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アート演劇・ダンス講座・ワークショップ

ST Spot Yokohama's challenge 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 place where plays are born
File.9 ST Spot Yokohama
Koichi Imai (editor writer)

Did you know that there is a small theater called "ST Spot" in the basement of a building in the office district at the west exit of Yokohama Station? It has been over 30 years since it opened. It has produced many artists, including world-renowned playwright and director Toshiki Okada (chelfitsch).
The theater is operated by the NPO ST Spot Yokohama. With the mission of ``utilizing the power of art in modern society,'' we are collaborating with Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City, and other countries to carry out a wide range of activities. This time, we will focus on this activity that is not well known.

ST Spot is managed by the ST Spot Management Committee, a voluntary organization formed by citizen volunteers in 1987. Since becoming an NPO in 2004 as "ST Spot Yokohama", we have expanded the scope of our activities.

``Although the fact that we have cultivated a variety of artists was widely known within the artist community, it was little known in the local area.We believe that ties with the local area will be important in the future. As an organization that not only operates theaters but also experiments with the arts in the community, we have set a mission of ``utilizing the power of art in modern society.'' (Chairman Tomoki Ogawa)

With operating funds in short supply, we turned our attention to a collaborative project between Kanagawa Prefecture and NPOs called the Kanagawa Voluntary Activities Promotion Fund 21. We proposed a project to create new educational activities using art, and conducted "on-site classes" in which artists of various genres were dispatched to schools. Over the course of five years, he says he has learned to collaborate with people from a wide range of genres.
Since then, this project has continued to this day as the ``Yokohama City Arts and Culture Education Platform'' in collaboration with Yokohama City.

"There were about 20 schools involved in the collaborative project with Kanagawa Prefecture, so we contacted all the schools, listened to their requests, and matched them with artists. I accompanied them on the day as well. It was an intense and fun time, but... , we are not able to expand our activities by ourselves.Therefore, we ask local halls, specialty museums (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, Yokohama Museum of Art), art NPOs, etc. for cooperation.Currently, there are 38 organizations including ourselves. "I am serving as the coordinator, and this year we are operating the project in 146 of the approximately 500 elementary schools, junior high schools, and special needs schools in Yokohama City," said Mami Tanaka, executive director.

"It's important not to narrow down a project like this to 'Is it theater? Or music?' The motivation can be anything. For example, if someone says, 'I want to bring out the children's energy,' dance is the way to go. It might be good, and you might be able to do something with music. I try to lower the hurdles for art by making various suggestions.'' (Mr. Ogawa)

The results of this project will lead to the ``Local Culture Support Project - Yokohama Art Site'' and the ``Foundation Development Project for Artistic 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 through art, art festivals, and the creation of works unique to Yokohama in various ways throughout Yokohama City. . The content of this support is wide-ranging, including screening for subsidy grants, interviews for system improvement, and the creation of public relations magazines.

The issue here is the definition of art.

"What is art? This is a very difficult definition. There is sharp art, and festivals are also types of art, and activities that create a community through art with foreign children may also be art. There is no clear answer. Since there is no information on local activities, we cannot make any judgments unless we look closely at local activities, and we cannot discover new or hidden things.'' (Mr. Ogawa)

It seems that they are going through a process of trial and error, such as holding discussions on the theme of ``What is Yokohama's local culture?'' There were 47 applications in 2019, and 29 were selected.

*Facility: Yokohama City Shikinomori Elementary School/Artist: Anna Toku (dancer/choreographer)

Since it was decided that the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be held in 2020, initiatives related to people with disabilities and art have been gaining momentum.
ST Spot Yokohama has teamed up with Kanagawa Prefecture to carry out the ``Fundamental Development Project for Artistic and Cultural Activities in the Welfare Field,'' which includes collaborative workshops for people with disabilities and artists, research and study sessions for the creation of works, study sessions, and inspections. doing. Since they were not familiar with performing art activities at welfare facilities, they first held study sessions where people in the field could talk to each other. It seems that they are also conducting research to follow up on a wide prefecture area.

``People at welfare facilities are working really hard, but there are limits to what can happen inside a facility, and the atmosphere becomes stagnant.So by bringing in people from the outside, we can provide stimulation and open up vents. I think this is significant.In the future, I would like other halls and cultural facilities to become hubs for these activities.'' (Tanaka)

*Implementing facility: Liaison Kasama, a support facility for people with disabilities / Artist: Dui (modeling unit), Junpei Katsumi (PARADISE ALLEY BREAD&CO)

I believe that ST Spot Yokohama has greatly contributed to opening and permeating art in the city through repeated trial and error in these activities.
Lastly, Mr. Ogawa talked about what is important to him.

``A theater is a theater, and people are still able to operate freely.Although we have to maintain a balance with its public nature, as a venue for creation and presentation, we are careful not to do anything that would undermine artists. ”

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