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JANM’S May Free Family Day Explores Identity and Heritage

The Japanese American National Museum will be a fun and thoughtful place to explore themes of identity and personal heritage during its JANM Free Family Day on Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to the museum, its exhibitions, and its “Identity, My-dentity’ Family Day activities — including crafts, storytelling, a poetry workshop, and an improv performance — will be free. All ages are welcome.

“Identity, My-dentity” is presented in conjunction with the museum’s recently opened “ – 15 years of the hapa project exhibition” and in celebration of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. The full schedule of activities follows.

All Day Activities

Koinobori: Color and put together a koinobori (carp kite), a traditional Children’s Day symbol in Japan.

Kabuto: Fold a samurai hat out of newspaper, another symbol of Children’s Day.

Identity bento: Make your own colorful bento box by drawing in foods that are part of your culture or just among your favorites.

Diorama: Make a tiny self-portrait diorama that is all about you.

Button-making: Design a small button to show off your individuality.

Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold a paper heart to share with someone.

Scheduled Activities

11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.: Multicultural theater troupe We Tell Stories performs “Proud to Be Me,” a series of interactive stories geared toward reinforcing self-esteem. Reserved seating for members.

12:30–1:30 p.m.: Spoken-word artists and community organizers Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana, together known as Steady, will help you learn to express yourself through poetry.

1–2 p.m. and 2:30–3:30 p.m.: Create colorful pages that save and share your memories in a scrapbooking workshop with Amy Tangerine. Bringing photos from home is optional. Mini booklets will be supplied. Space is limited; sign up at the information table. Reserved seating for members.

2–2:30 p.m.: Enjoy a performance by Cold Tofu as they improvise scenes and games based on audience suggestions. Reserved seating for members.

3–3:30 p.m.: Infinite Flow – An Inclusive Dance Company and Infinite Flow Kids will perform and invite families to dance along with them. Reserved seating for members.

”Identity, My-dentity” is presented in partnership with Kizuna. American Sign Language interpreters will be present for select performances.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. (at First Street) in Little Tokyo. For updates, visit

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