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Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts

Friends of Textiles Lecture April 16 Features Morikami Museum Curator

Carla Stansifer to Offer, “Persecution and Perseverance: Japanese American Experiences During WWII”          

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Tech will conclude its spring Friends of Textiles Lecture Series with a presentation April 16 by the curator of Japanese art at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Carla Stansifer will offer, “Persecution and Perseverance: Japanese American Experiences During WWII,” in the university’s Digital Scholarship Lab on the second floor of Evans Library. The event begins with a reception at 5:15 p.m. followed by the lecture at 6 p.m.

Presented in conjunction with the Ruth Funk Center’s current exhibition, Designed to Mobilize: Propaganda Kimono 1920 -1945, this illustrated lecture will explore the complex and controversial treatment of Japanese-American citizens following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. From 1942 to 1945, over 100,000 Japanese-American citizens and citizens of Japanese descent were interned at camps in the U.S. The lecture presents this history juxtaposed with the early 20th century founding of the Yamato Colony Japanese settlement in South Florida.

Prior to working at the Morikami in Delray Beach, Stansifer taught Japanese language and culture at several universities in Colorado, in addition to working as a curatorial assistant in the Asian art and textile art departments at the Denver Art Museum. She earned an M.A. in classical Japanese literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.A. in Japanese language and linguistics at The Ohio State University. She was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study lacquer arts in South Korea.

Her special areas of study include East Asian lacquer and Japanese painting and textiles.

The lecture is free for Friends of Textiles members and Florida Tech students, faculty and staff, and $10 per person for the general public. Reservations are not necessary but may be made at https://textiles.fit.edu/events/. Prospective guests may also call the Funk Center at 321-674-6129 or email textiles@fit.edu for more information.

In a related event, the Ruth Funk Center will host a taiko drum performance at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Gleason Performing Arts Center on campus. The theatrical Japanese drumming troupe Ronin Taiko will present a half-hour performance.

In Japan, the taiko, a traditional drum, carries special significance. Used in religious ceremonies, for entertainment like kabuki theater, during wartime, and in celebrations, the taiko’s powerful sound can also reach people at a personal level – often compared to a reflection of one’s own heartbeat.

Based in South Florida, Ronin Taiko performers practice wadaiko, or Japanese drumming. They travel frequently to Japan to train with taiko sensei (teachers) and further develop their physical and mental discipline in this art form. With additional training backgrounds ranging from martial arts to dance and theatre, Ronin Taiko continues to bring Japanese taiko performances to wider audiences.

The event is $15 for the general public, $10 for Friends of Textiles members and free for Florida Tech faculty, staff and students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are not necessary but encouraged by visiting https://textiles.fit.edu/events/. Guests may also call 321-674-6129 or email textiles@fit.edu for more information.

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