The mission and purposes of the Anime Art Museum (hereinafter referred to as the Museum) are exclusively educational in nature. The Museum is dedicated to leading the study and exhibition of anime art, work that is grounded in the understanding and appreciation of the Japanese culture, ideology, language, and spirit of innovation and technology from which the art form emerged. We strive to build the largest spectrum of anime artists’ achievements at the highest level of quality. To achieve this goal, the Museum will educate and mentor in the artistic experience of Japanese anime and its accessibility to international cultures, as well as provide aspiring artists with encouragement, exposure, and the ability to connect with other like-minded artists who share their interest in anime and to further their study of artistic techniques unique to this art form.
The anime art form, having originated in Japan in the early 1900s, is a uniquely stylized form of two- and three-dimensional illustration and animation that is now recognized globally. In addition to the museums and galleries dedicated to anime art in Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Education officially recognized it as an art form that is among the most important forms of artistic expression in modern Japanese culture in the year 2000. Despite its popularity and the fact that anime is a 2.03 billion dollar industry in Japan alone, there is still no facility dedicated to the study and preservation of the art form outside of Japan. In some cases, this absence of recognition and understanding have led to school art teachers inadvertently dissuading students from drawing in the anime art style because of its divergence from the class material. This negative reinforcement results in student artists choosing to identify either as “anime-influenced illustrators,” or drop the association all together as they advance into higher level arts education and the professional art field. In order to change this environment for international anime artists, the Museum dedicates its efforts towards spearheading the anime art movement through educational programs and exhibits, providing mentoring and exposure opportunities for anime artists, creating learning opportunities for each manifestation of anime art, and building a community of like-minded individuals who will work together towards the advancement of the art form.
III. Past and Present Activities
A. Past Activities: Graciously receiving a donated space from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida and supplies to build our gallery from the North Central Florida YMCA, the Museum was able to begin displaying anime artwork and offering educational classes. In addition to accumulating regular visits, guest book signatures, e-mail list sign-ups, and the interest of local schools and students, the Museum hosted tours for special interest clubs (anime and sci-fi), schools, and led countless free workshops and classes. We developed the Museum’s website in detail and began reaching out to artists and building artist pages on the website, offering positive exposure as outlined in Section IV.C.2 below.
The Museum has also participated in local events, where we have been invited to speak, give presentations, and display artwork from our collection. These events include: participation in Gainesville’s Art Walk, hosted by Broken Shelves book store; presentation on Gender in Anime at the Fandomonium Convention hosted by the Headquarters Branch Alachua County Library; a class visit and presentation to Oak Hall School’s anime club, and a tour and workshop for the students of the Sidney Lanier Center of Gainesville, Florida.
B. Present Activities: The Museum continues expand its reach by offering free one hour workshops and classes online. We are currently seeking a location for our facility to continue the work we have begun, as well as house the activities described in Section IV below.
IV. Future Activities
A. Education Serving the Community:
Delivering Culture: Anime remains one of the most engaging ways to learn about Japanese culture. The Museum wishes to bridge the gap between the visual elements of anime and the cultural symbols presented therein with comprehensive learning tools to best foster intercultural understanding. This endeavor begins with the planning to make the Museum home to life-like Gundam displays, introduce an authentic ramen style café to our facility, incorporate VR for our visitors, build a virtual online platform known as the Next Gen Museum, build a theater dedicated to anime cinema and the animated creations of our students, inclusion of a library full of academic resources as well as manga, and a program we include for our group classes called “After Class Aisatsu.”
Dedicated Space for Anime Arts Learning: As a total anime arts learning facility, an essential part of our mission is to spread awareness of the anime art form. We provide a creative and educational space, which includes studio spaces for classes, a theater, and a library which will consist of books from academic studies of anime to art books and manga and will include titles published in-house. Within our conference space, we will hold our Ani-MEETs which we have developed as the complete introduction to the anime art movement—where convention meets interactive education.
Learning through the Arts: The Museum offers a comprehensive curriculum for studying the anime art form through classes specializing in the history, culture, and ideology of the art and the countries represented therein. These educational materials are available to schools, organizations, and academic institutions worldwide in the form of day, week, or month long classes that can be modified to meet the needs of the organization.
News & Research: We are dedicated to collecting, organizing, and creating comprehensive data about anime art, its history, and its future and making these findings available to international communities.
Permanent Collection: We are striving to establish and preserve a comprehensive collection of the countless artistic expressions of the anime art form, made readily accessible for observation and study. This collection will allow for the creation of educational exhibits and resources accessible to not only our staff, but students and scholars alike. As a part of this mission to catalogue anime art and its history as well as provide exposure to anime artists, we are creating and publishing artist pages on our website at absolutely no cost to the artist.
Traveling Exhibit & Presentation: The Museum is ready to send one of our experienced instructors to schools and organizations to conduct an informational session and interactive workshop. By the end of the session, any student who is an anime artist or is interested in exploring a new craft is invited to join the museum and create an artist page on the Museum website.
Visiting Artists’ and Theme Exhibits: The Museum dedicates its space to anime artists. The visiting artists’ exhibits will spotlight the works of a specific artist or theme, ranging from local to international artists. This allows for our participants to grow and learn from the experiences of different cultures. We are especially excited to introduce recurring exhibits featuring the work of beginning anime artists. We strive to give artists who have been teaching themselves the style independently and still meeting complex style standards the visibility they deserve.
Working with Us: We are not only seeking professionals to work with us, but to offer these professionals a work place dedicated specifically to anime art which facilitates growth within this field. The Museum will create specialized positions and research projects in the form of full time, part time, internship, and volunteer positions.
B. Promoting the Academic Furtherance of Anime
Classes and Workshops: The Museum offers a comprehensive curriculum for preserving, studying, and teaching the anime art form through classes specializing in the history, culture, and ideology of the art and the countries to which it has been disseminated. We have developed specialized studios which educate on anime art in a variety of mediums.
Defining Anime Art: At the core of our mission to spearhead the anime art movement is the need to create a final, definitive definition of anime art. We are working to document the specific techniques which are unique to the art form in order to classify existing and future examples of the art.
Intercultural Enrichment Program: As a proponent of teaching anime art and carefully studying and educating on Japanese culture, we are creating a workshop available to companies and organizations on Japanese etiquette–a tool that will greatly improve international rapport between Japanese companies with those corresponding locations outside of Japan.
Internships: While the services offered by the Museum are focused on anime arts learning, it is the positions within the Museum that sustain these programs. Our internship program offers onsite training for future professionals. The Museum offers specialized positions, research projects, and portfolio building for university students to receive credits towards their major or minor study as well as project assignments for high school seniors.
Lectures: We are reaching out to professionals and scholars who specialize in aspects of anime art that range from the visual appeal to the cultural undertones. Visitors will have the chance to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture, as well as other cultures represented in anime by attending these informative lectures.
Specialized Study: The Museum has organized the main teaching points of anime art into four departments to better serve our students: the Illustration Studio, Cosplay & Crafters Studio, Gaming Scholars Studio, and Martial Arts Classroom. Within these departments, we offer a variety of classes that cultivate the understanding of anime art.
Theater: We are including a theater with a 147” by 261” screen for the showing of anime films, documentaries, presentations, hosting lectures (locally and live streamed from any location), and exhibiting projects created by our students.
C. Serving the Artists and Art Students
Artist Page: At the heart of the anime art movement is the work of artists that may never get seen. To promote visibility for anime artists, one of the services we offer is the ability to submit six (6) pieces of their art in digital format to be uploaded on our website for free.
Exposure: Through the utilization of our physical gallery, access to our social media outlets, inclusion in our publications, and our free artist pages, we are providing exposure to anime artists, giving them recognition for their contribution to the anime art world and highlighting anime artists who had a hand in anime art history.
Guidance: With a passion for helping anime artists, we offer guidance in the form of professional development, resume and portfolio building and review, art style development, and discussion on the next step to take as an artist. This service is absolutely free.
Mentoring Program: In Japan, an anime artist has the opportunity to grow through a “mentor/apprentice” style of learning. An experienced anime artist trains and develops an aspiring artist by working together on professional projects. By building a network of anime artists, the Museum will make this unique experience available to our artists internationally, allowing anime artists who live far apart a place to come together for the sharing and learning of anime art.
Museum Fundraising: The Museum understands that the equipment needed to offer our online classes may hinder potential artists from diving into anime art studies. To meet this need, we are developing Museum Fundraising: a fundraising program created to partner with schools and organizations in successfully achieving the mutual goals of both education and fundraising.
Printing and Publishing: The Museum facility will provide printing in the form of art prints (lithographs, limited edition sets, giclée printing), manga, light novels, and academic research papers. Print and online publication will allow for artists to have a wider audience of exposure and a virtual shelf space.
Residency: The Museum is working to provide a creative space that will allow us to host artists and researchers from all corners of the world. We will provide a living space and a studio space for our artists to step out of their culture and create a visual narrative to present to a brand new audience. We will provide translation where needed.
Scholarship: No artist should have to limit their artistic journey, be it learning or honing their abilities, due to lack of resources. We started by creating a dedicated space for anime arts learning; now we continue this mission by creating needs-based scholarship programs.
Showcase Presentation Services: At the Museum, framing is more than just a means of protecting the piece; it also impacts the presentation and reception of the piece. We will offer showcase presentation services, which will provide the artist with a unique method of framing and preserving their artwork. We work together with the artists to bring their vision to life.