Acchi Cocchi spells festive fun for kids

by

Special To The Japan Times

Looking for a way to share some Christmas creativity with your children? The nonprofit Acchi Cocchi (Place to Place) holds its third annual Waku Waku (meaning “Exciting”) workshop of Christmas art, music and dance for children at Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama on Dec. 23 — with a session for 50 preschoolers aged 4 and up from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and one for 50 first- to third-graders from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Professional art, piano and dance instructors will work with the children, and each session culminates with a mini-concert involving 18 music- and art-academy volunteers as well. The cost is ¥2,000 per child and ¥500 per accompanying adult attending a mini-concert.

Founded by music industry veteran Mikako Atsuchi in the wake of the March 2011 natural and nuclear disasters, Acchi Cocchi was born of her realization that “of Japan’s 10,000 art-school graduates annually, only some 5 percent can forge careers in music. So why not use those talents for good?”

Explaining the group’s ethos, Atsuchi said: “We want the children to enjoy creating real work with musicians, artists and dancers. First they make the costumes and props together, then they participate in our Christmas concert. Most of them wouldn’t willingly listen to a classical concert, but as they have created part of the performance we find it’s all a great success.”

But Acchi Cocchi isn’t only active at Christmas, as it organizes monthly Cafe Concerts in nursing homes to spread musical, dance and artistic cheer — and also regularly volunteers in the disaster-stricken areas of northeastern Honshu.

For more on Acchi Cocchi, visit www.acchicocchi.com, and for more on the venue go to www.kaat.jp.