The JET Alumni Association of New Orleans (jetaaNOLA), also known as Mid-South JETAA, has been serving JET Alums and the Japanese community at large in south Louisiana since the 1990’s. Any and all JET alumni living in Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi, this is the chapter for you! With a membership of approximately 120 former JET members, we participate in local Japanese cultural events, implement local community outreach events, and supply a social network for former JET participants in the region.
In the wake of the March 11th Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, jetaaNOLA played an integral role in the formation of the NOLA Japan Quake Fund, which to date has raised approximately $300,000. JetaaNOLA also organized (independent and in conjunction with other local groups) fundraising efforts, including Drink for Japan, A Night for Nippon Benefit Gala, and Jammin’ for Japan benefit concert.
JETAA NOLA Regular Events
|Library Outreach Programs||Interactive presentations aimed at children. Short presentations about Japanese culture, arts and crafts activities, Japanese storytelling time (Kamishibai). Additional activities from past events include: origami, Japanese clothing dress-up (with Polaroids taken), writing letters to students in Japan. A great chance to cultivate and share interest in Japanese culture with local youth.||Quarterly||Various libraries in New Orleans|
|Quarterly Dinner/ Meeting||Members gather together for a dinner at a local restaurant and discuss club matters (and then some!). Karaoke may or may not be involved.||Quarterly||Various locations around New Orleans|
|Japanese Language Table||A chance for those proficient in Japanese to brush off the dust and bust out some skills! Also a chance for those interested in learning more Japanese to pick up some new vocabulary! Word games, conversations, and more!||Quarterly||Various locations around New Orleans|
|Movie Nights||Potluck get-together where we hang out, eat heartily, and watch a Japanese cinematic masterpiece (hopefully no Ponyo…)||Quarterly||Flatiron Building|
JETAA NOLA Annual Events
|Shinnenkai||Members gather together to ring in the new year and network amongst each other. Quite possibly followed with a Nijikai! Time frame fluctuates based on Mardi Gras schedule and the New Orleans Saints being in the playoffs! WHO DAT!||January/Early February||Various Restaurants|
|Mardi Gras-nami||I know the name doesn’t make sense, but let’s roll with it. Think of this as a New Orleans-style Hanami. Except replace beautiful cherry blossoms with giant illuminated papier-mâché floats & marching bands. BYOR(efreshments).||Varies based on Mardi Gras (February-March)||New Orleans parade routes|
|Bon Odori Festival||jetaaNOLA cooperates and assists the Japan Club of New Orleans by dancing the Bon Odori with family and friends of the Japan Club. Can you teach me how to Odori?||August||Lakeside Mall in Metairie|
|New Orleans Japan Fest||Annual festival celebrating Japanese culture with food, entertainment, and a chance to win a free trip to Japan! JetaaNOLA runs a booth annually selling cheap Japanese candy, Japanese dress-up (with Polaroids), and more. This past year, we kicked off our 1,000 Cranes for Tohoku Project at the Japan Fest.||October||New Orleans Museum of Art (and surrounding areas)|