2018-2019 Sasakawa USA/USJETAA Mini-Grant Program for JETAA Chapters & Sub-Chapters

In 2018, Sasakawa USA was delighted to continue its partnership with the US Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA) in offering a competitive mini-grant program vis-à-vis the JET Alumni Associations (JETAAs) chapters and subchapters within the United States.

Through this initiative, funded by Sasakawa USA and administered by USJETAA, small grants were awarded to JETAA Chapters and Subchapters in the United States to co-host innovative activities that engaged JET alumni and sought to promote better understanding on U.S.-Japan relations in their communities.

In its third year of the program—which follows the Japanese fiscal year from April 1, 2018-March 31, 2019—Sasakawa USA and USJETAA awarded a total of four grants to JETAA chapters. The selected proposals were:

JETAA-Sasakawa

JET Alumni Association of Florida: Career Development Workshop

Program date: September 8, 2018

To support the JET alumni and help them find a career that enable them to utilize their JET experience, the Florida JETAA chapter hosted their inaugural Career Development Workshop at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The event featured panel discussions focusing on the current job market in the U.S. with an emphasis on Florida, the diversity of careers available in U.S.-Japan relations, and sessions on marketing one’s skills for any job. The workshop was followed by a reception co-hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami. Read more about the Career Development Workshop.

JET Alumni Association of New York: JETS at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Program date:January 12, 2019

To promote a discussion on Japanese art and U.S.-Japan relations, JETAA New York hosted a unique event for JET alumni and the U.S.-Japan community at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met).  The event began with docent-historian guided tours of The MET’s Japanese art collection, where attendees viewed the museum’s extensive art collection from the Neolithic to the modern. The tours were followed by an engaging conversation moderated by Miwako Tezuka (Co-Founder and Co-Director, PoNJA-GenKon) and featuring John Carpenter (Curator of Japanese Art at The Met), Britt Littman (Director of the Noguchi Museum in New York), and Yukie Kamiya (Director of the Japan Society Gallery in New York). The speakers shared their views on U.S.-Japan relations in the context of how art and culture can help strengthen and express the United States- Japan relationship and its importance. Read more about the event here.

JET Alumni Association of Minnesota: Japan-Minnesota Grassroots Forum

Program date: February 2, 2019

To create stronger ties between Japan and Minnesota, JETAA Minnesota and the Japan-America Society of Minnesota (JASM) co-hosted a one-day forum for local U.S.-Japan organizations to network with each other. The forum was the first formal opportunity for the representatives of these organizations to meet, and enabled the U.S.-Japan community in Minnesota to exchange ideas for future collaboration and to discuss their respective roles in facilitating grassroots diplomacy between the United States and Japan. Read more about the event here.

JET Alumni Association of New England: From Kyoto to Boston: Exploring the History and Culture of Japanese Kimono

Program date: February 10, 2019

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Boston-Kyoto sister city relationship, New England JETAA and the Japan Society of Boston co-hosted an insightful discussion on Japanese kimono and its cultural and historical influence on U.S.-Japan relations. The event featured a talk on the history and influence of Japanese kimono on Western art and global fashion, as well as its role in facilitating mutual understanding in U.S.-Japan relations. Attendees also heard about the personal experience from a JET alum who competed in kimono-wearing competitions in Japan. The event concluded with a special presentation from a Japanese expert about different types of kimono and their current uses in modern day Japan. This was the first grant JETAA New England has received from Sasakawa USA and USJETAA. It was also the chapter’s first event to be co-hosted with the Japan Society of Boston. Read more about the event here.

You can read more information on each program on the USJETAA website.

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