The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
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Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities
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Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities
8F, 6-1-20, Akasaka, Minato-ku
Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5573-4050
Fax: +81-3-5573-4060
http://www.jafra.or.jp/ (Japanese only)
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
2006.5.8
Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities 
The Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities (JAFRA Chiiki Sozo) is an organization founded in 1994 with the aim of encouraging creative and innovative regional community development by promoting the development of the arts. From the latter half of the 1980s there were many public facilities such as halls, theaters and art museums built in all the regions of Japan. (see also An Overview) But low usage rates and a lack of independent activities by these regional facilities kept them from fulfilling their inherent purpose. In other words, the hardware component was in place but the software component necessary to make them function effectively was lacking. This led officials from the regional public organizations to join together to create the JAFRA as an external public service organization to provide the software component, including funding to support the arts and culture activities undertaken by these institutions and local governments.

In particular, JAFRA is known not only on offering financial support but also for offering a wide range of services including training personnel to manage public culture and arts facilities, dispatching artists to participate in regional programs, building a cooperative network among the regional culture facilities and institutions, disseminating information about regional culture programs and arts management, conducting research and surveys concerning regional culture facilities and cooperating in the sponsorship of the Tokyo Performing Arts Market (TPAM).
+Main activities
[Support activities]
In addition to offering financial support for music, theater, dance, art and film programs undertaken independently by the culture facilities and the regional public organizations, financial assistance is also offered for the establishment of mid- and long-term vision plans for public facilities, international exchange programs centered around international arts festivals and other programs like film documentation aimed at the preservation and continuance of traditional arts of the various regions of the country.

[Personnel training]
JAFRA conducts intense short-term training sessions for the personnel of public culture facilities in the areas of arts management and technical specialties as well as organizing training sessions, seminars and symposiums for regional cultural organization staff in arts management positions.

[Artist dispatch program]
JAFRA conducts auditions for progressive artists in fields like classical music and contemporary dance to be sent to the various regions to participate in outreach programs and performances organized in cooperation with public halls.

[Art museum networking program]
Support is given to help museums from various regions cooperate in the organizing of touring exhibitions.

[Information dissemination]
In addition to publishing a monthly newsletter with information on regional arts activities and a biannual magazine featuring programs organized by culture and arts facilities around Japan, JAFRA also publishes books on subjects related to arts management. Also, beginning this April, a new “Regional Cultural Assets” (Chiiki Bunka Shisan: bunkashisan.ne.jp) website has been launched as an archive of videos recording traditional arts from around Japan.

[Survey and research program]
Various types of surveys are conducted to help provide a clear picture of the status of activities by public culture facilities around the country.

[Nationwide events]
JAFRA brings together organizations from around the country to organize events including a “Regional Traditional Arts Festival” in Tokyo that gathers performers traditional festival arts from the various regions, a “Performing Arts Market” as a venue for information exchange among people involved in the performing arts in Japan and abroad and representatives from regional culture facilities, and a “Regional Municipal Orchestra Festival” that brings together orchestras from around the country for a performance festival in Tokyo.

[Award program]
A “JAFRA Awards” program is organized to recognize public culture organizations that make outstanding contributions in the field of creating positive environments for the development of regional arts and culture.
 
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