Calif. Civil Liberties projects announced

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program announced in a statement May 2 that 29 California groups will receive funding for projects to remember the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, as well as “present-day civil liberty issues.”

The State Library has awarded more than $922,000 has been awarded by the State Library to 29 organizations. The State Library, which administers the program, also created a simulation to help future generations better understand the wartime incarceration experience. It can be accessed at: http://internmentexperience.org/.

Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawai‘i, the wartime hysteria led President Franklin Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the mass incarceration of some 120,000 Nikkei in U.S. concentration camps.

The program was created in 1998 by legislation authored by then-state Assemblymember Mike Honda.

The fiscal year 2017 grantees are as follows:

Enrichment Works, Van Nuys. Type: Community — $20,000. Enrichment Works will create and produce a play about the life of a family and their experiences before, during and after their incarceration and present 80 performances of the play to the students of the Youth Development Program of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Fresno Arts Council/Living Memory Lab by the Yonsei Memory Project, Fresno. Type: Community — $27,930. The Yonsei Memory Project’s “Living Memory Lab,” seeks to awaken the archives of Japanese American history by creating cross-cultural and intergenerational memory practices. A series of facilitated focus groups will use arts-based inquiry to generate dialogue connecting the WWII incarceration of the Japanese American community with current civil liberties debates, leading to interactive Day of Remembrance community performance in February 2018.

Friends of California Archives Sacramento. Type: Preservation — $50,000. The Friends of California Archives and California State Archives, with the California Museum, will digitize and make available online records documenting the role of California government agencies in the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and their post-war resettlement. The records will be presented in an online exhibit and will have a companion teacher’s guide.

Glendale Library Arts and Culture, Glendale. Type: Community — $25,000. “Un-American: Reflections On the Japanese Internment” at Glendale Library Arts and Culture’s Contemporary Exhibit Space will speak to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, touching upon incarceration history and showcasing contemporary artists’ reflections, from a personal viewpoint. Artifacts and artwork, oral histories, and a commissioned site-specific installation will be on view.

Go For Broke National Education Center, Los Angeles. Type: Preservation — $50,000. Five hundred audiovisual oral histories from Go For Broke National Education Center’s Hanashi Oral History collection will be transcribed and integrated into lesson plans and a public program offered free to schools.

Heyday, Berkeley. Type: Community — $14,000. Heyday will increase its printing of the book “Fred Korematsu Speaks Up,” authored by Stan Yogi and Laura Atkins, and expand the scope of the authors’ public and educational outreach program.

Intrepid Theatre Company Encinitas. Type: Community — $10,000. Intrepid will create a school tour and multimedia art installation titled “Exiled Voices: The Refugee Art Experience,” a community outreach initiative which tells stories of refugee resettlement through visual and performing arts and cultivates empathy for this vulnerable population.

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Los Angeles. Type: Community — $10,000. Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in partnership with East West Players will provide 3,000 free seats to students and low-income seniors, as well as produce a Little Tokyo specific study guide and free post-show public programs in conjunction with the Los Angeles premiere of the Broadway musical “Allegiance” starring George Takei at the Aratani Theatre in February and March 2018.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose, San Jose. Type: Community — $15,000. This project highlights the Japanese American wartime incarceration experience to connect with the historical and contemporary treatment of Mexican, Chinese, and Muslim Americans through civil liberties. Products include oral histories, community forums, and a model for other community conversations.

Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, San Francisco. Type: Preservation — $60,000. The project will focus on preserving and digitizing collections of personal diaries, journals, manuscripts, memoirs, one-of-a kind books and original art in the Japanese American History Archives that can illuminate similar experiences of political fear, anti-immigration, suspicion, mistrust, hostility, civil rights and racist laws faced by communities today.

KCETLink, Los Angeles. Type: Public Media — $100,000.  KCETLink will produce informative written articles, social media videos, digital short videos, and broadcast episodes on the organization’s original multi-platform series, Lost LA.

Kingsburg Historical Society, Kingsburg. Type: Community — $8,000. The Kingsburg Historical Society will augment an exhibition from Go For Broke called, “Communities of Compassion,” a project initially funded by The National Park Service that includes 10 communities across the United States. Kingsburg will host the exhibition and include additional speakers, expanded publicity capability and increased docent hours for the public.

Los Angeles Opera Company, Los Angeles. Type: Community — $30,000. LA Opera’s Voices for Tolerance In-School Opera engages 400 secondary students in 10 schools and 10,000 audience members in “The White Bird of Poston,” an LA Opera commission set in the Poston concentration camp. In the 10-week residency, students learn the opera and immerse themselves in history and the Japanese American experience.

Media Bridges, Inc./Mineta Legacy Project. Oakland. Type: Community — $40,000. The Mineta Legacy Project is a multimedia project that examines issues of immigration, civil liberty violations, social equity, redress and the rise of Asian American politics through the life and career of Norman Y. Mineta, which parallels many contemporary issues.

National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., San Francisco. Type: Community — $25,000. The National Japanese American Historical Society, in coordination with the National Parks Service and Angel Island, will produce “Dislocation & Divergence,” a permanent exhibit of the wartime exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans, linking Gen. DeWitt’s implementation of Executive Order 9066, in the gallery of the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center at the Presidio of San Francisco. A digital exhibit will also link to Angel Island and Golden Gate National Recreation Area Websites.

Nichi Bei Foundation, San Francisco. Type: Community — $5,000. The Nichi Bei Foundation will use funding for the Films of Remembrance, a day-long showcase of films designed to educate the public about the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, as well as the Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage, a program designed to educate the community and general public about the Japanese and Japanese American legacy at the former Immigration Station, including detention there during WWII, while encouraging family history research.

PEN Center USA West, Beverley Hills. Type: Community — $21,000. Under PEN CENTER USA, experienced creative writing instructor Chris Terry will curate a PEN “In The Community” program that will explore notions of identity and what it means to belong in America. The series of creative writing experiences will feature workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for youth and adults, culminating in a public reading of participants’ work in June 2018.

Poston Community Alliance, Lafayette. Type: Community — $10,000. The Poston Community Alliance project, From Executive Order 9066 to Executive Orders Today: Our Rights, Our Democracy, Our Freedom, includes a film screening of the documentary film “For the Sake of the Children” and      a panel discussion on civil liberties that serve as a public-education model.

Riverside Art Museum, Riverside. Type: Community — $25,000. Through art exhibits, interactive activities, educational opportunities, dialogue, and artist-driven engagement, Riverside Art Museum’s Community Project shares the history of Executive Order 9066, provides information on the stories of those incarcerated during WWII within a local context in the Inland Empire, and provides opportunities to explore current contemporary civil liberty issues.

San Francisco Film Society/A Bitter Legacy, San Francisco. Type: Community — $15,000. Funds will be used to create a shorter television broadcast and an educational version of the feature documentary, “A Bitter Legacy.” The television/educational version will be made available to local public broadcasting stations in California.

San Francisco Japanese American Citizens League / We Hold These Truths: The Gordon Hirabayashi Story, San Francisco. Type: Community — $16,500. Jeanne Sakata’s solo play, “We Hold These Truths,” the story of Gordon Hirabayashi, will be presented to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Special Service for Groups Inc./Kizuna, Los Angeles. Type: Community — $30,000. Kizuna’s proposed Next Generation Media Project will bring the histories, lessons, and experiences of internment and the Japanese American community to a youth audience through a series of YouTube and Facebook videos that will all be available to the public.

Valley Public Television, Inc dba ValleyPBS, Fresno. Type: Public Media — $100,000. “Silent Sacrifice: The Story of Japanese American Incarceration and Beyond in California’s San Joaquin Valley” will be a 90-120 minute documentary film based on the experience of Japanese Americans before, during and after WWII with a focus on the Merced, Tulare, Fresno and Pinedale Assembly Centers and will include curriculum development for high school students.

Young Audiences of San Diego, San Diego. Type: Community — $10,000. Arts for Learning San Diego, & the Asian Story Theater, will tour the play “There and Home Again: More Stories of the Sun Caf” to schools and libraries in San Diego.

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