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NEWSLETTERS

JANUARY 2008


Greetings for the New Year
by Rev. Toshihiko Okui
Executive Director

With time flying by so fast, February of this year will mark the 18th year since the establishment of the Cultural Institute. The span of 18 years can be thought of as the same as a baby being born to becoming a college student. Our current Japanese language instructors were still elementary school students at the time when the institute was established. With the initial “trial and error” years behind us, thanks to the efforts of all those who have helped out in the past, the fruits of our labor have resulted in the name “Tenri” becoming popularly widespread, particularly for its three primary purposes: Japanese Language School, Gallery, and Concert Space. For the Japanese Language School, an article entitled “10, 100, 1000” was published seven years ago, with the figures representing the number of students for its 10th commemorative year. Exactly 10 years after its establishment, there were a total of 100 students enrolled in a session with a total of 1000 students who had registered until then. These figures only represent the adult classes, and today with the addition of children’s classes, if we were to combine the figures, they would total “17, 170, 2070.” Blessed with so many students, we are truly grateful. However, there are also various problems that we are currently trying to work out with both the adult and children’s classes. We would like to do our best to resolve these issues through discussions and make the school a better one moving forward. Regarding the gallery, thanks to the efforts of former curator Mr. Shinagawa and current curator Thalia Vrachopoulos, Tenri Gallery has definitely found a niche in the New York art scene. The exhibitions use the beautiful space sparingly displaying only a few works at a time to provide artists and art lovers a peaceful and enjoyable experience. This year, as in years past, we have nine exhibitions scheduled and we also have artists selected to exhibit for the next three years. Thankfully, in recent months, works are starting to sell. Although the purpose of the gallery is not to sell works per se, such sales greatly help with operating costs, so this is a welcome development. The concerts were started thanks to Albert Lotto, who brought his own grand piano 15 years ago and started performances. And since we moved, the merits of our location (the acoustics and the space) have spread by word of mouth. Recently, even though we only have concerts on the weekends, we have over 90 concerts a year. There are over ten groups that use our space several times a year Greetings for the New Year By Rev. Toshihiko Okui Executive Director for their performances. As a new project, with Albert Lotto and James Schlefer as the main organizers, we have started a new chamber music concert series under the name “Arts at Tenri.” With this series, we have Western classical music and Japanese traditional music concerts scheduled every month. As one of the concerts of this series, the Borromeo String Quartet had a concert as a fundraiser for the construction of the New York Center sanctuary. This year we would like to continue to do our best to have those who come to our cultural institute say, “This is a place that puts my heart at peace.”


Borromeo String Quartet performs as a fundraiser for the Sanctuary construction

 

 

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TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK
43A WEST 13TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10011 TELEPHONE 212.645.2800 FAX 212.727.3234 EMAIL tci@tenri.org