Small Grants 2017
In 2017, the Japan Society Small Grants scheme gave support to 31 grassroots projects in the UK with some £21,000 in funding.
Our support is particularly focussed on education and community projects, where a small amount of additional funding can make a big difference. In many cases, the grants enable event organisers to reach a wider audience or to provide opportunities for the public to engage directly with performances or exhibitions.
Sixteen of the grants awarded were for projects taking place in schools or for activity involving young people. Several schools organised cross-curricular events such as a whole school Tanabata festival or Japanese culture week for a particular year group. King Edward VI Community College in Totnes organised an ambitious exhibition much enjoyed by the local community and accompanied by a range of art and craft , music, dance and food workshops for students. At other schools, it was the library which provided the Japan focus with literature workshops or manga clubs for language learners. The British Cartographic Society continued its Restless Earth workshop series using the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami as a case study to learn about disaster response activities: with a small grant enabling additional schools to be visited.
Once again the Society also supported projects involving young people outside the school system. A ten day residential in Winchester provided opportunities for children and young people with learning difficulties to participate in a ten day arts programme focused on Japan. Another project involved high achieving young people and their families to learn new skills and explore Japanese culture in a supportive environment. The Society supported the Kotatsu Japanese animation Festival, which expanded its activity in 2017 and involves local schools, universities and arts institutions.
Other projects supported in 2017 include: The Museum of East Asian Art in Bath which used a small grant to extend the reach of the ‘Dressed to Impress: Japanese Men’s Fashion’ exhibition with a programme of accompanying talks and workshops; the Japanese Garden Society’s two day conference, where speakers discussed the spread of Japanese gardens across the world and their adaptation to local conditions; a special screening of the 1926 avant-garde film ‘A Page of Madness’ with benshi narration; and a programme of lectures to accompany ‘Japanese Junction’ an exhibition of work by emerging Japanese architects and designers.
Small grants also supported community-based Japan festivals in Basildon, Bath, Cambridge, Derry-Londonderry and Kent.
The Ancient and Modern Colours of Japan
An exhibition of work from both UK and Japanese artists and a week of craft and cultural workshops for students at King Edward VI Community College and the wider community in rural Devon.
The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)
A Japanese-language feature film shot over 27 weeks in a small farming village in the mountains of rural Kyoto Prefecture (nearest to Shiotani, Ayabe) Japan.