Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vashon Island's Blue Heron Art Center Inspires

Left: Aya Clark.

Using resources available on hand is a lesson that small arts organizations and larger communities can possibly learn from Vashon Island's Blue Heron Art Center. The center which once served as a meeting hall for a local chapter of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, provided a cozy and suitably intimate setting for a special performance of "From The Heart", a one-woman show by award-winning playwright Jude Narita.

I caught the ferry to Vashon while a passenger in an automobile driven by my long-time and talented theater buddy Aya Hashiguchi Clark. Clark may be known to many enthusiastic fans of Seattle and South Sound community theater for numerous appearances in front of audiences as an actress and behind the curtain as a director and producer.

Ms. Clark has also written occasional theater reviews for a number of local publications and has started her own blog. I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Clark since looking her up in the phone book after enjoying one of her earlier journalistic efforts while reading a regional shopper many years ago.

We also shared membership in the same generational tier (Sansei) third-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry all of whose immigrant grandparents for the most part arrived in the United States in the early 1900's. Additonally, we share the sad fact people on both our mother's and father's side were forced into US government internment camps during World War II. As the early communities were essentially blown to bits physically and emotionally during this period of forcible dispursement, it's become highly unusual outside of a handful of communities in the State of California for both of us to ever run across, much less into another Japanese-American at all.

While we were on the island just happened to learn Ms. Narita's local hosts were none other than the Shiosaki's, another local family of Japanese-American heritage of who were formerly close neighbors of Clark when she was a girl and residing in Renton, WA at the southern tip of Lake Washington. The world is small indeed!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More About Barbara Krohn

Last year I had occasion to write about Barbara Krohn in several columns published in the Federal Way Mirror including this piece ("Tearing down walls: Japanese "camps" in WW II", November 5, 2008)  which can be accessed using this link. A few other websites of note with links to Krohn can be accessed by clicking here and here. 

Remembering Barbara

Above: Photo and art collage by Mizu Sugimura
copyright 2009.

Barbara A. Krohn,
Writer, Editor, Publisher, Historian,
Preservationist and Humanitarian,
August 23, 1925 - February 8, 2009.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. " - Henry David Thoreau