On August 12, 2023, JANM welcomed 2,715 visitors to its annual summer celebration featuring free cultural performances, crafts, and activities in downtown Los Angeles.
Our Natsumatsuri Family Festival kicked off with a powerful performance by the award-winning TAIKOPROJECT. Their song, “Omiyage,” conveyed the custom of the same name where a person gives gifts to friends, colleagues, or family when visiting a place. TAIKOPROJECT’s closing performance was all about audience participation with call and response of ichi ni sou rei and oroshi, a series of hits to the drum that slowly speeds up in tempo. Kids and adults alike joined together to play the drums in two different rounds, raising their bachi (drum sticks) to the sky before bringing them down for the first hit and yelling the call (ichi ni) and response (sou rei).
Elaine Fukumoto from the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple led a group bon odori (traditional dance) in JANM’s Aratani Central Hall. “We’re dancing fools and we want more dancing fools to join us,” said Fukamoto, encouraging visitors participating in origami and the scavenger hunt to join the dance circle as she led a group lesson with songs like “Sakura” and “Pokemon Ondo.”
Visitors dance in a group bon odori. Photo by Joe Akira.
Disney Animator Benson Shum reads from his new book, Anzu the Great Listener. Photo by Joe Akira.
Visitors participate in artist David Horvitz’s special printmaking workshop in collaboration with Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair. Photo by Joe Akira.
A visitor makes summer-themed patches to show off their summer style. Photo by Joe Akira.
Young visitors made and decorated paper hats. Photo by Richard Watanabe.
A young visitor folds a jumping origami frog. Photo by Richard Watanabe.
JANM Volunteer Hal Keimi leads a taiko lesson. Photo by Joe Akira.
Outside on the courtyard, the comedy and improv group Cold Tofu performed skits based on the audience’s suggestions. They played games like English Gibberish where audience members gave two cast members the theme archenemies and they improvised a conversation while switching from English to babble all while staying in character. They also played Pop-Up Storybook where audience members gave all cast members an adjective (smoky) and a noun (sewing machine) to narrate a unique four-part story called “the smoky sewing machine.”
The festivities continued throughout the afternoon with a kendo demonstration by Sho Tokyo Kendo Dojo, a printmaking workshop with artist David Horvitz in collaboration with Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair, and a taiko workshop led by longtime JANM Volunteer Hal Keimi.
Closing out our family festival was a fabulous shamisen jazz and blues performance by Yu Ooka and Kimo Cornwell of the Yu-ki Project. Ooka is a Los Angeles–based shamisen player and guitarist, and Cornwell is a Grammy-nominated keyboardist. They performed original songs such as “Train Home to Osaka,” Working Man,” and “Where the Tree Grows.” They were then joined by Karen Evans, an amazing singer from Inglewood, California who toured the world with Ray Charles. Together, they played James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good),” Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love,” ZZ Hill’s “Down Home Blues,” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” to a grooving audience.
We hope to see you next year for our Oshogatsu Family Festival in January 2024! Check our Events Calendar later this year for more about our next free family festival.
Yu Ooka and Kimo Cornwell of the jazz shamisen band Yu-ki Project and Karen Evans play jazz and blues. Photo by Joe Akira.
Don’t Fence Me In: Coming of Age in America’s Concentration Camps. Photo by Paloma Dooley.
What was it like to grow up behind barbed wire? JANM’s exhibition, Don’t Fence Me In: Coming of Age in America’s Concentration Camps, explores the experiences of Japanese American youth confronting the injustice of being imprisoned in World War II concentration camps while embarking on the universal journey of adolescence. Preteens, teenagers, and young adults danced with one another, listened to jazz and big band music, and formed musical groups of their own that performed regularly in camp.
Swing dance, which developed alongside jazz music, was started by African American dancers at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York. Musicians such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chick Webb all performed at the ballroom. The ballroom’s anti-discrimination policy created a unique environment for diversity and creativity. The Savoy Ballroom and swing dancing was also featured at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. From there, swing dance and music spread across the country throughout the 1930s, including in Los Angeles.
Swing dancing was so popular among youth that a group of young dancers interrupted Los Angeles City Hall council members to invite them to a swing dance contest at the Gilmore Stadium on September 11, 1938. The following year, the Palomar Ballroom hosted the Jitterbug Championships and the finalists (from twenty states and six countries) danced for cash prizes to live music from the Artie Shaw and Ken Baker Orchestras in front of thousands of people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as part of the International Jitterbug Championships on June 18, 1939.
The final dance at the Jerome concentration camp before it closed in 1944. Photo taken by Francis Leroy Stewart on June 14, 1944, National Archives and Records Administration.
One of the farewell dances at the Jerome concentration camp before it closed in 1944. Photo taken by Francis Leroy Stewart on June 14, 1944, National Archives and Records Administration.
Henry Ushijima, a sound engineer in Hollywood, plays dance records at a dance given by the Girl’s Recreation Committee in the Manzanar concentration camp. Photo taken by Francis Leroy Stewart on May 29, 1942, National Archives and Records Administration.
During World War II, young Nisei like George Yoshida who enjoyed big band music continued to do so when they were forcibly removed from their homes. According to his book, Reminiscing in Swingtime, incarcerees created big bands such as the Densoneers or D-Elevens, Down Beats, Jive Bombers, Jivesters, Music Makers, Pomonans, Poston Camp #2 Band, Rhythm Kings, Rhythmaires, Savoy Four, Stardusters, and Starlight Serenaders in the temporary detention centers and concentration camps.
Nisei like sisters Yuri Long and Sumiko Hughes were a part of social clubs that would also participate in swing dancing. Long and Hughes, who are both featured in the Don’t Fence Me In audio tour on Bloomberg Connects, talked about how much they enjoyed swing dancing as part of their social club, Just Us Girls (the JUGs), in the Manzanar concentration camp. The JUGs were made up of the youngest girls, followed by the Forget-Me-Nots and the Moderneers.
“They call us wild because at the dances, the JUGs were always very popular, and the guys would come and ask them to dance. And they jitterbug. They were on the dance floor all the time. And some of the other club girls were sort of off on the side. They didn’t get asked as much. And they didn’t jitterbug. And they used to jitterbug wild. They would throw them under their legs,” recalled Hughes.
JANM’s digital guide on Bloomberg Connects
Bob Wada, who was also featured in the Don’t Fence Me In audio tour, recalled knowing where all of the dances were at the Poston incarceration camp because the blocks within camp kept a running log.
“A lot of the blocks had their own dances. So we had our own. They weren’t, like, out of control dances, they were good. People didn’t crash dances. Our block had a dance and they invited a few friends that would come. That’s about the only thing we did socially,” he said.
Some incarcerees even had their own musical equipment made in camp. Two Nisei, one of which may have been Sadaichi Tanioka, made a turntable for Henry Nomura so that he could play music for his own enjoyment and for others in the firebreaks and at block dances at the Manzanar concentration camp.
Henry Nomura’s turntable. Photo by Paloma Dooley.
Dance bids from Karen Nagao that were collected by her mother-in-law, Ruth (née Higa) Nagao. Photo by Paloma Dooley.
Handmade dance bids—paper booklets featuring an illustration of the event on the cover—were popular, complete with blank lines for dance partners to sign their name. Many of the dance bids in Don’t Fence Me In were donated by Karen Nagao. Her mother-in-law, Ruth (née Higa) Nagao, was incarcerated in the Pomona temporary detention center and the Heart Mountain concentration camp. While working as a crop picker and nurse’s aide at Heart Mountain, Nagao participated in many events including plays and dances. Her collection of dance bids commemorated block dances and special events like, a New Year’s Eve Dance, a Valentine’s Dance, and a Coronation Ball.
To celebrate big band music, JANM created a Don’t Fence Me In playlist of popular songs from the 1940s and hosted a two-part public program, From Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie, on June 17, 2023.
From Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie kicked off with a conversation between dance preservationist Rusty Frank and Rohwer concentration camp survivors, artists, and performers, June Aochi Berk and Takayo Tsubouchi Fischer. Berk and Fischer met at the Rohwer when they were ten years old and have been friends ever since. While incarcerated at Rohwer, they were too young to attend the dances but they were attuned to the fashion of the times and taught themselves how to dance.
Rusty Frank, June Berk, and Takayo Fischer talk about dancing in camp. Courtesy of the Japanese American National Museum.
“I used to love looking at the Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs,” said Fischer.
“I made my mother buy me white majorette boots, a skirt, and a top. And my brother had to have pachuco pants so he could be in style in camp,” recalled Berk. “We would stand around and watch the big kids dance and we’d go home and copy them. That’s how we learned to dance. My brother always wore his pachuco hat all the time and I would look to see who was dancing with him.”
From Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie then transitioned to the All Camps Swing Dance with live music from the Fabulous Esquires Big Band and custom dance bids for guests. After Frank led a beginner swing dance lesson for all ages, the Fabulous Esquires played popular tunes from the 1940s like “Don’t Fence Me In,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (which Berk sang in Japanese). Together, the conversation and dance offered all generations the opportunity to connect through music, movement, and immersive history.
Don’t Fence Me Inis now on view through October 1, 2023. Swing by JANM to see it for yourself this summer and shop the exhibition’s collection at the JANM Store!
With No-No Boy: A Multimedia Concert, Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama seek to illuminate the Asian American experience through Saporiti’s original songs, which are performed against a backdrop of projections featuring archival photographs and moving images. The result is an immersive experience connecting the diverse but interconnected histories of World War II Japanese incarceration, southeast Asian emigration, and hyphenated identities.
The seeds of the No-No Boy project were sown while Saporiti was living in Laramie, Wyoming, for graduate school. He made several trips to the Heart Mountain concentration camp in the northwestern part of the state, where the US government had incarcerated more than 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the war. These visits had a profound impact on him. Saporiti began interviewing camp survivors and researching the music that was performed in the camps. The No-No Boy project was later born from those interviews and Saporiti’s thinking about his own displaced family of Vietnamese refugees.
Saporiti went on to enroll at Brown University in Rhode Island to complete a doctorate. There he met Erin Aoyama, also a Ph.D. student. For the project, Aoyama draws from her academic research on the parallels between Japanese American incarceration and the experiences of African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Aoyama’s work with No-No Boy is also profoundly personal. Her grandmother was incarcerated in the Heart Mountain concentration camp during the war.
The music they create unmistakably draws from the storytelling traditions of folk and country music. However, there are indie-rock tendencies mixed in. This makes sense considering that in the early 2000s, Saporiti found critical acclaim as the singer of the Berklee-trained indie-rock group The Young Republic. Lyrically, No-No Boy’s songs are sharp and pointed commentaries on identity politics, privilege, academia, and history, delivering what NPR has called, “revisionist subversion.” For example, in Two Candles Dancing in the Dark they weave a story inspired by Aoyama’s grandmother about the joy of finding romance inside an American concentration camp while stressing the horrors of Executive Order 9066, which cleared the way for the incarceration of Japanese Americans. Nonetheless, there is a purposeful buoyancy to the songs that acts as a counterbalance to the serious topics they tackle. With this dose of levity, the music is enjoyable on its face as modern American music and doesn’t require in-depth historical or cultural knowledge to appreciate it.
See No-No Boy: A Multimedia Concert at JANM on Saturday, November 3 in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum. Make sure to stay after the show for a Q&A with the band. Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended; you can sign up here.
I have a friend in Tokyo. His name is Shin Miyata. For the past 17 years, Shin has been running an independent music label called Barrio Gold Records. He primarily distributes groups from across Latin America, but his specialty is Chicano music from East Los Angeles. He also brings bands from East LA to Japan to perform live.
Nobody else in Japan is doing this kind of work.
I met Shin back in 2000, when I had the opportunity to go with the band Quetzal to Tokyo to document their tour. I learned that Shin had lived in the East LA neighborhood of City Terrace as a college student in the mid-1980s, doing a study-abroad home stay. He had been deeply inspired by Chicano books, films, and music—specifically 1970s bands like El Chicano and Tierra—and he had come to LA because he wanted to experience the Chicano culture first hand. He even took Chicano Studies classes at East LA College.
Shin Miyata. Photo by Rafael Cardenas.
On a recent visit to Los Angeles, Shin told me that it was his dream to bring over musicians from Japan so they could perform with musicians from East LA. Specifically, he wanted to bring Japanese musicians that play different types of Latin music. He believed that audiences would appreciate the heart and soul they put into the music, and that it would be amazing to see this sort of collaboration.
The Japanese American National Museum, located in Little Tokyo just across the bridge from Boyle Heights and East LA, would be the perfect venue. Shin would curate the event, drawing on some of the many Chicano bands he has worked with, and also selecting musicians from Japan to participate. The event would celebrate his work as a cultural ambassador while also encouraging unity and collaboration during a time of great political and ideological division worldwide.
Each of the featured artists has benefited from Shin’s work, but they also share a deep affection for him. He has worked to create cultural exchanges and understanding between East LA and Japan for many years, and in doing so, has built a strong network of loyal friends.
Along with all of this incredible music, the Okamoto Kitchen food truck will be there, along with a beer garden by Angel City Brewery. Concertgoers will also be able to check out the exhibitions inside the museum till 8 p.m.
Transpacific Musiclands is supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission. It is
held in conjunction with the exhibition Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo, which is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
Most people I know of Asian descent who came of age in the 1990s have a deep appreciation for hip hop music. One of the most visible examples of this is chef and iconoclast Eddie Huang, whose boyhood is the subject of the hit ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.
Based on his bestselling autobiography of the same name, the sitcom repeatedly emphasizes young Eddie’s identification with hip hop as empowering music for outsiders. As Huang’s generation came of age, they began making music of their own, and today, there are many successful Asian American hip hop acts.
Back in the early ’90s, however, it wasn’t so easy for musicians of Asian descent to gain acceptance in the field. The hip hop genre was heavily coded as African American, and Asians were perceived as not fitting into the culture. Attempts to perform or compose beats were typically disparaged—by audiences, by music producers, and by industry executives.
In 1996, a trio of Chinese-American students at Penn State University entered a national singing contest sponsored by Sprite, and won. Their slick rhymes expressing their love for the soft drink wound up on the radio as a 60-second commercial. Executives at Ruffhouse Records—known for producing albums by The Fugees and Cypress Hill, among others—liked what they heard and approached the group for a deal.
The Mountain Brothers—CHOPS (Scott Jung), Peril-L (Christopher Wang), and Styles Infinite (Steve Wei)—named themselves after a group of noble bandits depicted in a classical Chinese novel. They soon became the first Asian American hip hop group to sign with a major label.
Unfortunately, the group’s path was a rocky one. The record label saw their ethnicity as a disadvantage, and even suggested that they satirize their heritage onstage by wearing karate outfits and playing a gong. Although their music was critically acclaimed, it was difficult for them to get gigs if they did not initially conceal their Asian identities. After releasing only two albums—Self: Volume 1 in 1999 and Triple Crown in 2003—the group disbanded.
Today, the Mountain Brothers are considered important pioneers who paved the way for the many Asian American hip hop acts who followed. Although two of the members have since left music to pursue other professions, CHOPS continues to have a successful career as a producer and composer, working with artists like Nicki Menaj and Kanye West.
On Thursday evening, May 14, JANM will present a rare panel discussion with all the original members of the Mountain Brothers, moderated by sociologist Oliver Wang. Come and learn more about the band’s history and what the members have been up to lately, and hear their views on the past and future of hip hop music. Tickets are still available here.
On February 8, 2014, JANM held the Target Day Free Family Saturdays: Aloha from Hawaii with KoAloha Ukulelefamily festival. Every corner of the Museum was filled with music as KoAloha Ukulele led freeperformances, workshops, and more!
Cartoonist Vishavjit Singh leads a cartoon workshop. Photo by Russell Kitagawa.
In addition to the performances and workshops, guests also enjoyed ukulele-related film screenings of My KoAloha Story and The Haumana; and a variety of craft activities.
Throughout the afternoon the Aratani Central Hall was filled with the sounds of spectacular ukulele performances by exciting young performers Jason Arimoto, Tj Mayeshiro (from Hawaii), and Ryo Montgomery (from Australia!).
JANM guests brought their own ukeleles for free classes taught by KoAloha Ukele staff and artist partners. Photo by Mike Palma.
Many guests brought their own instruments for free ukulele classes with KoAloha Ukulele staff and artist partners. These lively classes were enjoyed by guests of all ages and all levels as a number of classes were offered by different artists.
Check out these photos from February’s Target Free Family Saturday. Click on the thumbnails to see the full image larger.
Guests make a sweet candy lei! Photo by M Palma.
Making a special ukulele key chain with KoAloha Ukulele staff members. Photo by M Palma.
Making a festive Hawaiian canoe in Ruthie’s Origami Corner. Photo by Tsuneo Takasugi.
Making a valentine with a bit of Hawaiian touch. Photo by M Palma.
Decorating a valentine with stickers. Photo by Tsuneo Takasugi.
Solo performance by Jason Arimoto. Photo by M Palma.
A young JANM guest strums along to the solo ukulele performances. Photo by M Palma.
Cartoonist Vishavjit Singh shared the reactions he received as he dressed up as Sikh Captain America and was photographed around NYC. Photo by Russell Kitagawa
Tj Mayeshiro and Ryo Montgomery pair up for a powerful ukulele duet. Photo by M Palma.
Brian Benevente of KoAloha Ukulele leads a beginner’s class. Photo by M Palma.
Jason Arimoto leads an intermediate ukulele class. Photo by M Palma.
Lucky students get instruction by Tj Mayeshiro during one of the intermediate ukulele classes. Photo by M Palma.
Anacapa ukulele sold instruments at JANM for those inspired by all of the activities and performances. Photo by Russell Kitagawa.
George “Gibi” del Barrio (Grandpa Geebz) led strum-along and sing-along workshops for the little ones. Photo by M Palma.
The entire family enjoyed the ukulele workshops. Photo by M Palma.
The festival closed with an All-Star jam finale featuring Jason Arimoto, Tj Mayeshiro, Ryo Montgomery, and Brian Benevente! Photo by M Palma.
Thanks to Russell Kitagawa, Mike Palma, Caroline Jung, Tsuneo Takasugi, and Tokumasa Shoji for taking amazing photographs!
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Save the date for JANM’s next Target Free Family Saturday on May 10th! In celebration of the new Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game exhibition (opening March 29!), bring the whole family out for free baseball-themed crafts & activities…sure to be a home run! Stay tuned for updates on janm.org/target.
“As a Japanese American National Museum, why are we hosting a documentary premiere about a Korean American adoptee?” Koji, Manager of Programs at the Museum, asked during his introduction for the screening. “Personally, I identify myself as Asian American first, and Japanese American second.” Having said this, Koji explained that “to understand the Japanese American story you have to understand the Asian American story, and to understand the Asian American story you have to understand the Japanese American story.”
TheakaDAN documentary follows Los Angeles-based musician and Korean American adoptee DANakaDAN (Dan Matthews) as he reunites with his biological family in South Korea during the summer of 2013. The documentary is full of interesting twists and turns, including the fact that Dan meets his identical twin brother that he never knew existed. This documentary was not only interesting, but engaging as it had you laughing one second, and tugging at your heart strings in the next.
Two screenings held in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum on the evening of February 1st were packed to maximum capacity. As Dan explained before the screening it was actually a 4-episode feature that was being screened as an 85-minute documentary.
An insightful Q&A session led by Angry Asian Man blogger, Phil Yu, wrapped up each screening. Producers, filmmakers, and the cast answered a variety of questions, ranging from personal questions about Dan’s experience as an adoptee, to technical questions about production.
Following the second screening was an after party in Aratani Central Hall hosted by YouTube celebritiesAmy Okuda and Ki Hong Lee. First to open up the after party was Travis Graham with a couple of mellow acoustic numbers. Following Graham was an exciting performance by Paul Dateh, popular for combining hip-hop with his skills on the violin. Closing out the after party was Dan, with words of gratitude, and a powerful line-up of songs from his upcoming album, Stuntman.
The akaDAN documentary was not only entertaining, but by sharing the story of a Korean American adoptee, it gave the audience a sense of how broad the Asian American story is. Being Asian American is a vast quilt-work of stories and experiences, and as Dan explores his story, it encourages viewers to look into their own story, whatever ethnicity they may be, and whatever background they may come from.
Check out these photos from the akaDAN documentary premiere and the Stuntman album release party:
The akaDAN documentary premiered in The Tateuchi Democracy Forum and enjoyed a full house for both screenings.
Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu leads a Q&A session after each screening.
A reception is held in the Aratani Central Hall after the first screening of the evening.
Los Angeles-based artist, David Choe’s art installation was on display for this special occasion.
Actor, Ki Hong Lee along with Amy Okuda hosts the after party.
Travis Graham opens the after party with a couple of mellow acoustic numbers.
An exciting performance by Los Angeles-based musician, Paul Dateh.
Jen of “From Head to Toe,” Cassie of “Blogilates,” and Wendy of “Wendy’s Lookbook” were among the many Asian American celebrities seen at the after party!
The Fung Brothers enjoy the after party with friends.
Singer Paul Kim (Season 6 of American Idol)
Dan Matthews expresses his gratitude to his family, his friends, and everyone who made it out on Saturday night.
Dan performs numbers from his upcoming album, “Stuntman.”
Photo Credits: Richard Murakami, Esther Shin
JANM members received a special discount for this event! Sign up to be a JANM member now and support the Museum while receiving many benefits!
KoAloha Ukulele is coming from Hawaii on Saturday, February 8 to lead performances, workshops, crafts, and all things ukulele at our next Target Free Family Saturday. It’s FREE all day!
Bring your own ukulele to learn basic and intermediate ukulele with Brian Benevente of KoAloha Ukulele and other KoAloha artist partners (11:15am/12:15pm/1:15pm/2:15pm). The little ones will enjoy strum-along and sing-along workshops with George “Gibi” del Barrio as “Abba Geebz” (Grandpa Geebz) at 11:30am, 12:45pm, and 1:45pm. If you don’t have your own ukulele, Anacapa Ukulele will be on-site selling instruments!
There will be solo performances by spectacular ukulele performers Tj Mayeshiro, Jason Arimoto, and Ryo Montgomeryat 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. Plus an All-Star jam finale at 3:30pm with all three performers.
Plus, screenings of award-winning films: My KoAloha Storyat 11:30am and The Haumana at 1:30pm; make your own candy leis; send an aloha to someone special by making a valentine with a bit of a Hawaiian touch; and fold an origami Hawaiian canoe.
Acclaimed Japanese American pianist, and winner of the Van Cliburn competition, Jon Nakamatsu will be performing at The Colburn School on Sunday, September 29th at 3:00pm in Zipper Hall.
He will be presenting a program of Haydn’sTrio in E major, Kodaly’sDuo for Violin and Cello, and Mendelssohn’sTrio No.1 in D minor with Colburn’s two newest faculty appointees, and former members of the Tokyo String Quartet, Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith.
Look! Evan has a new wooden harmonica and cardboard guitar!
Evan makes noise. Um, I mean, Evan makes music.
Don’t you want to be noisy… um, I mean, musical just like Evan?
Good news! You can! Come on down to the Museum this Saturday for our March Target Free Family Saturday. (March 9th). We’re ready to celebrate music with fun performances and lots of opportunities to make some noise! On the crafty side of things we’ll be making harmonicas and stringed instruments just like Evan’s.
There will be a drum circle for you to join and performances by the Turath Ensemble, who will perform traditional Middle Eastern music and drumming. A family day favorite, TAIKOPROJECT will perform as well. We’re all set for a JANM jam so come join us.
On top of all this musical excitement, we are also so excited to welcome our friend Sonya from the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn, Michigan. One of our current exhibitions, Patriots and Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to ourCountrycomes to us from AANM. Sonya will be leading tours of the exhibition throughout the day with a special talk at 1:30.
Hope to see you!
Special thanks to Evan for such a dynamic demonstration of what fun we will have on Saturday. He deserves an award for being a good sport.