In May we granted three mini-grants.
The purpose of mini-grants is to fund projects that may be small in scale and short term, but that fall outside of our annual or multi-year funding cycle. If you are interested in applying for a mini-grant, read the guidelines here.
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Our grant will be used to support the Ukuleles for Little Tokyo project in Los Angeles, CA.
This program was launched in 2016 and provides low-income senior residents ukuleles, music lessons, and opportunities to perform for the community, as well as participate in Kanikapila jam sessions, a style of impromptu Hawaiian music that most commonly occurs at a family gathering. Each session lasts 20 weeks, and participants may keep their ukuleles if they complete the entire 20 weeks. Approximately 20-30 seniors participate on a consistent basis each week. Unique to this program are the trio of instructors, who themselves are Japanese-American seniors, ensuring both in-language capacity and cultural competence. Ukuleles for Little Tokyo combines the therapeutic benefits of music with the opportunity for seniors to engage socially in order to mitigate isolation.
Jan Ken Po Gakko
Jan Ken Po Gakko is a cultural and educational organization in Sacramento, CA. They received a grant to purchase a replacement copier/printer and two Taiko drums to complete a set for their third grade class.
Jan Ken Po Gakko operates as a parent-cooperative summer program to educate children about the enriched cultural heritage of Japanese-Americans. The program utilizes the use of Japanese language, food, games, folklore, music, field trips and community events.
You can find out more about Jan Ken Po Gakko at jankenpogakko.com.
East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC)
The ESGVJCC in West Covina, received a grant for roof repairs.
In 1964, the ESGVJCC took on a building campaign that would build a full court gymnasium, kitchen, dining, and a six-classroom building. The gymnasium was built to give our members an opportunity to learn martial arts and Taiko as well as allow our children to play basketball. The kitchen allows us to serve meals to our seniors twice a week, meals to our campers during our youth cultural summer camp, snacks for our afterschool program and infant care center as well as produce mass amounts of delicious Japanese meals for our fundraisers and festivals.
Connected to the kitchen, the dining room serves as a classroom, meeting room and lunch area. Lastly, the classroom houses our ESGVJCC office, the Japanese school office, our computer lab for older adults and seniors as well as the classrooms for Japanese language school, youth cultural camp, afterschool program, nihon buyo dance classes, koto classes and workshops. These buildings have all reached their 45th anniversary and with age, many repair issues have come to the forefront. The most pressing being the roof on these facilities.
You can find out more about East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center at esgvjcc.org.