Nara JETNet 31st Event
International Arts Festival
On June 19th, 2010, Nara JETNet held its 31st event entitled “International Arts Festival” in cooperation with Kawanishi Town at the Kawanishi Culture Hall. Nara JETNet is a committee which plans events to promote cultural exchange and understanding between the members of the JET Programme and citizens of Nara Prefecture. The organizers of JETNet events are the 5 Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) in Nara City, and members are JET Programme participants located throughout Nara Prefecture. This event saw approximately 300 citizens of the prefecture participate alongside 50 JETs who worked hard to present country/regional booths, artwork and other cultural performances.
The event began at 1.00pm after greetings from the JETNet chairperson and journalist Everett Brown (who was presenting a photo exhibit featuring JETs nationwide), and after a koto musical performance, visitors were able to interact with JETs at country/regional booths, interactive experience corners and at an art exhibition. The art exhibits featured works by JETs as well as by Mr. Brown. At the country booths, Mexico, the Philippines, India, Trinidad, Canada, France, Australia, China, Haiti, and the American states of Tennessee and Texas were introduced. Experience corners featured a “1-minute sketch” activity, World Cup experience, balloon art, traditional Korean games, world instruments, tea of the world, mustaches of the world face painting, henna tattoos, and an opportunity to try the Japanese koto instrument.
From 3.00pm, performances by JETs and people from the region were held in the Cosmos Hall auditorium. Those featured were taiko drum groups from Kawanishi Town as well as a group featuring a Nara JET, a slideshow performance of The Three Little Pigs, an acrobatic performance, an original comedic play about Dracula searching for new fangs, and a Maori poi dance performance. The stage came alive with creativity and originality.
According to JETs and participants alike, the event was a truly enjoyable one. Some survey comments included “The Dracula performance was really impressive!” and “I was moved by the taiko drum performances. They were great!” Many other comments made reference to the fact that participants also enjoyed the chance to speak directly with JETs at the experience corners and country booths. Many participants indicated that they enjoyed all aspects of the festival, with JETs also reflecting this sentiment in their surveys. Some indicated it would be a perfect final memory of their time in Japan before heading home the next month. Thank you again to Kawanishi Town and all who worked hard to make the day a success!