NLF to Present Annual Theater Show

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nihonmachi Little Friends, a community-based Japanese bilingual and multicultural nonprofit childcare organization, is presenting its annual theater production and auction, “Dowa no Omatsuri: A Festival of Children’s Stories,” on Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon St. in San Francisco.

Well-known community personalities June-ko Nakagawa and Benh Nakajo are serving as co-hosts for the program. The show features GenRyu Arts and the students of NLF.

The preschoolers’ performances of “Our Dream School” and “Life” are in celebration of NLF’s 40th anniversary and looking toward the future.

The elementary school-age children of the After School Program are performing “Jishin Generation 2,” in remembrance of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s Tohoku region.

The silent auction begins at 12 p.m. in the lobby, preceding the 1:30 performance with live entertainment. A raffle and refreshments in the lobby will follow the theater show.

NLF’s elementary school-age children’s performance is again delighted to feature the choreography of NAGATA Dance, led by Corrine Nagata with main choreographer, Angela Yuen Uyeda. 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 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, and teacher training along with scholarship and community-building programs.

Liz Street, former NLF board member and current parent with her second child in program, commented that the annual production is “hands down, my favorite school function of the year. There is nothing like seeing the children on the big stage, and I’m always amazed at the level of commitment and talent it takes the NLF staff and community to make this such a beautiful program. This will be my final year with my own children in the production, but I will continue to attend this event in years to come.

“The fundraiser is a great way to support the many programs NLF offers and give back to the community that has supported our families.”

Executive Director Cathy Inamasu adds, “This special annual theater performance and auction is the first major event of 2016, and it will be an exciting year with the anticipated completion of our new preschool building addition in the fall as well as the 110th anniversary of San Francisco’s Japantown.”

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.

The construction of the building addition to its historic 1830 Sutter St. facility is made possible through its ongoing Plant a Seed Capital Campaign. More information on the campaign can be found on NLF’s website at www.nlfchildcare.org.

Tickets to the event are $30 in advance, (two or more are $25 each), or $40 at the door for adults. Youth 5 to 17 years are $10; and children 4 and under are free. Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the programs and operations of NLF. For more information, call (415) 922-8898 or email [email protected]

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