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 Children  Japan Project #36067

Designing Artists Academy

by YouMeWe NPO
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Designing Artists Academy
Volunteer interacting with the children
Volunteer interacting with the children

 

“Our children are our future and one of our most basic responsibilities is to care for them in the best and most compassionate manner possible.” -- Nelson Mandela, November 7, 2003

 

            From August 12 to August 20, 2019, children from children’s homes (orphanages) in Japan participated in the Designing Artists Academy (DAA) summer camp, organized by non-profit YouMeWe. I had the privilege to work with the children as a Mentor this summer. Mentors initiated icebreakers, played dodgeball, and supervised children during workshops. Over the week, however, our roles became increasingly fluid and personal as we formed closer bonds with the children. The staff, including volunteers and Mentors, encouraged them to make the most of their opportunities. DAA provided children an avenue to learn about themselves through art, interactions with others, and self-reflection.

 

            The camp began with art activities. On day one, children created a mural based on the theme, “We HeART Tokyo”. On other days, children joined their assigned groups and participated in activities such as music composition, cupcake decoration, photography, jewelry making, and painting. Although the artists gave them instructions and suggestions-- the children quickly learned advanced techniques-- they also respected children’s curiosity and imagination. The activities gave children confidence.

 

            The camp encouraged children to express themselves. They learned to interact with others by immersing in a new environment for the week with children from other homes. Lunch breaks gave children and volunteers the opportunity to get to know one another, building trust along the way. Throughout the week, many of them became more articulate and proactive, showing volunteers their artwork, asking questions, and performing before an audience at the exhibition on the final day of the camp.

 

            Self-reflection was another key part of the program. In the camp packets, children each had notebooks to reflect on each day of camp. This reflection gave encouraged children to process their experiences and record their achievements. In addition, meditation sessions taught them to get in touch with their emotions, de-stress, and focus.

 

            DAA was fantastic this year due to the children, the art workshops, the interactions with others, and the self-reflections. The camp encouraged children’s growth through art. However, it also emphasized communication, which the children quickly learned. Self-reflection was also important in the program. It was an immense honor to have been part of the children’s journey, however briefly. The children are nothing short of incredible; they are our future.

 

Bio: Marina Yoshimura is a senior at the School of International Liberal Studies (SILS), Waseda University. She was a DAA mentor from 2011to 2013 and returned as a mentor in 2019.

We have finished recruiting all artists for DAA, and are shedding a spotlight on each of our artists who are generously giving their time to come and teach at the Designing Artists Academy. 

 

Seiko started classical piano at the age of 10. She learned how to play the trumpet, contrabass, violin, and played in the orchestra during her primary school years. Seiko majored in piano at Kunitachi College of Music, and dropped out to concentrate on music other than classical. In 2013, Seiko released an album called "Best of Relaxation," which is a mixture of classical, folk, and jazz music arranged in her own style. The following year, she released a wedding pops album as well as her original album. She performs at events, bars, and collaborates with musicians both Japanese and from overseas. 

Create, Arrange & Perform Your Own Song!
In this workshop, kids will have the chance to experience what it’s like to be a songwriter, composer and singer! Children will select songs before camp and during the 4-day workshop they’ll work on creating their own lyrics and rearranging the music to create a song representing the camp theme “HeART of Tokyo.” For the final part, kids will perform the song accompanied by the piano, and it will be recorded and played during the exhibition. 

We have finished recruiting all artists for DAA, and are shedding a spotlight on each of our artists who are generously giving their time to come and teach at the Designing Artists Academy. 

 

AUGUST 13-16

Hello! My name is Julie Harada, I am 15 years old. I was born and raised in Tokyo. I love cooking and sports! I want to share cupcake art because I think it is a new way to express your artistic talents and unique self. I hope that the kids find the cupcake art as a way to enjoy themselves but also a pathway into something they maybe interested in.

 

Design Your Own Cupcakes!  (workshop for all ages)

Making and sharing food has always been a fun way to connect with new friends. At our cupcake project, children will be able to decorate their own pre-made cupcakes with different frosting colors and sprinkles. They will be able to explore how different colors can be combined to create new frosting colors, and use different sprinkles to get different effects. This project is open to all DAA campers.

We have finished recruiting all artists for DAA, and are shedding a spotlight on each of our artists who are generously giving their time to come and teach at the Designing Artists Academy.

 

AUGUST 13-16

Hi! I’m Maria, 17, and am currently a junior at ISSH. 
I’ve worked with Hands on Tokyo for 3 years now and believe that sports and art are both powerful means in which people can form meaningful relationships and grow individually. I’m more than excited to be working with everyone this summer!

 

Create a Styrofoam Mural! (for 4th~6th graders)                                       

 This mural painting project is all about having fun with friends, artists, and camp leaders. Each camper will be able to decorate and paint a small portion of one big mural along with the new camp friends they make.  The mural will represent the uniqueness of each of our campers and also our special DAA community. It will be exhibited on the last day of camp.

We have finished recruiting all artists for DAA, and are shedding a spotlight on each of our artists who are generously giving their time to come and teach at the Designing Artists Academy. 

 

AUGUST 13-16

I’m Carina, a third year student at Waseda University. I grew up in the States until I was 10, then moved to Japan. I love art and being around children, and I am so excited to be meeting you soon!

Pottery Creations! (for 2nd ~3rd graders)

Kids will enjoy using their hands to create unique pieces of art using clay. Beginning with visualizing/drawing their ideas, kids will be able to produce multiple pieces followed by painting, varnishing and decorating. Kids can choose which designs they’d like to exhibit and then gift or keep their creations.
 

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Organization Information

YouMeWe NPO

Location: Nakano-ku - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @YouMeWe7
Project Leader:
Jessica Chen
Nakano-ku, Japan

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