[Updated below the jump.]
L.A. resident Caro, founder of Sweet Streets LA, has a strong connection to Japan. In addition to curating the annual group art show Sweet Streets, where all the work is inspired by Harajuku street fashion, she manages Shibuya Girls Pop, an artist collective based in Tokyo. When Japan was hit by an 8.9 earthquake last week, she immediately flew to action. Now, you can help.
“I was on Twitter when the earthquake happened, watching friends and artists tweet in real time before breaking American news aired,” she told LA Weekly via email. “Since then, we have been monitoring live NHK Japanese news together online.”
Caro was “relieved and thankful” to learn that the Shibuya Girls Pop team is safe, though there has been damage to their homes and Tokyo office and aftershocks still plague the area. The situation in Japan is still dire. The search and rescue operation continues, with international workers (including LA County Fire's search and rescue team) now arriving in Japan to help, and efforts are being made to avert nuclear disasters.
At 1 a.m. Saturday morning in Los Angeles, Caro announced the #PrayForJapan fundraiser.
“The talented female artists of Shibuya Girls Pop are my second family and I want them to find comfort,” she said. “A majority of the artwork in this fundraiser is by Shibuya Girls Pop, who also want to help their country.”
Caro continued, “The #PrayForJapan exhibition is named after a popular Twitter hashtag, Twitter being our main line of communication. Proceeds from art sales will go directly to the American Red Cross efforts in Japan.”
The fundraiser began as an online campaign, however, by Saturday afternoon, Jamie Rivadeneira of JapanLA had invited Caro to bring the fundraiser into her Melrose Ave. Japanese pop culture shop. Since then, Angelenos like Onch Movement, JennyRae (Lil Rae Cakes) and Stephanie Shaw have committed to take part in the event, which takes place on March 19.
Sweet Streets and Japan LA are putting out a call to artists who wish to participate in the show, as well as volunteers who can help set up for Saturday night. Please email Caro at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
Update: L.A. event duo Bubble Punch has stepped in to coordinate volunteers for the event. If you are interested in volunteering at #PrayForJapan, see Bubble Punch's website for details.
For updates from Sweet Streets LA and JapanLA, follow @hihicaro and @JapanLA.
Follow @lizohanesian on Twitter.