Year of the Ox by Hirokazu Kosaka

Happy New Year from all of us at JACCC! We know that 2020 has been a challenge in so many ways. This new year, JACCC’s Master Artist in Residence Hirokazu Kosaka has themed our Kotohajime celebration for Year of the Ox as Hatsu-Niji or “First Rainbow.” This theme is a meditation on new beginnings and the beauty that can be found once dark storm clouds and clashing elements subside.

JACCC President and CEO Patricia Wyatt (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

As we welcome 2021, we continue the traditions of our community, such as Kotohajime, that serve as a guide amidst troubled times. From time immemorial, ceremonies of sacred music and dance have endured as a means for cultures to transcend natural calamities and human hardships. The beautiful modes of expression that we champion at JACCC remind us of the beauty to be found in the ceremonies and traditions we build together, always there for us to return to.

JACCC works tirelessly to build a coalition of dedicated arts advocates and cultural groups across Southern California to make sure our vital traditions are part of reimagining, rebuilding, and reinvesting in a healthy, equitable community. We are determined to share meaningful programs and experiences with our community in 2021 by following the missions of each of our core areas of artistic practice:

• Community Arts at JACCC nurtures abate (居場所) — a sense of belonging — through collaborative and inclusive art programs. By rooting in Japanese and Japanese American culture, we create unique opportunities for L.A.’s diverse communities to gather, experience our connections, and be ourselves.

• Culinary Arts at JACCC presents washoku (和食) — traditional Japanese cuisine — as an intangible cultural heritage passed through generations and a Japanese expression of respect for nature, the seasons, and its native ingredients. We embrace hospitality through **omotenashi** (お持て成し): not flawless skills, but a pure heart, as we serve our community wholeheartedly.

• Performing Arts at JACCC is the leader in Japanese and Japanese-inspired performances reflecting the spectrum of traditional and contemporary expressions. Through meaningful curation and imaginative partnerships, we create a transformational space for cultural exchange and yoin (余韻) — a reverberation — so our audiences experience the communal resonance that connects us all.

• JACCC’s Visual and Cultural Arts are inspired by ancient and contemporary expressions of Japanese and Japanese diasporic cultures. Our vision is to be a premier presenter of **ma** (間) — the space in-between — for collaborative, cross-cultural experiences, locally and internationally. Using the cultural arts as an “empty cup,” we intersect creative practice, experimentation, critical thinking, and the five senses (五大) to honor and expand Japanese traditional practices.

As you ring in the new year with loved ones near and far, we hope you are happy, safe and healthy. On behalf of everyone at JACCC, I wish you a new rainbow to be found in the days and months ahead! Happy New Year to all!


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