Five U.S. Artists Selected to Participate in the 2016 U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program

September 10, 2015 

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C., September 10, 2015: The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that a group of five outstanding artists from the United States have been selected to participate in the 2016 U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program. The artists will travel to Japan during the 2016 calendar year to pursue their residency. Since the program’s inception in 1978, 160 U.S. artists, representing a diverse range of disciplines, have been selected to travel to Japan for this residency.

The 2016 group of U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program fellows includes:

Latasha N. Nevada Diggs , New York, NY – Vocalist, Curator

Alex Dodge, Brooklyn, NY – Visual Artist

Graham Kolbeins, Los Angeles, CA – Filmmaker

Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas, Oakland, CA – Interdisciplinary Artists

Piper Shepard, Baltimore, MD – Textile Artist

“We are pleased to announce a new cohort of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program”, said Paige Cottingham-Streater, Executive Director of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. “The program remains a high priority for the Commission as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and we are delighted to support the work of the artists as they create and benefit from this cultural and artistic exchange.”

Since 1978, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the International House of Japan (I-House) and the Government of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs have administered the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program. Each year five leading U.S.-based artists, representing all genres, are selected to spend three to five months in Japan. This program allows the artists to research and experience both the traditional and contemporary artistic milieu of Japan. Artists are free to live anywhere in Japan to pursue activities of greatest relevance to their creative process. The artists are not expected to approach the residency as a “project period” during which they must produce a work of art. The program attracts applicants of the highest caliber and competition is vigorous.

About the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission was established as an independent federal government agency by the United States Congress in 1975 (P.L. 94-118). The Commission administers a U.S. government trust fund that originated in connection with the return to the Japanese government of certain U.S. facilities in Okinawa and for postwar U.S. assistance to Japan. The Commission is a grant making agency that supports research, education, public affairs and exchange with Japan. The Commission has offices in Washington, D.C. www.jusfc.gov

About the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency who’s funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. www.arts.gov

For more information please contact: Ms. Niharika Chibber Joe 202-653-9800