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The challenge of ST Spot Yokohama, which started from a small theater!

小劇場からはじまったSTスポット横浜の挑戦!

The scene where the play is born
File.9 ST Spot Yokohama
Koichi Imai (editing writer)

Did you know that there is a small theater called "ST Spot" in the basement of the office district building at the west exit of Yokohama Station? It has been more than 30 years since it opened. We have produced many artists, led by Toshiki Okada (Chelfitsch), a playwright and director who is active around the world.
The theater is run by "NPO ST Spot Yokohama". With the mission of "utilizing the power of art in modern society," we are engaged in a wide range of activities in collaboration with Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City. This time, I will focus on the lesser-known activity.

The ST Spot is operated by the ST Spot Steering Committee, a voluntary organization organized by citizen volunteers in 1987. Since it was incorporated as an NPO as "ST Spot Yokohama" in 2004, we have expanded the range of activities.

"The fact that we have nurtured various artists was widespread in the artist community, but little was known to the community. In the future, we thought that ties with the community were important. Therefore, as an organization that not only manages theaters but also tries art in the community, we have set up a mission to "utilize the power of art in modern society" (Chairman, Tomonori Ogawa).

Given the scarcity of operating funds, we focused on a collaborative project between Kanagawa Prefecture and an NPO called the Kanagawa Voluntary Activity Promotion Fund 21. We proposed "a project to build new educational activities utilizing art" and held "delivery lessons" to dispatch artists of various genres to schools. He says he learned to work with people from a wide range of genres over the course of five years.
Since then, this project is still continuing as the "Yokohama City Arts and Culture Education Platform" in collaboration with Yokohama City.

"There were about 20 collaborative projects with Kanagawa Prefecture, so we contacted all the schools to hear their requests and matched the artists. We accompanied them on the day. It was a dense and fun time. , We are not able to expand our activities by ourselves. Therefore, we asked local halls, specialized halls (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, Yokohama Museum of Art), art NPOs, etc. for cooperation. Currently, 38 groups including us As a coordinator, we are developing business at 146 of the approximately 500 elementary schools, junior high schools, and special needs schools in Yokohama this year. "(Secretary General, Makoto Tanaka)

"It's important not to narrow down these businesses to'drama or music?'From the beginning. It doesn't matter what the trigger is. For example, if you say,'I want to bring out the energy of children,' dance is the way to go. It may be good, or something can be done with music. I try to lower the hurdle to art by making various suggestions. "(Mr. Ogawa)

The results of this project will lead to the "Regional Culture Support Project / Yokohama Art Site" and the "Foundation Development Project for Arts and Cultural Activities in the Welfare Field".

* Yokohama Art Site 2019 Kickoff Meeting

The "Regional Culture Support Project / Yokohama Art Site", which started in 2014, is a project that supports community building, art festivals, and Yokohama's unique work creation that are being held in various parts of Yokohama city in various ways. .. The content of the support is wide-ranging, such as examination of subsidy grants, hearings for improving the system, and creation of public relations magazines.

The challenge here is the definition of art.

"What is art? This is a very difficult definition. Some art is sharp, some festivals are some kind of art, and some activities to create a community with foreign children are art. Clear answer I can't judge without looking closely at the local activities, and I can't find new or buried things. "(Mr. Ogawa)

It seems that they are repeating trial and error, such as holding discussions on the theme of "What is the local culture of Yokohama?", But in fiscal 2019, there were 47 applications and 29 were adopted.

* Implementation facility: Yokohama City Shikinomori Elementary School / Artist: Obtained Anna (dancer / choreographer)

Since the decision to hold the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, efforts related to people with disabilities and art have been booming.
ST Spot Yokohama has teamed up with Kanagawa Prefecture to carry out a "base development project for artistic and cultural activities in the welfare field" that conducts collaborative workshops between people with disabilities and artists, research studies, study sessions, and inspections for creating works. doing. Since I was not familiar with performing artistic activities at welfare facilities, I first held study sessions where people in the field could talk with each other. It seems that they are also conducting research to follow a wide prefecture area.

"The welfare facilities are doing their best, but there are limits to what they can do inside the facilities, and the air is stagnant. I hope that other halls and cultural facilities will become hubs for such activities in the future. ”(Mr. Tanaka)

* Facility: Support facility for persons with disabilities Liaison Kasama / Artist: Doi (modeling unit), Junpei Katsumi (PARADISE ALLEY BREAD & CO)

I think that ST Spot Yokohama has greatly contributed to the activities in which art is opened and permeated in the city by repeating trial and error in these activities.
Finally, Mr. Ogawa talked about what he cherishes.

"The theater is a theater, and I am still free to work. Even if I balance it with the public nature, I am careful not to pull out the fangs of the artist as a place of creation and presentation. "

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