LOS ANGELES — The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo has been awarded more than $427,000 in National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites grants for 2017.
The funds will support two projects — digitization of some of JANM’s moving image holdings and the development of a traveling exhibition featuring works from the museum’s Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection of art and artifacts made by Japanese Americans in America’s concentration camps during World War II.
JANM began pioneering work in collecting Japanese American artifacts in the 1980s and as a result, possesses numerous historically significant moving image collections.
A JACS grant of more than $176,000 will support the digitization of 35 rare and invaluable home movies of Japanese Americans dating from the 1920s-1950s. These moving images depict everyday life before, during and after World War II, and also include moving images of the wartime incarceration camp experience.
Following digitization, JANM will make the moving images accessible via its website. In addition, selected excerpts will be shared on the museum’s other digital platforms.
A separate JACS grant of more than $250,000 will support additional conservation of the Eaton Collection, which JANM acquired in 2015 following the cancellation of a public auction that would have disrespected the memory and hardships of the Japanese Americans who created the artifacts while incarcerated during World War II.
The Japanese American community joined together to speak out against the auction; JANM’s acquisition assured the preservation of the collection in perpetuity.
Following conservation, JANM will develop “Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts From the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection,” an exhibition that will travel to 13 venues, including former camp sites, community centers and other facilities that can safely house the project.
Information about artifacts will be sought from those who view the exhibition; that information will become part of an expanded presentation of the exhibition at JANM in 2020-21.
The JANM grant proposals were selected through a competitive process. For 2017, grants totaling $1.6 million were awarded to 14 projects in four states.
Since its establishment in 2006, the JACS grant program has awarded more than $22 million. In all, $38 million was authorized for the life of the program, whose mission is to teach future generations about the injustices of the WWII confinement of Japanese Americans and inspire commitment to equal justice under the law.