Palo Alto nonprofit to tell ’50 Stories’ about Japanese-American internment

Palo Alto Daily News
By Jacqueline Lee

The Midpeninsula Community Media Center, a Palo Alto nonprofit, will embark on a two-year art project to tell the wartime history of Japanese-American confinement through a $143,482 grant.

Artists, writers and filmmakers from the Peninsula will gather 50 objects from museums, archives and family collections to tell 50 stories about the confinement of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The project, titled “50 Objects/50 stories of the Japanese American Incarceration,” was a recipient of a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites program, which is administered by the National Park Service.

February 2017 will mark the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order to have U.S. military forcibly remove Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast.

Annie Folger, executive director of Midpen, said the center is honored to sponsor this important project.

“Interviewing the survivors and their descendants, and empowering them to tell their stories is at the core of what community media is all about,” Folger said in a news release.

Project Director Nancy Ukai will work with artist David Izu, writer Chizu Omori and filmmaker and internment camp survivor Emiko Omori to craft narratives from objects, such as a family piano, a toolbox or a suitcase.

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