Baltimore Japan Art Festival (BJAF) is an annual event in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore, MD that showcases Japanese culture through art, film, music and food. The festival aims to provide a platform for Japanese artists and cultural-experts to expand American audiences' perceptions of Japan.
For 2018, BJAF is working with the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to welcome illustrator Yusuke Nakamura (Osaka, Japan) as our featured guest speaker. His centerpiece lecture and Q&A will coincide with the opening of Blue | Now | New: Yusuke Nakamura, an exhibition celebrating the 15th anniversary of his career.
In conjunction with the Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan (JICC), BJAF is once again welcoming the New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF), a short film festival featuring works by Japanese and Japanese-American filmmakers. The 2018 NYJCF film lineup will be divided between the JICC and BJAF, with both featuring a Q&A with guest directors.
New this year is the Aki Matsuri, an all-ages outdoor event to be held in the The Ynot Lot (corner of North Ave & Charles St), featuring food & craft workshops, traditional Japanese festival games/activities, musical performances, and more.
The Baltimore Japan Art Festival is a production of Nippon Motion, a Baltimore-based Japanese culture and arts promotion company, in partnership with:
Maryland Institute College of Art (Illustration / Film and Video Departments)
Baltimore Kawasaki Sister City Committee
Station North Arts & Entertainment (The Ynot Lot)
Lord Baltimore Hotel
Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
Japan Foundation New York
BJAF 2018 Poster
A minimum donation of $25 grants the backer a limited-edition 13"x19" poster. The artwork used in this design was created by Mr. Nakamura to commemorate his "Blue" book-signing tour in which he visited all of Japan's 47 prefectures. This poster is available for pickup on-site at BJAF 2018, or can be mailed anywhere in the world - please select the appropriate pickup/delivery method.
"BEST Yusuke Nakamura" art book
Backers donating at least $60 have the chance to obtain a copy of "BEST Yusuke Nakamura", a collection of illustrations to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his debut. The book boasts over 250 works including 35 new illustrations completed since the release of his previous art book "NOW". Be one of the first people to own this fantastic, portable compendium of illustrations and impress your friends with your excellent taste!
"NOW" art book
Backers donating at least $75 have the chance to obtain a copy of Mr. Nakamura's 2nd art book, "NOW", which features 235 works created from 2009-2014. This is a gorgeous, large-format book that belongs in any art-lover's collection and we are offering a limited number of them as a small token of our appreciation for your support.
During the final week of this campaign, we are excited to offer backers the chance to own a piece of art from the Blue | Now | New: Yusuke Nakamura exhibition, on display at MICA from September 12th to October 10th, 2018. These pieces were originally created by Mr. Nakamura from 2002 - 2018 and include work completed for musicians, authors, publications and the artist himself.
When the exhibition is installed in September, backers will receive a contact sheet (by email) including the available pieces for selection. The order in which backers will be notified and allowed to select their print is determined by the order in which they donated (ie. first-come, first-serve basis).*
The art is available in three sizes (16"x20", 20"x28" & 24"x36") and is printed with pigment-based ink on archival quality matte paper. Frames are not included, and art will be shipped in a mailing tube after de-installation of the exhibition in October.
This is a rare chance to own a piece of Mr. Nakamura's artwork that you can display in your own home and we are very grateful for the opportunity to offer this in exchange for your support.
* UPDATE 9/1/2018: Due to popular demand we have added addition prints as backer rewards! Please note that these rewards are now very limited, meaning that the final backer for each tier might not have the option to choose a specific print, but will simply receive the last remaining piece from the tier/size they selected.
Explanation of Funding Goal
We feel that it's important to be as transparent as possible with you, the potential backer, because we are asking for such a large sum of money. These graphs are accurate representations of our current budgetary situation and a way of showing you exactly what your funding is going towards. The amount of the Kickstarter goal is basically what Nippon Motion has already paid/will pay in order to ensure the successful execution of the event. Please see more details about this in the "Risks & Challenges" section below.
Please visit our website for more details & updates:
Thank you so very much for taking the time to consider backing BJAF, we really hope to see you there!
Risks and challenges
From the very beginning Nippon Motion has hoped that the BJAF and all related events could be made available to the public free-of-charge, in order to drastically lower barriers to participation and truly reach the widest audience possible. In order to achieve this goal, we at Nippon Motion have agreed to operate the event, which numbers countless hours of design, planning, logistical, organizational and support work, without any profit.
Through the generous support of our partners we have been able to cover many of the costs of running the festival without resorting to tacky advertising or sponsorship. Every single one of our partners is exactly that, a contributor who cares just as much about promoting Japanese culture and arts in Baltimore as we do. The great news for you, the prospective attendee and backer, is that the festival is completely bought and paid for and will go off whether we receive a cent from this Kickstarter or not.
However, in order to be able to make that guarantee some portions of the budget were covered out of pocket by Nippon Motion. In order to break even on cost, and to have any possibility of planning another BJAF for 2019, we are asking you to show your appreciation for the artists, creators, volunteers, backers, partners by contributing to the event. Whether you can attend or not, your support may make the difference.
And by the way, our total funding goal is a pretty exact number, it is simply what we need to recoup our costs (which include: airfare, travel, and interpretation for our featured guest, translation costs, and some miscellaneous logistical and clerical needs). Any funding that exceeds the goal amount will be greatly appreciated and will be squirreled away for the budget of BJAF 2019.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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