This summer, MOA welcomed Nana Watanobe to the Museum. Nana will spend the next two years with MOA as a Japanese cultural coordinator. She is working closely with Tina Smith, Museum Educator, to enhance outreach experiences in new and fun ways. Nana’s position is funded through the Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI). JOI’s mission to provide grassroots opportunities to understand Japan by sending Japanese coordinators to the United States to conduct community outreach and cultural activities. These coordinators promote U.S.–Japan exchange and deepen the local understanding of Japan.
The MOA staff is excited to be a part of this collaboration with Nana. Nana, too, is excited: “My name is Nana Watanobe. I will be visiting institutions to give presentations and lead activities related to Japan for next two years. I am from Ibaraki, a small town to the north of Tokyo. I spent four years in Tokyo to pursue my interest in language, studying intercultural communication, language education, and translation at college. After graduation, I went back to my hometown and worked for a local food factory with people from many different countries. For the next two years, I am excited to visit as many places as possible here in North Carolina and experience its culture. My goal as a JOI coordinator is to share a glimpse of Japan by giving presentations and hopefully encourage the audience to think about what Japanese culture is. I look forward to meeting you and sharing Japanese culture with you!”