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Songs, words, bodies: the possibilities for creating environments where diverse people can meet

Arts Council Tokyo Grant Program: Activity Report of Social Grant-Session 5

Arts Council Tokyo started the Social Grant in 2015 to support activities that address social issues through artistic/cultural activities and endeavors connecting a wide range of people – people with disabilities, the elderly and children, and people from other countries – with the arts and culture. This grant supports arts-related activities that people from diverse social environments can participate in together and with which they can demonstrate creativity while respecting each other’s individuality; programs that tackle a variety of social and urban challenges by leveraging the special qualities of arts and culture; and pioneering activities that propose a new meaning for arts and culture in society and promote an approach to art that is open to all.

Since 2021, we have implemented Activity Report sessions with the aim of introducing activities covered by this grant program and of building a network between organizations and individuals through exchanging opinions with participants. Taking part as panelists in this fifth Activity Report session are Gayagaya Club, which for nearly 20 years in Hikarigaoka, Nerima-ku creates the opportunity for a range of people including those with intellectual disabilities to come together and enjoy music and dance; and General Incorporated Association Monten, which has launched a variety of music projects and runs a community hall open to all in the Ryogoku district of Sumida-ku. Reports by both organizations will provide an opportunity to think about how to create an environment where each person feels they belong; about approaches to communication through song and dance in this process; and about possibilities for the artistic expression that emerges, and which goes beyond existing notions of the arts.

*This event will be conducted in Japanese.
*Photographs, audio and video footage will be taken during the Activity Report session for the purpose of the organizer’s publicity and records.
*After the Activity Report session, reports, articles etc. will be made available on the Arts Council Tokyo website and elsewhere.
*Accessibility is available in the form of Japanese sign language interpreting and the speech-to-text app UD Talk.

Grant recipient (Speakers)
Gayagaya Club (Panelists: Kiri Kojima, Tamami Yamada)
General Incorporated Association Monten (Panelists: Yaeko Kurosaki, Miki Akahane)

Tomonori Ogawa

Graphic Facilitator
Mihoko Seki

Japanese Sign Language Interpreter
Yuko Kato, Yuko Setoguchi

Tomoko Matsuoka (Senior Program Officer, Grants Division, Planning Department, Arts Council Tokyo)

Program (Schedule)

18:15 Venue opens
18:30 Part 1:
  ・Activity report by the organization
   Part 2:
  ・Round table discussion
21:00 Close

Outline of activities under the grant

Gayagaya Club

General Incorporated Association Monten

Speakers profiles

Gayagaya Club
Established in 2003 and revolving around participants of courses organized by Nerima Kuritsu Seishonenkan (Nerima Youth Center). Music and dance lovers, mainly Nerima-ku residents with intellectual disabilities, gather once or twice a month to sing, dance, and have fun. The songs and dances that emerge from these sessions are put together as performance pieces and staged once a year as “Gayagaya Performance.”

Kiri Kojima
As the representative of Gayagaya Club, Kojima plans and runs dance and music workshops, and produces the Club’s performance pieces. She created the lyrics for the compositions “Kinou” (Masami Noda/2020), “Ryukku no naka ni wa” (Momoko Nakamura/2023), and “Hoshii mono” (Masami Noda/2023). Kojima listened to and wrote down the words of Club participants to create poems out of them.

Tamami Yamada
As a choreographer, Yamada’s work focuses on the creation of stage works with local citizens at the request of public halls and other venues. She runs the yoga class Karada Pika. Part-time lecturer at Aichi Shukutoku University, Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences, and Nagoya University of the Arts. In about 2008 she came across Gayagaya Club, and since then has continued to hold workshops and create works for the Club.

General Incorporated Association Monten (Ryogoku Monten Hall)
After its opening in 1989, Monnaka Tenjo Hall staged an ambitious and varied program of music and performances with the aim of offering a high-quality experience of art and fostering a broad audience base, oscillating between the two poles of “tradition and modernity.” In 2013 it moved to Ryogoku and changed its name to Ryogoku Monten Hall to reflect its standing as a new art space. The venue operates by leveraging partnerships with artists from various genres and local communities. It creates new forms of culture by constantly holding experimental events.

Yaeko Kurosaki
Kurosaki became the manager of Monnaka Tenjo Hall in 1989, kickstarting its operation, management, and planning. In 1993, Kurosaki purchased a Steinway piano for the venue through fundraising, and organized numerous concerts by both veteran and up-and-coming performers. In 2013 the business was incorporated in Ryogoku. Following on from the purchase of the Steinway piano, a symbol of the will of multiple people, Kurosaki is currently working to leverage Ryogoku Monten Hall’s space and piano with the aim of contributing to the local community and developing projects and activities. She is the representative of both General Incorporated Association Monten and Ryogoku Monten Hall.

Miki Akahane
Musician. Completed a graduate course in applied musicology at the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Music.
Akahane leads the community music projects Uta-no-Sumu-Ie Project and Zaurus Music Workshop. She plans and runs for-fun musical and creative workshops with a broad range of people. Akahane is also currently involved in education and research activities, actively engaging in the wide-ranging field of practice, research, and education. Akahane is a part-time lecturer for the community music course of Kunitachi College of Music, in Seigakuin University’s Child Studies Department, and for Tokyo College of Music’s Music Culture and Education Major.


Tomonori Ogawa
Director of NPO ST Spot Yokohama since 2014, in charge of projects connecting education, welfare, community, and art-related environments. Since 1999 he has been involved in the planning and production of projects and activities promoting the arts. His focus is the revitalization of the nonprofit sector, for example his involvement in intermediate support organizations in the field of art.

Graphic Facilitator

Mihoko Seki
Born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1990. Majored in cultural anthropology at Kagoshima University. She has worked independently since 2017, following stints working for a travel agency and as part of a regional development cooperation volunteer program. She currently runs a “one-on-one dialogue × visualization service for organizing thoughts” called Kashi Café (“Visible Café”) and does visual facilitation for meetings and workshops.


40 (Advance reservation required. First-come-first-served basis.)



How to reserve

Please fill out the form in the following link. *In Japanese

Reservation deadline
Thursday, February 8, 2024, 12:00 noon

*Reception will close as soon as capacity is reached.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
*Please note event details are subject to change.


Activity Report of Social Grant Session
Operation office(syuz’gen LLC)
E-mail: act_ss@syuzgen.com
FAX: 03-4333-0878


Arts Council Tokyo, 5th floor
(Kudan First Place 5F, 4-1-28, Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 〒102-0073)



Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Operation by
syuz'gen LLC