Original web design: Jenni Kuida,
This website is hosted by theJapanese American Network www.janet.org
Manzanar At Duskis an annual event since 1997 where the generations come together to break it down with spoken word and intergenerational chats.
In 1997, Jenni Kuida created the Manzanar After Dark (MAD-ness!) program (now known as Manzanar At Dusk) after attending the four-day Tule Lake Pilgrimage in 1996. She was inspired to create something similar for the Manzanar Pilgrimage. The first two years included a two-night camping trip at Lower Gray Meadows near Independence.
The Manzanar After Dark evening program was created as a way of engaging young people. Its purpose is to supplement the daytime activities of the Manzanar Pilgrimage by providing a program for sharing, educating and learning from intergenerational group discussions, oral histories, forums and cultural performances.
Involved since the first year, EducationInAction, has sponsored a group of students from City College of San Francisco each year. The students have actively participated as emcees, facilitating the group discussions, providing phenomenal poetry and spoken word.
“I think that giving young folks a chance to have intimate conversations with former internees is an incredible way to understand what they went through,” said Kuida. “Something you cant get from reading it in a book. These days, more and more of the attendees have no direct family members who were in camp, so these exchange are even more crucial.”
In 2002, a crowd of about 125 people, mostly students, were amazed and blown away when Nisei Shig Yabu of the Heart Mountain Reunion Comittee got up and gave an impromptu rap about camp and the young people at the Manzanar After Dark program.
Previous performers have included Kiki Inomata from Asian Persuasian, world-renowned taiko master Kenny Endo, and spoken word artists Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Kennedy Kabasares from Zero 3. A highlight of the annual evening program has been the open mic featuring poetry, spoken word and rap by attendees.
Additional activities include “Button Making and Crane Folding for Peace” on Friday night with student participants, hands-on crafts activities for students at the pilgrimage, Saturday night evening program with open mic and Sunday breakfast wrap-up meeting.
The Committee has also published a booklet of poetry taken from the Manzanar At Dusk program.