We were invited by Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of the City of New York, and Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of the City of New York, to the “Mayor’s Fund Holiday Reception” at Gracie Mansion in New York on Dec.13.
The reception was held for patrons, who donate to a program that brings mother and child to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for arts-based programs. These programs are designed to support the development of a healthy family bond.
The Ceramic Artist Friendship Association (CAFA) held its 17th anniversary of the Tokyo-New York Friendship Ceramic Competition on May 30, 2018. CAFA was established in 1996 to promote the sister city relationship between Tokyo and New York through an annual amateur ceramic competition involving artists from Tokyo and New York. The competition has been so successful that now professional ceramic artists also participate. After this year’s competition, CAFA donated to the NeON Arts Program of the Mayor’s Fund. So CAFA received an invitation to the “Holiday Reception”.
The Japan Local Government Center (JLGC) supports sister city relationships and has been helpful to CAFA from its beginning. So we were delighted to have the chance for our executive director, Mr.Akagi, to attend the reception and to talk to the mayor about what we have been doing for NYC and Tokyo. The Mayor was sincere in his appreciation of the work JLGC does to make the New York-Tokyo relationship better. JLGC was happy to present a small bottle of camellia oil to the First Lady.
At the end of the reception, the mayor made a great speech not only expressing gratitude for the donations made but also asking for all to continue supporting the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for arts-based program. He emphasized that part of the programs significance lies in bringing together a group of supporters with great diversity in their ethnicity, age, gender, and many other aspects,who have all shown the will to contribute to the city and to join together for a better common future. Indeed, that diversity could be seen at the reception.
It was quite an experience for JLGC to attend. We are extremely thankful to the Mayor and the First Lady, all the staff of the fund, and of course, to CAFA!