Santa Fe Internment Camp – Storytelling and Ritual Event

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During my artist residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, I learned that the history of the New Mexico internment camps was not well known, and people wanted to know more.

My focus became, how could art bring understanding and connection to the communities in Santa Fe?  I wanted to inform the public about this history that has touched my own Japanese American family and invite people of other cultures to express their stories of displacement, unjust incarceration, and immigration journeys.

I decided to create an experiential space incorporating modalities like drawing, movement, speaking, listening, and re-enactment.

Participants were invited to create a presence for those they wanted to remember. Just the simple task of striking a pose of a loved one and being outlined in red crayon, connected the collaborators, and spontaneous memories were shared. These ancestor drawings on the gallery walls created a safe and sacred place for remembering.

It was a very moving event with many voices, quiet support, some tears, and an overall powerful energy of compassion. People traveled from as far away as Taos, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque to attend. The walking meditation lead by Eliane Allegre with the music provided by Glen Neff put the participants in a contemplative space to consider stories of incarceration, immigration, and displacement. 15 storytellers came forward to share internee memories and other difficult and heartfelt experiences.

The gallery event was followed by the visit to the Santa Fe Internment Marker. It was chilly, windy and clear beautiful day. We carried symbolic suitcases, like the prisoners traveling to a place unknown. Upon arriving the cases were opened and the folded cranes and flowers inside were used to embellish the marker. Historian and writer Nancy Bartlit and Victor Yamada of the NM Japanese Citizen League, spoke about the marker history and future plans to bring more visibility to the history of the New Mexican Internment Camps.

You may ask, why is it important to share this history from 73 years ago? In the United States today, we are still imprisoning innocent families, like those from Central America. In a world of terrorist atrocities, the backlash of racial and ethnic prejudice is rampant. We must find ways to understand and connect to each other and art is a powerful way to do it.

Thank you to all of you who supported this special sharing event. It couldn’t have happened without the team of Victor Yamada, Sue Rundstrom, Nancy Bartlit, Santa Fe Art Institute, Glen Neff, Eliane Allegre, and many others.

Thank you to the Santa Fe Art Institute for selecting me for the immigration artist in residence program.



Food and flower power Sunday

What a lovely Sunday afternoon art soirée hosted by Chris Ridgeway! I had so much fun just thinking about nature’s colors and shapes. If the slideshow stops, click on the black x in the upper right corner.

No charades here

The Mallory Cocktail- ask her what’s in it!

Thank you so much to Mallory and Tom and Tiana for inviting us the SF Mime Troupe 4th of July this year. We had no idea what we were in for except that we knew we usually had a blast with these guys and they usually have some great food. What could be more fun then sitting on a blanket at Dolores Park in the sunshine? It was funny though, because as we were at New Leaf getting our picnic supplies, Ander and I both admitted to ourselves that we hated mime, and we were nervous about being stuck in a crowd of people and not being able to escape! Oh well, we thought, just go for it, stretch our comfort zone.

Well, it was a blast! And we found out that the SF Mime Troupe were not at all silent about their message. They were right on target concerning the political state of the nation. Ander thought the music was great and the play well written – and that’s a lot coming from him! It was funny to hear him singing the songs the next day.

Music, humor, and satire were very effective ways to convey some deep and important issues about our economy, lack of citizen support, and our ineffective government. What I really appreciated was in the end the message was not about supporting a particular candidate, but that citizens must stand up for their rights no matter who is in power.

Some background on this group from their site:

The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do pantomime. We mean ‘mime’ in the ancient sense: to mimic. We are satirists, seeking to make you laugh at the absurdities of contemporary life and at the same time, see their causes. We’ve done shows about most of the burning issues of our time, generally shows that debunked the official story. We perform everywhere from public parks to palaces of culture, aiming to reach the broadest possible audience.

Here is a synopsis of their performance:


What if a small town found itself at the forefront of a political fight? It’s Election Day in small town America, and that’s what happens when, due to an Electoral College tie, the entire Presidential Election comes down to the one tiny town. Suddenly, the ignored, disregarded Bluebird, Kansas is the most important town in America. And they are being pressured to quickly cast the deciding vote, and vote the “right way.”

But what would happen if they decided to wait? Can one little town hold an entire nation’s election hostage? Should it? Is bread on the farm house dinner table tonight more important than deciding who sits at the Oval Office desk tomorrow? Yep, this election could take a while . . .

You can still catch the troupe this summer. The schedule for next week is:

7/16 Montclair Ball Field (Wed)
6300 Moraga Avenue, Montclair
Music 6:30pm, Show 7:00pm

7/19, 7/20 Cedar Rose Park (Sat & Sun)
1300 Rose Street, a block from Cedar & Chestnut, Berkeley

Check out the rest of the schedule by clicking here.

World Improv Freeze San Francisco, 4/1, 9am

UPDATE: 4/2, here is the entry with the video from this improv event! click here: 

 Remember the freeze youtube video in Grand Central Station? If you haven’t seen it, I posted it earlier at

Now you can be part of the fun on April Fool’s Day!

Pause for thought. Pause for human kind. Pause for our planet.
Be in the main hall inside the Ferry Building Marketplace on April 1 at9AM and freeze your position. Have your mobile phone alarm set for9:05AM so that you know when to start moving again.Hmmm do we need to do this in HMB – M Coffee? Safeway? Lisa – here is your chance!So far there will be simultaneous April 1 events in:
  • London Paddington, 5 pm.
  • Malmö Gustav Adolfs Torg, 6 pm.
  • NYC, Grand Central Station, noon.
  • San Francisco, Ferry Building, 9 am.
  • Copenhagen, Strøget by Illum, 6 pm.
  • Florence, Piazza Duomo, 6 pm.
  • Milan, Galleria Vitt. Emanuelle II, 6 pm.
  • Portland Oregon, to be announced.
  • English farmer freeze, to be announced.

Perfect moontown afternoon

William got some fun in at Moontown field, after his dad took him for a haircut and to buy some groovy new boots. Makes me want to be young again, when nothing matters but to have a blast! You can hear the Ander and Bo having their afternoon pow wow in the background.

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.” – Annie Dillard

Christmas fun for kids AND adults at Rancho Siempre Verde

A bunch of us went to Rancho Siempre Verde over the weekend. It is a Christmas tree farm and a lot more. I have to say I was a bit dubious since I didn’t even need a Christmas tree, but S.T. insisted it was a fun time and she can be quite persuasive. So S.T. and Sandy and little Joey and I climbed in the car and Clifford and Leslie, with Red and Blue (their cute cattle dogs) followed us to this magical place on Highway One, south of Pigeon Point Lighthouse. AND we had a blast!

As they say on their website:

“For 40 years, family and friends have made Rancho Siempre Verde a lively and beautiful place to enjoy the Christmas season. We invite you to come swing to your heart’s content, picnic overlooking the Pacific Ocean, take a tractor ride, roast marshmallows by the fire, romp in the hay, make a wreath, and stroll leisurely through the fields in search of your perfect tree. We promise no plastic Santas, no long lines, and no parking-lot-style Christmas trees. Just a relaxed rural farm with a diversity of beautiful trees and lots of very friendly people.

Leslie and I made wreathes for $10 each and I think that is a bargain since I’ve seen them in stores for $35. We clipped our own trimmings from a variety of branches they provided and worked with a circular metal ring to make our creations. Sandy helped me wire in some pine cones. Some other people who obviously had been here before, brought some of their own stuff to mix into their wreathes.

wreath.jpg leslie.jpg

Then we all hiked up the hill to try out the swings and make music on the larger than life xylophones. Well, if you ever want to make your “kid” come out – you must experience the swings because they are a blast!

None of us ended up getting Christmas trees, we just enjoyed the place and making wreathes. It was nice that it is not the usual tree lot with everyone clamoring to find “the best tree” and haggling over the price.


Rancho Siempre Verde is open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23 and every weekend through Sunday, December 23. This includes November 23, 24, & 25; December 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th, 22nd, 23rd and until 12 noon on the 24th. We are open from 9 AM to 5 PM, rain or shine.

fingers and toes and more


My feet and hands have been aching lately. Is it my shoe choice? Is it the weather? I’m not sure and I’m checking out different possible reasons. In my search I found this great site that allows you to click on areas of your feet and hands and see what organs the spot corresponds to. I found it very informative and fun.