Archive for May 2016

JUSFC Creative Artist Fellow LaTasha Diggs: Poetry and Vocal Performance

May 30, 2016 – 

Poet, vocalist, and sound artist LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs presents a selection from her acclaimed debut book, TwERK, new performance-based works, and a taste of flash non-fiction. While Diggs᾽ poetry can be traced to the Black Arts Movement from the 1960s, her contemporary use of language as a source of cultural expression is developed through the polyphonic splicing of global and local lexicons, involving Tagalog, Japanese, Spanish, Black English, Cherokee, and Quechua. This cosmopolitan engagement with language connects her work to the avant-garde as well as the “street” aesthetics of hip hop music and spoken word performance.

LaTasha is a U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship recipient, who is pursuing an artists residency in Japan.

Thursday, July 7, 2016, 7:00 pm

Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan

Language: English (with consecutive interpretation; original texts will be provided.)

Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information, please visit the International House of Japan.

 

Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission congratulates President Obama on Historic visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

May 27, 2016 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission congratulates President Obama on his historic visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016. The Commission’s mission is to preserve and strengthen the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship by advancing mutual understanding between the two countries through cultural and intellectual exchange.

JUSFC40 Meet Our Grantees Series: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

May 23, 2016 – 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is having conversations with a number of grantees.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is proud to support the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and its project, Orpheus with Nobuyuki Tsujii:  a Cross-Cultural Partnership. This unique conductor-less orchestra will collaborate with 27 year-old Japanese pianist and composer Nobuyuki Tsujii in summer 2016 to rehearse and perform two Beethoven symphonies in the United States and Japan.

Blind since birth, Mr. Tsujii has enjoyed a rising career since winning the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in 2009. The Orpheus Orchestra has a long history of touring to Japan. “This is almost our 30th year of touring to Japan and we are celebrating our one hundredth concert. We like to say our home base is Carnegie hall but after that it’s Suntory Hall,” said Shruti Adhar, Director of Development and Engagement for the orchestra.

The project will include a dozen performances in Japan and the United States, including engagement programs in both countries for students and visually impaired individuals.

The program begins today in New York City with rehearsals through June 4, 2016. Public school children have been invited to the rehearsals and will be guided through the process of creating music in an orchestra without a conductor. Orpheus has also invited students from the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School at Lighthouse International, which is the world’s leading service organization for blind and visually impaired individuals.

The two-week tour of Japan will begin during the first… » READ MORE

The JUSFC Institutional Grant Application Deadline is July 1

May 18, 2016 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission’s Annual Grant Application Deadline for Institutional Grants is fast approaching! The Commission operates its institutional grant-making activities in four areas: Exchanges and Scholarship; Global Challenges; Arts and Culture; and Education and Public Affairs.

There is only one grant cycle per year. The annual deadline for submitting proposals is July 1, 5:00 p.m. ET.

To schedule an information session by phone or in person, please send a short paragraph describing your proposal idea to jusfc [at] jusfc [dot] gov. More information about institutional grants can be found here.

JUSFC40: Meet Our Grantees Series: Katie Cercone- Visual Artist

May 11, 2016 – 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is having conversations with a number of grantees.

Visual artist Katie Cercone was awarded a U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship in 2015. The Fellowship is funded by the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and administered in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. “It was really a moment to solely focus on my creative work and my research. I loved everything about the culture – the food, the sacred space, and the rituals,” Cercone says.

She focused on hip hop and fashion, spending time meeting and connecting with young people. One particularly moving experience was when she visited Mount Takao and the Buddhist community there. “I saw a fire ceremony. There was a big bonfire and several monks chanting. Everyone present walked barefoot over the coals at the end. That was really touching. A big part of my work was looking at the sacred ritual. That was really profound.”

Cercone also shared her own work during her residency in Japan. She led the PRAY WILD Go! Push Pops Workshop and Spirit Animal Parade with the International House of Japan. “We did a one day workshop that incorporated yoga, mindfulness, and neo-shamanic themes drawing from a lot of Japan’s traditional spirit worship,” she explains, “participants were able to make their own costumes of their spirit animal and participate in the parade.” Cercone adds, “We also applied contemporary culture of anime and cartoon worlds – and we did a street parade on Roppongi Art Night… » READ MORE

NEWS RELEASE: JUSFC-Foley Legislative Exchange Wraps Up Bilateral, Trilateral Talks

May 5, 2016 – 

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) this week welcomed the first delegation of legislators to visit Washington under the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange — the Foley Exchange — a new public-private partnership intended to build lasting relationships among U.S., Japanese, and Korean elected officials.  The Foley Exchange was established in honor of the late Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley, U.S. ambassador to Japan and an enthusiastic participant and supporter of exchanges between elected officials. This week the Foley Exchange brought seven members of Japan’s National Diet and four members of Korea’s National Assembly to Washington to meet with their counterparts in the

U.S. Congress as well as representatives from the executive branch, the policy community, and the private sector.   Participants included:

Japanese Diet Delegation

Mr. Jiro Aichi, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Ms. Hiroe Makiyama, Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Keitaro Ohno, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Takashi Shinohara, Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Kozo Yamamoto, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Representatives

 

Korean National Assembly Delegation

Ms. Soon-ok Chun, Minjoo Party

» READ MORE

JUSFC Creative Artist Graham Kolbeins – Screening and Discussion Queer Japan Project

May 3, 2016 – 

The Queer Japan Project features interviews with a range of people from Japan’s LGBTQ community—including activists, artists, politicians, and historians—resulting in a feature-length documentary, along with art exhibitions, a series of web videos, photography, and printed publications. Interviewed and filmed through the warm, insightful lens of Graham Kolbeins, a young, talented, and queer filmmaker based in Los Angeles, this documentary explores contemporary and historical manifestations of Japanese LGBTQ life and culture, at a moment of rapid change—last year, Shibuya ward in Tokyo became the first in Japan to issue certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage. This program will feature film excerpts followed by a discussion with Kolbeins and guest, Vivienne Sato.

Graham Kolbeins is a U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship recipient, who is pursuing an artists residency in Japan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 7:00 pm

Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan, Tokyo

Language: English & Japanese (with consecutive interpretation)

Admission is free, but reservations are required.  For more information, please visit the International House of Japan.