Life’s Angles: Camp Art Box

Life’s Angles: Camp Art Boxes
Japanese American Camp Arts and Crafts of WWII – Workshop for Teachers with $150 Stipend


Workshop Times and Dates
Fresno, CA – June 20, 2023 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Special online history workshop and demonstration by artist Na Omi Shintani. Workshop includes asynchronous art work – June 22, 2023 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Priority given to teachers outside of San Francisco, Watsonville and Fresno.

Watsonville, CA – June 27, 2023 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Using award-winning place-based historic inquiry and specially crafted art box kits, school classroom teachers in grade levels 3-8 will explore the significance of art and writing to people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Join your colleagues for a standards based open-ended Japanese American history inquiry and hands-on art activities that promote self-actualization. We ask, “What does the art produced by Japanese Americans during their incarceration reveal about the impact of this experience on their lives as individuals and family members? What is the legacy of these experiences? How do their experiences relate to the struggle for civil and human rights?”

Teachers will receive 4th –5th grade history lessons and camp art box kits. The history lessons focus on the multiple causes  that led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 9066. They include mass removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II and their incarceration in ten War Relocation camps in desolate areas.

The camp art box kits contain classroom materials for 30 students, focusing on seven arts and craft lessons related to the activities of incarcerees. A professional artist and art teacher will discuss the resilience that helped the incarcerees survive and then lead the teachers in creating resilience art projects. Each participant will have a personal artistic experience and explore the significance of creativity for students and the link between art and learning.

“This human world goes up and down, and history tells you that some power holds…. Like after the war, peace will come. You must endure winter to have spring. I always think poetically… Just change your life’s angle, and you’ll see different scenes.”
–Hisako Hibi, artist in Tanforan and Topaz concentration camp, Oral History excerpt, National Japanese American Historical Society, 1987.

Lessons are designed for grades 4–5 and are adaptable for other grades. All K–12 teachers can apply.

Visit the National Japanese American Historical Society site to apply to the workshop.

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