Utilizing art & cultural exchanges as a platform for storytelling, understanding & reconciliation September 21 - 30, 2017 at Lanesboro Arts
“In Peace, With Honor” is a multi-disciplinary arts & cultural program designed to connect Minnesotans of all ages with both historical & contemporary stories of war, peace and reconciliation through 10 days of films, literary workshops & events, art & history exhibitions, performances, discussions, and educational activities. Developed in partnership with literary artist Caren Stelson, “In Peace, With Honor” utilizes art & cultural exchanges as a platform for storytelling, understanding & reconciliation.
- “Return of the Sword” presentation & discussion with Amdahl Family Thursday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Mane Theatre auditorium
- Art Exhibit opening, “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard,” Thursday September 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the St. Mane Theatre lobby
- History Exhibit opening, “From War to Reconciliation,” Thursday September 21 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Mane Theatre upper level
- Exhibits available for viewing 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. September 21 – 23 & 28 – 30
- Reading and presentation, “Sachiko” by Caren Stelson Friday, September 22, time tba, at Lanesboro Public Library
- Reading and presentation, “Sachiko” by Caren Stelson Saturday, September 23 at 2:00 p.m. at Lanesboro Arts Gallery
- Film Screening, “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard” and discussion with Shizumi Manale and Melvin Hardy Saturday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m.
In 2013, lifelong Lanesboro resident & WWII veteran Orval Amdahl was able to reunite a handcrafted samurai sword, taken in Nagasaki with U.S. permission as a war trophy, with the grandson of the Japanese soldier who originally owned it. Showing the sword to author Caren Stelson, who was researching firsthand information on Nagasaki after the war for her book “Sachiko,” Orval told her, “I want to give this back in peace, with honor.” Orval’s story attracted attention on an international scale, as a symbol of peace and reconciliation between two nations and two peoples. “In Peace, With Honor” is a key opportunity to more broadly & deeply tell that story in the Lanesboro area with a presentation and discussion panel at the St. Mane Theatre.
“The Return of the Sword” event on Thursday, September 21 (International Day of Peace) is a powerful starting point for 10 days of programs that include “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard” documentary film & companion art exhibit at the St. Mane. Produced by Shizumi Manale, the film tells the story of a collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 that were sent to a D.C. area church called All Souls that donated the art supplies to create them. The drawings were placed in safekeeping and forgotten about until 2005 when then-Church Administrator Melvin Hardy formed a group to restore and reframe them. In 2010, Manale reunited the student artists (now in their late 70s) with the newly uncovered drawings as they reflect on the hope they shared through their art. Prints of the original drawings, on loan from All Souls Church, will be on display with interpretive signage in the St. Mane lobby September 21 – 30. Shizumi and Mel Hardy will be in Lanesboro for a discussion on the drawings and the film following a public screening at the St. Mane Theatre on Saturday, September 30.
A history exhibition called “From War to Reconciliation” will also be on display in the upper level studio space of the St. Mane Theatre September 21 -30. Developed by the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims, the exhibition is presented in Lanesboro on loan from the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee. It includes 47 posters that tell the difficult history of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the closing days of World War II. From the atomic blast, to survival, to recovery, to a call from the elimination of nuclear weapons, this exhibition will remind all who visit that the world must never again experience nuclear war.
On Sept. 22 at the Public Library and on Sept. 23 at Lanesboro Arts Gallery, author and educator Caren Stelson will be reading from, and sharing a presentation about, her new book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Story. Her book is a striking work of narrative nonfiction that tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui’s survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s long journey toward peace. This special book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II, the fifty years that followed, and the courage it took for one woman to tell her story of nuclear war and peace.
Caren Stelson is a literary artist & author of “Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Story” and other works for children & young adults. With a long career in education, as a teacher, artist-in-residence and freelance writer, as well as time served on boards of the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee & World Citizen, Caren is participating in panel discussions, leading writing & origami workshops, and connecting Lanesboro Arts with artistic, cultural & educational resources for “In Peace, With Honor.”
Shizumi Shigeto Manale is a dancer, performing artist, choreographer, director, author, & film producer born in Hiroshima that has performed at the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, & the Smithsonian. As the producer of the documentary film “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard” and author of a related novel, Shizumi is participating in public & school matinee discussion panels about the film and performing traditional Japanese dance in Lanesboro.