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Education Grantees 2011

Boston Children’s Museum. Boston, MA
Tanabata:Festival of Summer Stars
Project Director: Loren Stolow
The Boston Children’s Museum is pleased to present “Tanabata: Festival of Summer Stars” on the Fort Point Channel, a romantic and beautiful Japanese summer custom. The event will take place August 5th, coinciding with the beginning of the Sendai Tanabata Festival in order to highlight Sendai City and those areas affected by the Eastern Japan disasters of March 2011. Tanabata is the Japanese star festival, celebrated every summer in Japan. For our event, we will prepare hands-on activities to make the seven traditional decorations made in Sendai; provide traditional Japanese games and summer festival customs; provide opportunities for reflection on the recent disasters in Japan and encourage celebration of Tanabata through live performances in music, dance and the arts. As visitors walk around and participate in these activities, they can make wishes in the tradition of Tanabata, and celebrate their own well-being with their families and community.

Eastern Michigan University Foundation. Ypsilanti, MI.
Bright Futures Meets Japan
Project Director: Lynn Malinoff
Eastern Michigan University’s Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities, “Bright Futures 21st Century Community Learning Centers” Program will develop a 5-week Japanese Club at each of our three sites within the Willow Run Community School District in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where students have little or no exposure to the rich culture of Japan. These clubs will bring multiple collaborating partners together to expose students in grades 3 through 12 to Japanese culture in the following areas: Food, Art, Writing and Literature, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and Kinesthetic Clubs.

Eckerd Theater Company. Clearwater, FL
A Thousand Cranes
Project Director: Julia Flood
Eckerd Theater Company (ETC), a theater company for young audiences, offers touring productions which reach many rural and underserved populations.  Between October 3, 2011 and February of 2012, ETC will present and tour “A Thousand Cranes”, based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki. Teacher and student guides will prepare students to see the performance and offer activities and discussion topics for classroom use after the production. Actors will conduct Question and Answer sessions following each performance as well as workshops tailored to the production and the age group of each audience.

Findlay University. Findlay, Ohio.
Performing Japanese Culture: Rakugo Workshops for K-16 Students in Ohio
Project Director: Dr. Hiroaki Kawamura
Based on the success of the an introductory project on Japanese storytelling traditions in 2010, our new project aims to fill in the gaps by organizing a series of smaller Rakugo performance workshops in rural schools in northwest Ohio. This project is part of a larger initiative entitled, “International K-12 Education in Hancock County”, a three-year project funded through the Findlay-Hancock Community Foundation and developed based on CGP’s Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) program. We strive to help young people gain a better understanding of Japanese culture through direct human interaction. Target audiences include K-12 students in small Hancock county schools, middle/high schools that have Japanese language programs and University of Findlay Japanese program students, who will later share what they have learned with the greater college community.

Honolulu Festival Foundation. Honolulu, Hawa’ii.
18th Honolulu Festival Presentation of the film “Kono Sora no Hana: Nagaoka Hanabi Monogatari”
Project Director: Masakazu Asanuma
In conjunction with the 18th Annual Honolulu Festival, HFF will be showcasing the spectacular Nagaoka Fireworks from Niigata, Japan in Honolulu. The fireworks are displayed annually in Nagaoka with the sole purpose of preserving world peace. Together with the Nagaoka fireworks, HFF will be presenting the film ” Kono Sora no Hana: Nagaoka Hanabi Monogatari” (Flower in the Sky: the story of the Nagaoka Fireworks) and following up with a seminar attended by the director and a cast member, both from Japan, to discuss Nagaoka in depth. Nagaoka will soon become a Sister City to Honolulu.

International Child Art Foundation. Washington, DC
Culture of Japan through the Arts
Project Director: Faith Antonini
The “Culture of Japan through the Arts” Project has been incorporated into the World Children’s Festival’s overall educational programming as one of the main artistic and cultural components. The project introduces predominately DC public school students of ages 8-16 and their families to basic artistic and cultural history about Japan. It will help participants attain deeper understanding of the Japanese culture among the mosaic of multiculturalism present in our nation’s capital and its place and relevancy in our community’s past, present and future. The project entails a Japanese-themed program with participatory, hands-on activities, workshops and stage performances. All activities are free and open to the public, expected to benefit more than 6,000 under-served DC public school students, economically-challenged families, residents and visitors in the DC area. In light of the recent earthquake and tsunami the project serves as a symbolic renewal of the Japanese people’s resilience and strength that deserves to be celebrated with DC communities.

Japan Day, Inc. New York, NY.
Voices Together
Project Director: Ayumi Manabe
Voices Together creates the opportunity for Japanese participants to share their knowledge of Japanese culture with youth from Harlem who have little exposure to the culture of Japan. By having group rehearsals and practicing both English and Japanese songs, participants learn not only about each other’s cultural background, but language as well. Through stage rehearsals and stage experience with a professional chorus quartet from Japan, all participants deepen their understanding of one another and learn how to collaborate without letting language barriers and cultural differences interfere.

Japanese Association of Greater Boston (JAGB). Boston, MA.
Haru Matsuri 2012
Project Director: Ms. Mino Endo
The objective of this project is 3 fold: 1) to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the gift of cherry trees from Kyoto to Washington DC; 2) to promote exchange between Japan and the US; and 3) to strengthen the friendly goodwill between the two nations. The Japanese community of Boston will have an opportunity to show their deep appreciation and gratitude for the fundraising and relief efforts undertaken by the American people after the earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. Approximately 100 booths showcasing cultural activities, Japanese cuisine and other Japanese goods and merchandise. JAGB will also be featuring 8 groups that will be performing and introducing various examples of Japanese culture.

Japan-America Society of Indiana. Indianapolis, IN
Japanese Kite Project–Cherry Tree Centennial Commemoration Event
Project Director: Tamayo Fukumoto
The Japan America Society of Indiana (JASI) will bring the Sendai Kite Club to the Japan U.S. Cherry Tree Centennial Celebration in Indianapolis. The planting of cherry trees will be held in a park setting overlooking a river near the downtown area. The flying of Japanese kites by the masters and by the public will provide the perfect spring activity. Lectures will be held in area schools and cultural institutions teaching about Japanese kites and creating enthusiasm for the main event.

JAS of Greater Cincinnati. Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati, OH.
100 Years of Friendship: the Centennial Gift of Cherry Trees
Project Director: Neil Hensley
The Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati seeks to expand cultural awareness and understanding between the citizens of the Cincinnati area and Japan, leveraging the 100th Anniversary of Cherry Blossoms in America by hosting numerous events and activities toward teens and children. Several new and exciting events have been designed to appeal to and bring out many young adults. Through these events, we expect to create greater cultural understanding and awareness of the long lasting friendship of our two countries. Given the broader audience of our efforts this year, we are seeking a grant to help cover the expense of public relations efforts, including promotional materials to get our message out.

Lander University. Greenwood, SC.
Focus on Japan Week
Project Director: Dr. S. Jae Park
Focus on Japan week provides a dynamic teaching interface through intercultural exchange and dialogue. Thorough specifically designed activities and programs, Lander University and the greater community of Greenwood will gain a deeper understanding of how to be responsible and effective global citizens; how to be contributing participants in a global community, and how to develop international goodwill and friendship. During “Focus on Japan week” at Lander, there will be numerous programs and activities promoting Japan, in which its people and those of surrounding cities and counties will participate. We at Lander are committed to promoting international goodwill and friendship among the people of Japan and the United States.

Ohio State University. Columbus, Ohio.
Cherry Tree Planting Educational Initiative in Columbus, Ohio
Project Directors: Janet Stucky Smith and Richard Torrance
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the initial gift of Cherry Trees to the United States, the gift of 20 Cherry trees from the Government of Japan to the city of Columbus will be marked in several ways in 2012. These events and projects will be tied in closely with the city of Columbus’ Bicentennial plans and with the Franklin Park Conservatory, where the trees will be planted. The Japan-America Society of Central Ohio, Columbus 2020, and others within our community will also be involved in an educational endeavor for our school children.

One to World. New York, NY.
Global Classroom: Passport to Japan
Project Director: Samara Hoyer-Winfield
The goal of Global Classroom: Passport to Japan is to introduce the many rich aspects of Japanese culture to underpriviledged youth living in New York City through authentic face-to-face interactions with visiting Japanese scholars. Through workshops that provide authentic interactions with Japanese citizens, we will bring Japan to life and open young minds to a world far beyond their immediate surroundings. As the United States and Japan have become increasingly linked through trade, the environment, and global politics, it is imperative that today’s youth have a firm grasp on the diverse facets of Japanese history, lifestyle and culture. We believe there is no better way to offer that information than through the voices of Japanese citizens.

Radford University. Radford, VA.
Japanese Cultural Awareness in Appalachia Week
Project Director: Dr. Sam Minner

The objective of the project is to introduce the community, especially Radford University and Local K-12 students, to the rich culture of Japan by offering a variety of films, lectures, demonstrations and K-12 activities. Bringing these activities to campus and community will result in more interest in Japan including new study abroad opportunities and enhanced curricular offerings.

Rebuilding Together Oklahoma City (RTOKC) and Japan Society of Oklahoma (JASO). Oklahoma City, OK
Japan in a Suitcase
Project Director: Dr. Gigi Hu
RTOKC and JASO will present short educational workshops on varying aspects of Japanese culture to the Oklamhoma City and surrounding communities. These workshops will feature JASO members, who will share their knowledge and expertise in various areas. This collaboration will contribute to the multi-cultural citizen life of Oklahoma. The theme, “Japan in a Suitacase”, promotes Japanese art and culture in a compact and portable manner and allows JASO and RTOKC to tailor the topics to desired audiences including students from K-12th, college students and the elderly.

Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company. New York, NY
Free Educational Program Introducing Japanese Culture through Dance
Project Director: George Horishige
A series of free programs that blend a traditional dance performance with interactive educational elements introducing Japanese customs, language and folk dances/traditional games. Half of the program is dedicated to an interactive performance where dancers teach children Japanese characters, greetings and gestures, culminating in a folk dance lesson where all audience members participate. These programs help to preserve traditional performing arts and provide a spark to interest a new generation of children as well as adults about Japan. All performances are for underprivileged communities with little chance of exposure to Japanese performing arts, including two Children’s Hospitals.  

South Carolina Kyudo Renmei. Atlanta, GA
Japan Connection:Cultural Symposium 2011
Project Director: Jean Murphy
The South Carolina Kyudo Renmei proposes a one-day, semi-formal, educational, multi-media symposium in Atlanta, GA with a follow-up event feautring similar content in Greenville, SC. The program will be presented by renowned experts in tea ceremony, kimono, ikebana, netsuke, architecture and history. The forum will facilitate close contact and personal interaction with the audience, allowing ample opportunities for discussion and exhibitions. Participants in Greenville will also have the opportunity to visit Furman University’s Japanese Garden and Buddhist Family Mortuary Temple, moved from Japan and reconstructed on campus.

State University of New York, Stony Brook Japan Center. Stony Brook, NY
Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival)
Project Director: Gerard Senese

The Goal of the Festival is to involve the Long Island community in Japanese Arts and crafts to entertain, educate and enrich their lives; and to involve the Japanese-American community in sharing both their ancient and modern cultures. The significance of Long Island having having its own Sakura Matsuri is the opportunity for the Nassau & particularly Suffolk communities to attend a Japanese Festival that is easily accessible and culturally on par with NYC’s festivals. Our future aspirations are to match the scope of Brooklyn’s Sakura Matsuri which has a 28 year history of growth that we will work to emulate.

Tulane University. New Orleans, LA.
Nariyama-Shihan’s Aikido Seminars in New Orleans
Project Director: Michael Wood
Tulane University will hold a series of Shodokan Aikido seminars conducted by the Chief Instructor of the Japan Aikido Association, Mr. Nariyama. In what will be his first visit to New Orleans, he will teach for the purpose of setting the standards required for the practice of Shodokan Aikido.  Even though primary beneficiaries of these seminars will be practitioners of Aikido, invitations will be extended to local public schools and teachers, scholars, and practitioners of other martial arts throughout North America. The project is an innovative approach to the study of Japanese cultural arts, history and philosophy, and has the potential to inspire an underserved community with an interest in Japan. Links to the martial arts, performing arts and academic communities offer an interdisciplinary look at Aikido.

University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA.
Tsunagaru Initiative
Project Director: Professor Rachel Stauffer
The Tsunagaru Initiative will work to connect Virginia teachers with resources on Japanese language, literature, history, traditional culture, and contemporary issues. The initiative will be part of the existing efforts of the University of Virginia Asia Institute and East Asia Center Outreach Programs which focus especially on rural and/or otherwise underserved Virginia school districts. The requested funds will be used to provide free professional development for K-12 teachers on Japanese language and culture, to provide guest speakers in schools and the community, and to develop curriculum and materials that uniquely address Japanese content in the Virginia Standards of Learning, and, subsequently, to offer these as free resources to Virginia K-16 educators.

U.S. Japan Council. Washington, DC.
Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship
Project Director: Ms. Saki Takasu

The US Japan Council’s exhibition is comprised of three sections: a) the gift of cherry blossom trees from the City of Tokyo to Washington DC in 1912; b) the beauty and symbolism of cherry blossom trees to the Japanese people; and c) American views of cherry blossom trees. A special tour of the exhibition will be provided by reference librarians and curators of the collections to a broader audience not limited to users of the Library of Congress (LC).The Library welcomes between 10,000 and 30,000 visitors a day. Asian Division and Youn Reader’s Center at the LC will also provide educational outreach programs focusing on Japanese culture and language to assist K-12 schools and students in the Washington Metropolitan area. An interpretive online exhibition will also be available at LC’s website, free accessible to students and the general public regardless of location.

Youth Arts New York(YANY). New York, NY.
Hibakusha Stories: High School Initiatives
Project Director:Kathleen Sullivan
Youth Arts New York will facilitate 16 school visits by 4 Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that will include personal testimonies and interactive educational workshops. Workshops will stress the importance of nuclear disarmament and peace between cultures, and show students the human side to one of the most terrible events in Japanese history. In addition to providing interactive learning experiences for approximately 2,000 students, the Hibakusha will present their testimonies to United Nations interns and guides. They will cover their personal experiences as well as discussion groups on reactions to the stories, lasting effects of radiation, ethics and rebuilding peace out of tragedy. YANY provides New York youth with a chance to effect real change through guided responses to the living testimonies of Hibakusha, invaluable historical resources that will not be around forever.