

Orchestra Insonica. New York, NY 
Introducing Japanese Film Composers and Anime Music in Performance
Project Director: Sean Kubota
This project is Insonica’s second educational concert with The Masters School Orchestra. It seeks to introduce live orchestral music to a variety of members of the community while simultaneously introducing Japanese culture through playing Japanese film composers’ highly acclaimed works. The educational concert showcases Japanese anime film music, including pieces from My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, Spirited Away, Evangelion, and Lupin, and will be performed jointly with the high school orchestra. The performance will be accompanied by anime clips and hosted by a comedian introducing each piece, instrument and film.

Portland Taiko. Portland, OR
New Residency Programs in Rural Oregon
Project Director: Michael Griggs
With this project, Portland Taiko is able to provide new residency programs to rural Oregon communities underserved by the arts. Portland Taiko will hold performances and participatory residencies based on the Japanese art of Taiko, working with K-12 schools and community based programs in four areas to increase awareness and appreciation of Japanese arts and culture.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Providence, RI
Illuminated Rice Paper Installation
Project Director: Aki Ishida
Art students from RISD educate the public about the nature of light and shadow in Japanese architecture while engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in the fabrication of a Japan-inspired art installation. Participants form personal connections by writing messages to survivors of the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan. In addition to providing solace to Japan during an unthinkably difficult time, the project gives New Yorkers the chance to create a moving work of art. The project raises awareness of the adaptability of traditional Japanese space and aesthetics in a contemporary environment and forms a partnership between two highly respected cultural and educational institutions committed to the making and promotion of art and culture in the United States.

Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company. New York, NY
Free Performance for Youth Program August 2010
Project Director: Saeko Ichinohe
Believing the arts to be vital for a full life, Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company will present a free dance program to various community organizations IN New York. Their unique program combines dance inspired by Japanese traditions with audience participation in aspects of Japanese culture with the aim of introducing Japanese culture to American young generations through dance.

University of Findlay. Findlay, OH
Japanese Oral Tradition in Ohio and Michigan
Project Director: Hiroaki Kawamura
This project introduces Japanese oral tradition to people in Ohio and Michigan, including Japanese students at the Japanese school of Toledo, Japanese language learners in high school and universities, other university students, and the general public. Three artists invited from Japan will perform and offer workshops both in Japanese and English. Audience members and workshop participants will learn about the oral traditions of Rakugo and Katsuben (Katsudo benshi). Workshops assume special significance as they provide the audience direct interaction with international performers.

University of Texas San Antonio. San Antonio, TX
“Access to Japan” Series
Project Director: Mimi Yu
The “Access to Japan” series introduces Japanese culture, including art, craft, customs, holidays, language, music, calligraphy, ink wash painting, society, tea ceremony and flower arrangement through a series of lecture, mini lessons and interactive activities. The events will be held at the Institute of Texan Cultures where the “World Heritage Photo Panels from Japan: Two Thousand Years of Legacies” photography exhibition took place from January 15th to March 13, 2011.

Wake Forest University. Winston-Salem, NC
Promoting Japan Through Bunraku
Project Director: Yasuko Takata Rallings
“Promoting Japan through Bunraku” increases awareness of Japanese culture in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the surrounding communities with a series of school visits by a Japanese puppet theater group. Wake Forest University collaborates with Bunraku Bay, a puppetry arts organization, to introduce Japanese theater arts to students and teachers while increasing their knowledge of Japan. A bunraku performance at the Asian Spring Festival on the Wake Forest University campus, open to the public as well as to the campus community, will attract a broader audience from surrounding communities.

Wake Forest University, Museum of Anthropology. Winston-Salem, NC
Samurai and Kimonos: Japanese Culture
Project Director: Stephen Whittington
In this project, the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University offers three one-week sessions of its summer camp, “Samurai and Kimonos: Japanese Culture”.  The camp program exposes children to the historical and modern culture of Japan using lessons, demonstrations, music, food, arts, and activities to teach children about a culture with a long history.

Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI
Hands-on Manga: Bringing Manga to Michigan
Project Director: Michiko Yoshimoto
Western Michigan University will bring Konohana Sakuya (Mr. Kohei Nishino and Mrs. Tsugumi Nishino) to the West Michigan area for a week-long intensive series of manga workshops conducted in the local community and on campus. This represents an unprecedented opportunity to use one of Japan’s most popular cultural exports as an avenue to introduce Japan and Japanese culture to the citizens of West Michigan. It also serves to stimulate interest in Japan programming offered at WMU and the local arts community.

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Dallas, TX
Portrait of Japan: A Workshop for Teachers
Project Director: Jennifer Bowden
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth will train 50 teachers in an exciting educational workshop, impacting over 7,500 DFW students. They call upon representatives of the local Japanese-American community to share their knowledge and experiences and reached out to teachers from under-served schools. Educators will share their learning with other teachers to maximize the program’s impact and increase cultural appreciation for and comprehension of Japan.