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Education Grantees 2017

Am Yisrael Chai, Atlanta, GA
Conscience and Action: Sugihara’s Legacy
Project Director: Shelle Mayo
This project highlights the courageous actions of Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara and how he saved more than 6,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The project teaches the principles of altruism, honor and being an upstander (not a bystander) when faced with moral and ethical dilemmas. We would like to bring this message to the general public and to incorporate it into the school curriculum for The Daffodil Project that aspires to bring a worldwide living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils in memory of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and in support for children who continue to suffer in the world today. The Daffodil Project brings the message of peace, tolerance, justice and human rights to schools.

Florida International University, Miami, FL
Cool Japan @ FIU
Project Director: Asuka Haraguchi Mashav
FIU will conduct its third cultural and educational outreach event for the local community in hopes of creating an authentic “Matsuri” atmosphere. This year a live painting artist from Japan will be invited to join the event.

Hendrix College, Conway, AK
Central Arkansas Omatsuri Japanese Festival
Project Director: Aya Murata
Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas (UCA), and Arkansas Tech University plan to start the first Japanese festival in Arkansas in early April at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Since Summer 2016, Japan Outreach Initiative Coordinator Aya Murata has been working with students, faculty and staff from all three schools, as well as Japanese community members, to raise awareness about Japanese culture in Central Arkansas. This project aims to provide opportunities for college students to share their knowledge about Japan with other college students and the local community in order to grow future leaders in Japan-U.S. relationships, as well as deepen the understanding of Japan in the Conway community. We also hope that this project will become an annual event among UCA, Arkansas Tech, and Hendrix College and that it will serve as a catalyst to start more collaborative Japan-related events throughout the state of Arkansas in the future.

Japan Day INC., New York, NY
A Touch of Natsu Matsuri- Japanese Summer Festival
Project Director: Nami Okazaki
The main goal of this project, “A Touch of Natsu Matsuri – Japanese Summer Festival” is to present an element of the Japanese traditional summer festival through activities designed for all ages. Visitors will be able to experience and learn about Japanese culture as well as a touch of this Japanese seasonal event while in Central Park.

Marquis Studios, New York, NY
Expanded Japan Project
Project Director: Sarah Ory
The objective of the 2017-2018 Japan Project is to expand the program to reach three new school communities who have not previously been exposed to Japanese arts and culture. Through the Japan Project, participants and their families will gain an understanding and appreciation, encouraging cultural competency in historically under-served populations.

Northwest Language and Cultural Center, Langley, WA
Global Cultures Experience
Project Director: Maria Ellis
Increase awareness and understanding of Japanese culture through hands-on activities taught by Japanese presenters to public school students in Washington State. Students explore Japanese traditions and develop foundational language skills through music, movement, cooking, storytelling, games and art. Japanese cultural values such as respect, Daruma principle, wabi-sabi and interdependence are also demonstrated and enlightened. Students, teachers, volunteers, NWLACC staff and Japanese presenters contribute to a more harmonious intercultural community by demonstrating and developing the social and emotional skills needed to thrive in a global society.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, Washington, DC
Creating Digital Collections Focused on Japanese Art & Culture drawn from the Smithsonian’s Resources
Project Director: Stephanie Norby
Smithsonian Learning Lab. a new platform for accessing all of the Smithsonian’s digital resources, has tools for creating lesson plans or “teaching collections” using these resources. We are working with both teachers and Smithsonian curators to create collections of the highest caliber so that educators can incorporate these vetted resources in their classroom instruction. This grant would allow us to contract with two high school teachers to work with Smithsonian curators to create teaching collections that combine Smithsonian content about Japan with the needs of a high school classroom.

Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VA
Japan Week at Southern Vermont Arts Center
Project Director: Chie Addington
For nearly 100 years, the Vermont Arts Center has provided cultural and educational opportunities for the Southwestern region of Vermont. They will be holding Japan Week at the Vermont Arts Center consisting of 4 days of activities, presentations, and performances that allows all ages to learn and experience traditional cultures of Japan.