Indianapolis – First Lady Karen Pence kicked off an art exchange between Southside Elementary School in Columbus and Miyoshigaoka Elementary School located in Miyoshi City, Japan, Columbus’ sister-city.
“It is an honor and privilege to continue building cultural ties between Indiana and Japan,” said First Lady Karen Pence. “What is significant and unique about this exchange is that it connects a cultural bridge between children of both Japan and Indiana. Not only is Columbus, Indiana the sister city to Miyoshi City, Japan, but Southside Elementary School is the sister school to Miyoshigaoka Elementary School.”
In anticipation of the Governor and First Lady’s departure next month on their second trade mission to Japan, Indiana First Lady Karen Pence, a past art teacher, visited Southside Elementary School in Columbus to teach its fourth grade students to draw “name creatures.” While in Japan, Mrs. Pence will share the Columbus students’ artwork with fourth grade students at Miyoshigaoka Elementary School and ask Miyoshigaoka students to also create “name creature” art. Mrs. Pence will bring the artwork back to the Columbus students to complete the exchange.
“Art is the universal language that carries no age barriers. This project is especially fun because the American and Japanese school children will use their imagination to create whimsical figures from their written name,” said Pence. “After creating ‘name creatures’ from their very differently written names, they will exchange their new pieces of art made from their very own names with each other across the globe. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share and exchange their creative artwork.”
With 13 sister-city relationships throughout the state of Indiana, today’s exchange is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen sister-city relationships between Indiana and Japan. In 2013, Mrs. Pence conducted a similar art exchange between third grade students at Glen Acres Elementary School in Lafayette and Ota Elementary School, located in its Japanese sister-city of Ota.