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Education Grantees 2016

American Passage, Inc. Hartsdale, NY 
Japan, An Undiscovered Jewel
Project Director: Tracey Wong
This project focuses on creating and implementing a new learning unit on Japan for 3rd grade students at Highview School. Through this unit students are introduced to Japan and its history, culture, and traditions. They also have an opportunity to learn about Japanese art through hands-on activities with Japanese artist, Harumi Ori. Students will showcase their projects at a culminating event open to the local community.

Chequamegon Theatre Association Ashland, WI
Taiko to America 
Project Director: Christine Hulmer
Taiko to America brings two taiko performers from Okinawa to teach and perform together with the Ashland High School band. Students have the opportunity to learn traditional Okinawan song and dance and share what they have learned with local schools and the community. The performances give the Ashland community members direct exposure to Japanese culture as well as an opportunity to further deepen connections with Okinawa.

Greenwich Historical Society Cos Cob, CT 
An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan 
Project Director: Anna Greco 
This project supports a fall festival that invites families to experience and enjoy kite making, fan decorating, a martial arts demonstration, a dance performance by The Greenwich Japanese School students, and a scarecrow-building competition. The festival aims to increase understanding of Japanese culture and history. It is part of a larger project, “An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan,” that includes an exhibition featuring the works of Genjiro Yeto, a Japanese music performance, a Japanese landscape lecture, and a sushi-making workshop.

Ho Etsu Taiko Chicago, IL 
Chicago Japan Fest 
Project Director: Jason Matsumoto 
This project brings taiko performer Yuta Sumiyoshi from Japan to take part in the Chicago Japan Fest. In addition to a taiko performance, Mr. Sumiyoshi and Ho Etsu Taiko offer educational programs such as interactive lessons on Japan and a workshop on taiko drumming for junior high and high school students. This project aims to give students and the community a deeper understanding of Japan and hopes to further motivate students to pursue Japanese language and cultural studies.

Japan Day, Inc. New York, NY
Dive Into the Contemporary Japanese World
Project Director: Nami Okazaki
Japan Day at Central Park returns to the Bandshell area and Rumsey Playfield in Central Park with a wide range of Japanese family-friendly activities that are available to visitors free of charge. The project aims to spark visitors’ interest and understanding of Japanese culture. This year’s Japan Day features a kendama tent for the first time, highlighting the traditional Japanese toy and skilled toy specialists.

Japan Society, Inc. New York, NY 
A Play for Elementary Students, MOMOTARO the Peace Boy: A Hero’s Journey
Project Director: Jeffrey Miller
Japan Society, in collaboration with the New York City-based theatre company Crossing Jamaica Avenue, invites elementary school groups to join a live theater performance of Momotaro (Peach Boy), a classic folktale widely read by children in Japan. This project aims to introduce Japanese culture to over 500 students in New York City through the live performance and classroom visits before and after the event.

Marquis Studios Brooklyn, NY 
Japan Project
Project Director: Sarah Ory 
Marquis Studios introduces two classic Japanese art forms, taiko and origami, to elementary school students at P.S. 152 in Queens, NY. The objectives of the 10-week unit are to expose students to Japanese culture through arts education, encourage professional development of teachers, and support the integration of art in education. At the culminating event, students will perform two Taiko pieces, display their origami artwork, and give presentations to parents, classmates, and school community.

Midori & Friends New York, NY 
Journey to Japan
Project Director: Lauren Noble 
Journey to Japan is a 5-6 week program that introduces students to the history, music, and culture of Japan. This year Midori & Friends is partnering with elementary schools and middle schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The program culminates in a concert for family and school community members where students perform the music they have learned during the program as well as showcase the creative work they have produced.

Ohana Arts Mililani, HI
Peace on Your Wings 
Project Director: Laurie Rubin 
This project brings Ohana Arts to New York City to perform “Peace On Your Wings,” an original musical inspired by the life of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl affected by the atomic bombing. The performance educates over 600 K-12 students in NYC on Japanese culture and history as well as the peace movement symbolized in the play. This outreach performance is part of larger project in collaboration with Stanford University (SPICE) that aims to provide an inside and outside of the classroom educational experience enabling students to gain an understanding of the atomic bombing’s aftermath and longer-term effects on the residents of Hiroshima.

The Japan America Society of Vermont Burlington, VT 
A Noh Dancer Invitation from Japan to Matsuri-17
Project Director: Lois Obregon
This project brings Noh performer Takashi Yamamura from Itami, Japan to take part in The Japan America Society of Vermont’s 2017 Japan Matsuri. The event, held every two years, draws attendees of all ages. Through inviting a Noh performer this year, JASV hopes to introduce a part of Japanese culture that is new to the Vermont community. In addition to a special performance, Mr. Yamamura will hold a booth at the festival, providing an opportunity for attendees to learn more about Noh.

Theatre of Yugen
 San Francisco, CA 
2017 “Crazy for Words” – Kyogen Training and Educational Outreach
Project Director: Sheila Berotti
“Crazy for Words” educates students on Kyogen, a form of traditional Japanese comic theater. This outreach program includes workshops on dance and script development where students learn about the history, conventions, characters, and narratives of traditional Japanese Kyogen plays. Through the classroom workshops, students will develop their own narratives incorporating personal experiences. Trained artists from the Theatre of Yugen will perform at multiple elementary schools, and the outreach program will culminate with a public performance.

Trustees of Grinnell College
 Grinnell, IA 
Japanese Spring Festival
Project Director: Kumiko Saito
Grinnell College’s Japanese Spring Festival features educational workshops on Japanese traditional and contemporary art, music, and culture. Students, families, and community members will have the opportunity to learn about taiko, origami, kimono, tea ceremony, and kendo. This one-day festival, organized in collaboration with the Japan American Society of Iowa, aims to bring Japanese culture to the mid-Iowa region and stimulate further interest in Japan.