Dowa no Omatsuri: A Festival of Children’s Stories

2015 Dowa Poster Final SMLThe children of Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) will present their annual theater production and auction, “Dowa no Omatsuri: A Festival of Children’s Stories” on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon Street in San Francisco.

Well-known community personalities Ms. June-ko Nakagawa and Mr. Benh Nakajo will serve as co-hosts for the theater program.

Nihonmachi Little Friends is a previous grantee of the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. Ms. Nakagawa serves on the foundation’s board of directors.

Featured will be GenRyu Arts and the students of NLF. The preschoolers will present their version of the children’s tales of “Three Little Pigs, Part 2” and “Rainbow Express”. The elementary school-age children will perform an original story, “The Magic Diary”. A silent auction beginning at 12pm in the lobby will precede the 1:30 performance and will feature a special performance of live music by The Shut-Ins, a mostly acoustic combo from San Francisco who specialize in “hula-billy” – a fun blend of country-western, honky-tonk, bluegrass and Hawaiian music. A raffle and refreshments in the lobby will follow the theater show.

NLF’s school-age program’s performance features choreography by NAGATA Dance, led by Corrine Nagata with Angela Yuen Uyeda and Liza Kroeschell. Ms. Corrine Nagata’s role as a teacher and contributor to the world renowned Alvin Ailey American School of Dance, The National Dance Institute with Jacques D’Amboise and the Dance Theater of Harlem prepared her well for teaching all forms of dance and at all levels to a wide variety of students.

Nagata was a full term member of the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee and currently is on faculty at LINES Ballet’s Bachelors of Fine Art Program through Dominican University and A.C.T’s Master’s Degree Program. Her Outreach Program, Nagata Dance, services nearly a dozen public and private schools in San Francisco while Nagata Dance Studio, located in the heart of Japantown, offers all day summer dance camps, children’s ballet and hip hop classes, teacher training along with scholarship and community building programs.

Kimiko Peters, an NLF Board Member and parent with the program, commented on this annual production, “We are always overwhelmed with joy as the children perform on stage, and it’s such a unique and memorable fundraiser!” Executive Director Cathy Inamasu added that, “This fall NLF will celebrate its 40th anniversary, so this event is the first of several festivities to mark this special occasion.”

NLF has been providing quality childcare, educational programs and services for preschoolers through elementary school-age children and their families since 1975. Full and part day schedules are offered to over 200 children annually with a Japanese bilingual and multicultural emphasis. Through government subsidies and sliding fee scales, affordable services are available to all families.

In addition, NLF has a building fund in place, the Plant A Seed Campaign, to build an addition to its historic 1830 Sutter Street building. This new construction will enable NLF to house all of its preschool-age programs in one permanent facility. More information on this Campaign can be found on NLF’s website at

Tickets to the event are $30 in advance, (2 or more at $25 each), or $40 at the door; youth 5-17 years $10; and children 4 years and under are free. Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the programs and operations of NLF. For more information on the event, contact NLF at (415) 922-8898 or via email at