2014 Creative Artists Exchange Fellows

June 18, 2013 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Exchange Fellows for 2014:


Patrick Donnelly, Writer
Patrick Donnelly is a poet and author of The Charge and Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin. Donnelly has co-translated, along with Stephan D. Miller,  141 Japanese poems published in The Wind from Vulture Peak: The Buddhification of Japanese Waka in the Heian Period.  In 2008, Donnelly received an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and in 2004 he received the Margaret Bridgman Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Donnelly has  taught at institutions including Smith College, Colby College, and Lynchburg College. He is currently the director of The Frost Place Poetry Seminar in Franconia, New Hampshire.  During his residency, Donnelly will spend three months exploring the Heian culture in Japan. He will visit temples and shrines associated with the waka poets of the Heian period, as well as other sites associated with poetry, court culture, and classical Japanese literature in general.


HirabayashiPatti Jo Hirabayashi, Folk Artist
Patti Jo Hirabayashi is the Director Emeritus and Co-Founder of San Jose Taiko, an ensemble of taiko drummers. She is also the founder of TaikoPeace, a creative arts initiative which combines dance and drumming to  activate positive social change.  Hirabayashi has been performing in San Jose Taiko for 38 years, and is active in the Japanese American community. She has received numerous honors including the San Jose Nihonmachi Outreach Committee Appreciation Award, the Japanese American Citizens’ League Community Recognition Award, and the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award for Traditional and Folk Arts.  Hirabayashi will connect with artists in Okinawan, Ainu, and Bukaru communities. She will also do research, take workshops to learn songs and dances, and collaborate with the communities’ cultural festivals.



Akim Ndlovu, Performance Artist
Akim Ndlovu is a choreographer, dancer, musician, singer, MC, and beatboxer. His performances embrace a range of arts disciplines and aesthetics. He has performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and also toured widely in countries as disparate as the Czech Republic, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe. Ndlovu has  been inspired by Japanese art and culture and is drawn to both its traditional and pop forms.  During his residency, Ndlovu will interact with Japanese dancers and musicians to  create new works. In addition to collaborations, he hopes to offer workshops that explore a merger of hip-hop dance with martial arts in ways that uses dance to tell a story.



Mina Teresa Son, Filmmaker
Mina Son is an award-winning Korean American documentary filmmaker. Her films have been screened at the National Gallery of Art, Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, Asian American International Film Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, and many other prestigious venues. Son is a two-time Student Academy Award Regional Finalist, and a recent graduate of Stanford University’s M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video. Her recent projects such as “An Architect’s Vision” and “Making Noise in Silence” have earned Son numerous accolades.  During her residency, Son will make an observational documentary film about the people of Rikuzentakata. She will tell a story about ordinary people who must do extraordinary things, like rebuilding a home and a life after tragedy strikes.



Hans Tutschku, Composer
Hans Tutschku is a composer who has received many prestigious  international music composition awards at events such as Musica Nova (Czech Republic),  CIMESP (Brazil), Ars Electronica (Austria) and the Weimar Prize (Germany). Since 2004, he has been a Professor of Music (composition) and director of the electroacoustic studios at Harvard University. Born in Weimar, Germany, he toured widely as a member of the Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar.   During his residency, Tutschku will investigate Japanese art forms of Noh theater and Gagaku court music, particularly examining the role played by the percussion to structure perceived time. These forms relate to themes of slowness and perceived passage of time that are central to his composition. In addition, he plans to collaborate with colleagues at the Kunitachi Music University in Tokyo and Tokyo University of the Arts.