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Matsuri, a Japanese Festival in Phoenix
Matsuri, a Japanese Festival in Phoenix, began in 1984 with a collaboration between the College of Fine Arts at ASU titled "Behind the Mask" and interested community citizens.
Through partial funding provided by the Arizona Community on the Arts, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and additional funding by the Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture this event continues each year and is well attended by persons throughout the greater Phoenix area.
The Arizona Matsuri is sponsored by the City of Phoenix, Parks & Recreation Dept, The Japan-America Society of Phoenix, The Japanese Citizens League, Phoenix Himeji Sister Community, The Arizona Buddhist Church & Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church.
"Dance, music, theater and visual arts are everywhere in our lives, adding depth and dimension to the environment we live in and shaping our experiences, often so deeply that we are unaware of their presence. In any other civilization, the arts are inseparable from the meaning of the term 'education'." Rational Statement for the Arts Standards http://www.ade.state.az.us/standards/arts/arts-rationale.asp
This weekend's Matsuri at Heritage Square exemplifies the arts that persons in other cultures surround themselves with as a natural expression of their everyday lives.
It also expands the definition of the arts in community settings that are essential to our very being. As one walked around in this "Vital Setting" one was continuously ENGAGED AS A PARTICIPANT in creative expression as were the performers.
This was integrated arts at its highest level of excellence. The visual, literary, storytelling, dancing, musical, theatrical, animal husbandry, gardening, food and physical performance by disciplined warriors enveloped everyone who attended. ANOTHER INTERESTING POINT IS THIS WAS NOT ABOUT COMMERCIALISM AS THE MAIN FOCUS. IT WAS AN EVENT FOR PERSONS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO COME TOGETHER WITH A COMMON LINK: TO SHARE IN THE RITUALS AND CEREMONIES OF A PEOPLE WHO BY RETAINING THEIR CULTURAL VALUES IDEAS AND BELIEFS MAKE OUR WORLD A MORE PEACEFUL & JOYFUL PLACE.
In an editorial dated Sun., Feb. 19th '06, in the New York Times (Wk p. 12), David Brooks wrote in "Questions of Culture", "Economics alone doesn't explain how the world works." "The events of the past years have thrown us back to the murky realms of theology, sociology, anthropology and history. Even economists know this, and are migrating to more behaviorist and cultural approaches." "The fundamental change is that human beings now look less like self interested individuals and more like socially embedded products of family and group."
The Cultural Arts Coalition understands and supports this kind of thinking.
It is for this reason participants within the coalition continue to
The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3
Policy Makers within the Arizona communities need to recognize, give honor and support more of these kinds of community cultural activities.