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UPDATE JAN 25 — Seventeen individuals, most representing nonprofit organizations and groups, attended our community meeting today to learn about our matching grants program and to share their questions and feedback. The Q&A session proved to be very useful in identifying areas in our submission guidelines that need more clarification. Many of the questions asked by participants require further review by the board and we’ll be sharing the additional information with those who attended today’s meeting and also through revisions in the matching grants program submission guidelines. While we’re working on those additional details, we’ve opened up the applications process for organizations and groups wishing to be considered for the matching grants program.

The San Francisco Japantown Foundation will announce details of its 2010 matching grants program at a community meeting on Monday, January 25, at 4 p.m. in the Union Bank Japantown branch conference room, 1674 Post Street, San Francisco.

Like many nonprofit organizations, the Foundation was affected by the severe economic downturn and was unable to provide grants in 2009.  For 2010, organizations selected by the Foundation will be asked to match the amount of money given to them by the Foundation from other individual or corporate resources.

The San Francisco Japantown Foundation envisions a Japantown that inspires respect for the past, embrace of the present, and a commitment to a place and a community that is culturally vibrant, prosperous, safe, inclusive, engaging, and attractive to residents and to visitors. The Foundation was formed in December 2006 through generous initial endowments by Kintetsu Enterprises of America, the late Jack Hirose, and Hats and Amey Aizawa. The Foundation has since received additional donations from Minami Tamaki LLP, Union Bank and other benefactors.

The foundation’s mission is to support cultural, community and educational activities for San Francisco Japantown. We are dedicated to preserving and honoring Japantown’s history, to welcoming and serving its residents, visitors, businesses, congregations and community organizations, and to supporting the growth and development of the community. In particular, we support activities that reflect the Japanese American experience, and activities that engage Japanese of all generations and experiences in America.

Foundation board members will share details of the matching grants program at the Jan. 25 community meeting. Attendance at the meeting is not a requirement for being accepted into the matching grants program, but it’s highly recommended so prospective applicants have a chance to ask questions.

Those unable to attend the meeting will be able to download a matching grants program packet from this website after Jan. 25.

The Foundation is requesting RSVPs to the Jan. 25 meeting by emailing names and organizational affiliations by Jan. 22 to info@sfjapantownfoundation.org. Contact board member Keith Kamisugi at keith@keithpr.com or 415-874-5550 with any questions.

Media can download this text in a DOC file at http://www.box.net/shared/44ljytuge7.