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Grassroots Exchange Discretionary Grants 2012

International Student Conferences, Inc (ISC). Washington, DC.
64th Japan-America Student Conference
Objectives of the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) set by the ISC board of Directors are to educate the future leaders across all fields of Japan-US relations in order to promote peace, mutual understanding, friendship and trust; and to create people-to-people connections that grow into friendships and career opportunities.  The 64th JASC Roundtable Discussions include Post-Crisis Reconstruction, Environment & Technology, Cultural Innovation & the Arts, Cooperative Security in the 21st Century, Personal & National Identity, Business & Ethics in the Modern World, and Human Rights & Responsibility.

Japan America Society of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN.
US Cherry Blossom Centennial & JASM 40th Anniversary
Project Director: J. Bernard van Lierop
As a way of commemorating the strong cultural relationship between the people of Japan and the U.S, and the historic gifting of over 3000 cherry trees from the people of Japan to our nation’s capital 100 years ago, the city of Saint Paul has been selected to receive 20 cherry trees as an anniversary gift and symbol of friendship between the two countries.  Part one of this project is to welcome the trees to the city and commemorate the event with celebration and ceremony.  The second part of this project is to increase awareness and encourage partnership between JASM and other organizations through cultural events taking place in honor of JASM’s 40th anniversary.

Center for Architecture Foundation. New York, NY.
Japan/USA Educational Design Exchange
Project Director: Umberto Dindo
This project aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices between US/New York and Japanese architects and educators about the design of school facilities. CAt, a leading Tokyo design firm, will present their educational work to the New York design and educational communities. The Education Director at the Center for Architecture Foundation will travel to Tokyo to tour Japanese schools and explore the relationship between pedagogy and design. CAt will provide tours of the schools they have designed and introduce the Director to key individuals within the Tokyo education community. Video and written documentation of the two programs in the US and subsequent site visits in Japan will introduce a larger audience of US practitioners in both the education and design fields to the advances and excellence in Japanese educational design.

Chicago Sister Cities International. Chicago, IL.
Osaka-Chicago Social Services Exchange
Project Director: Anel Montes
Chicago Sisters Cities International will host a delegation of Osaka social service professionals in Chicago as part of an ongoing Chicago-Osaka Social Services Exchange, an initiative that convenes interdisciplinary professionals from both cities to build relationships, deepen cultural understanding, and share best practices related to work in the human services field. This week-long immersion focuses on understanding the needs and supports for youth and families, persons with disabilities, and older adults, with a goal of improving systems and service delivery to these vulnerable populations.

National Association of Japan-America Societies. Washington, DC.
All-Volunteer Societies Administrative Support Project Supplement
Project Director: Makiko Murotani
Of NAJAS’ 37 members, 12 are all-volunteer, with no paid staff. Many are in sizable cities, while others are in rural areas. Membership is the lifeline of the societies; if they cannot add new members, they will eventually disappear. Recognizing that much of the membership management issue is composed of adequate software, dedicated personnel and effective websites, NAJAS aims to help provide administrative support to four all-volunteer societies’ membership management efforts by supporting membership management and growth, a critical function for small societies. NAJAS will provide these all-volunteer societies with strategy consulting sessions and webinars relating to the preferred software program by NAJAS.

San Francisco State University, Dilena Takeyama Center. San Francisco, CA.
Voices from Japan: Tanka – After the Tsunami Public Programs
Project Director: Jon Funabiki
The Dilena Takeyama Center and the Art Gallery at the Cesar Chavez Student Center are collaborating to mount an exhibition of Tanka poems written by survivors of Japan’s Great Earthquake and Tsunami disaster. The exhibit also will include original photography, video and calligraphy, all selected to capture and express the sense of loss and hope felt by the Japanese people nearly 2 years after the disaster. The Center and Gallery will host six public programs designed to attract and engage representatives of the community, nonprofits and philanthropies, faculty, students and staff. The goal of the program is to generate continuing interest in the need to assist Japan’s recovery efforts.  

Japan America Society of New Hampshire. Portsmouth, NH.
Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial
Project Director: Dr. Charles B. Doleac
The goal of this project is to create a living memorial in the form of cherry trees and community cherry blossom festivals in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In conjunction with the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and the NH Division of Travel & Tourism, JASNH will coordinate a Portsmouth Cherry Blossom event to honor the cherry trees in Portsmouth, including both the descendent cherry trees of the original trees gifted to Washington, D.C. one hundred years ago and the trees received as a gift from Sister City, Nichinan, Japan. As part of the memorial, JASNH will design and install appropriate plaques identifying the trees and their historical importance, and identify cherry tree locations on the statewide Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail map. JASNH will encourage community participation in bell-ringing during the public cherry blossom events in the spring and on Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day in New Hampshire. 

Japan-America Society of Oregon
. Portland, OR.
Japan on the Road: Teaching Elementary Students about Contemporary Japan
Project Director: Sheryl Fuller
Japan on the Road aims to introduce American students to the lives of their peers in Japan. The program, designed by the Japan-America Society of Oregon, introduces elementary school students to contemporary Japan and the lives of Japanese children today. A two and a half hour workshop utilizes maps from a Japanese classroom to introduce the geography of Japan, an imaginary field trip designed for each class, a skit presenting a typical morning in a Japanese home, a photographic presentation, and hands-on activities to explore contemporary Japan as Japanese children experience it. A team of four volunteers visits individual classrooms of 15-35 students, creating an intimate experience for each class. The goals of Japan on the Road are to 1) create the feeling that each class has actually spent their day living in Japan, 2) underline and support classroom teachers’ efforts to value, appreciate, respect and enjoy diversity, 3) reach rural communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington, and 4) develop and extend the program to serve younger children (kindergarten through second grade). 

Citizens Housing & Planning Council. New York, NY.
Making Room Museum Exhibition
Project Director: Sarah Watson
CHPC is partnering with the Museum of the City of New York to present the Making Room exhibition. The 3,000 square foot exhibition will present innovative architectural solutions to the challenge of providing safe, legal, and comfortable housing for New York City’s changing demographics, especially the booming singles population. The exhibition will include innovative housing types that are being built in other cities around the world with a strong focus on micro-studios located across the greater Tokyo area. The exhibition will promote architectural examples from Tokyo to a wide New York City audience, enabling the best Japanese practices to directly influence the development of a brand new housing policy direction for New York City.