Farewell from Akemi Kikumura Yano

After more than three years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Japanese American National Museum, I have reached my last day in that position with a sense of gratitude and pride. Over the years, I have witnessed the Museum’s remarkable growth and maturity and I am confident that I am leaving it in good hands with a strong foundation.

My feeling of gratitude extends to all of the Museum’s supporters, volunteers, staff and leadership, who have built that foundation over the last quarter of a century. As the Board of Trustees continues the process to select a new CEO, I feel strongly that the Museum will not miss a beat since the Trustees appointed Nancy Araki, Director of Community Affairs, and Miyoko Oshima, Chief Operating Officer, as interim co-Executive Directors. Soon, a new head of the Museum will be chosen and a new era will begin, one that I feel holds enormous promise and possibilities.

For me personally, there are many projects that I have yearned to pursue for some time, but could not because of the demands of my former position. Most of these ideas were formed during my years as a curator and a program director at the Museum, and I feel the time to bring them to fruition is now. As such, I begin my own new era today.

I have been honored to serve the Japanese American National Museum in different capacities and to work together with a host of talented and dedicated individuals. While I am moving on to other things, there will always be a part of me here at the Japanese American National Museum.


President & CEO

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Welcome to the new JANM blog!

Akemi Kikumura YanoWelcome to First & Central, our new official blog for the Japanese American National Museum!

Why “First & Central”? For those familiar with our home in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, our campus is located at the intersection of First Street & Central Avenue. But beyond the connection to our physical space, this blog will be the “first” place to go for inside information about what’s going on at the Museum and a “central” place for our community to connect.

Learn more about the Museum—our exhibitions, public programs, collections and resources, media productions, education programs, store products, web projects, and more. You will get a behind-the-scenes introduction to our leadership, staff, and volunteers.

We’re very excited about this new way of sharing the Museum with our many friends and supporters across the country and worldwide. Even more exciting is the opportunity to engage and connect with you as we continue to evolve towards a more participatory museum in the 21st century.

This is a work-in-progress, so we appreciate your feedback as we continue to update this blog with new entries and features!

Akemi Kikumura Yano
President & CEO
Japanese American National Museum