Anne and I attended Sakura-Con way back on April 12th, and I've been meaning to share a bit of that experience, but couldn't think of the right way to approach the random information. And then I was thinking of ways to improve this blog, and realized this was a perfect place to download this sort of info. Especially after I spent a little time yesterday playing with the Flip video camera software and made a tiny movie with the footage we shot there!
Sakura-Con is all about celebrating anime and manga, plus the culture that surrounds them. I went with the main objective of coming up with programming ideas. I contacted a number of young artists, and unfortunately did not find many who were excited about teaching classes at the library (most were sweetly quite shy and inexperience in dealing with the public). Here are a few possibilities:
Elie and Rae - Above*Rain are based out of Lake Stevens.
Rebecca Barnes - Washington state - Bluessence
Rich Schleifer - Schleifer Studios - Bothell
Costumes are a huge part of Sakura-Con! One of my favorite parts was when they would have Cosplay photo gatherings scheduled, so kids who dressed as characters from the same anime would come together in one big group for photo ops. (Anne always has great photos). Probably wouldn't work as a library program, but maybe a cosplay party?
We attended an awesome Gothic Lolita fashion show, and afterwards I spoke to the presenter, Aimee Skeers, who said she would be willing to do her PowerPoint at a library for a program, and might be able to get her Lolita group to do meet-up as part of the program. (She is part of a Lolita convention in Bellevue this August) My idea is that the library could throw a tea party for them and the teens who attend. Could be fun!
I learned from the Seattle branch of the Consulate-General of Japan about the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) program. They are very excited to promote this if you would like to have a program where teens and young adults can learn about the JET program. Contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Another organization that might be worth talking to about doing something in the library is the Japan-America Society. They have a Japan in a Suitcase program they offer for young elementary school students, and Japanese Language and Culture Visits they do for secondary school students. Perhaps they could do a mini-immersion program for your anime group, or as a program?
Another both I checked out where the folks seemed interested in doing programs at the library was Tsubomi Seishin Kan Dojo - Japanese Martial Arts & Culture. They are located in both Shoreline and Everett adn teach Aikido and Iaido (Japanese swordsmanship!) They are part of the PNBA (Pacific Northwest Budo Association) who coordinates instructional programs on Japanese language and culture, including meditation, calligraphy, bonsai, flower arranging and tea ceremonies!
One final program idea that would be cheap and fun is to have a classic console gaming night. Borrow ancient Atari 2600, Nintendo 64, etc...from your staff and friends and let the teens experience the glory that is old school video gaming!