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Heartland Community College

Heartland hosts Japanese Festival April 24-25

April 10, 2023

Heartland Community College is hosting a two-day Japanese Cultural Festival on April 24 and 25. 

The festival will feature lectures and demonstrations of traditional Japanese arts and crafts, including ironwork, flower arranging, and a tea ceremony. These events are free to attend and are open to the community. 

Featured are demonstrations of traditional ironwork by visiting Japanese artisan Akira Yaegashi. 

“It’s a really cool learning opportunity for students to see handmade craft work,” said Zach Petrea, professor of English and Study Abroad Coordinator at Heartland Community College. “This is showing our students that you can merge the artistic with the entrepreneurial.”  

This event is funded by a grant from The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Indiana University. The program is intended to bridge the humanities and business worlds to show that working artists and craftsman need and apply both humanities and technical education.  

On Monday, April 24, the festival features an ironworking lecture at 11:00 a.m. followed by a demonstration. A tea ceremony demonstration will run from 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. 

On Tuesday, April 25, events begin with at noon followed by an ironworking lecture and demonstration at 1:00 p.m. and a flower arrangement demonstration at 2:30 p.m. 

Events will be held in the Community Commons Building (CCB) room 1407 at the Heartland Main Campus (1500 W. Raab Road, Normal). 

The College will also host student-only workshops for Shibori tie-dye, the tea ceremony and flower arrangement. Heartland Japanese instructor Sanae Ferrier says traditional Japanese tea ceremony and flower arranging techniques present an opportunity for students to explore a more intentional and meditative approach to every day activities. 

“If a student can have a little different perspective of just a daily life like how to look at flowers or how to have a tea, I think that will be very interesting to them,” said Ferrier, who also serves as a Heartland Global Education Committee member. 

The festival also coincides with the Joe McCauley Gallery exhibit The Floating World. The exhibit showcases the work of two local artists, Western Illinois University professor Jenny Knavel and Peoria-based printmaker Cathie Crawford, as well as Japanese printmaker Erika Shiba and Dallas-based artist Nishiki Sugawara-Beda. Joe McCauley Gallery is located in Instructional Commons Building (ICB) room 2507 on the Main Campus.

Written by: Steve Fast