UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center has announced the recipients of the 2022-23 Aratani CARE Awards.

Sakaye and George Aratani

The George and Sakaye Aratani Community Advancement Research Endowment Awards are given to projects that will benefit and advance the Japanese American community.  Projects that strengthen ties between the Japanese American community and UCLA students, staff, and faculty receive particular consideration. This year’s awardees are:

• Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute for “Day of Remembrance 2023 – Campaign for Justice: The Japanese Latin American Story,” an event to highlight and share the experiences of Japanese, Japanese Americans, and other groups incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II.

• Koji Lau-Ozawa and Brynn Saito for “Cactus Blossoms Revisited,” a project to conduct oral histories with the writers of Cactus Blossoms, a poetry collection produced in the Gila River incarceration camp, and their descendants.

• World War II Camp Wall for WWII Great Wall Database Project to curate the names of all who were relocated to incarceration camps during WWII, with each name being included on one of 12 walls in Torrance to preserve and teach the history of the WWII camps.

• Friends of the Japanese House and Garden dba Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia for “Okaeri [Welcome Home]: The Nisei Legacy at Shofuso,” a multi-media exhibition in August 2023 that will tell the story of Nisei resettlers to Philadelphia who used the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden as a hub for community organizing and a means of cultural reclamation and cultural diplomacy during the redress movement.

• Kambara+ for “Ni Do To: An XR Pilgrimage,” a project to create a hologram of Nobuko Miyamoto performing Obon dance, conveying the importance of arts practices during WWII Japanese American incarceration, as well as how technology can preserve memory.

• Vigilant Love for Solidarity Arts Fellowship, a program for Japanese and Muslim American college students to build relationships, engage in collective and individual healing, explore creative expressions that honor their identities and histories and challenge structural racism.

• UCLA Nikkei Student Union for NSU’s 37th Annual Cultural Night, a production to engage and educate the UCLA community on Japanese American experiences and culture through drama, odori, taiko, and modern dance performances.

• Ana Iwataki and Nancy Uyemura for “Gallery IV: Nikkei Art in the Arts District,” a curatorial research project to preserve and disseminate the history of Gallery IV, which exhibited Japanese, Japanese American, and Los Angeles artists at 800 Traction from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.

• Nichi Bei Foundation for Wakamatsu Pilgrimage on Oct. 7, 2023, to bring members of four Japanese American communities to visit the site of the first sizeable Japanese settlement in the U.S.

• Opera Parallèle for “The Emissary,” an opera production commissioned for family audiences that explores global themes of environmental disaster through the relationship between a boy and his grandfather.

Nonprofit organizations and qualified individuals are invited to apply for awards that generally range from, but are not limited to, $1,000 to $5,000. Information about the funding and how to apply is available on the Aratani CARE website: http://www.aratanicare.org/  

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