Following the devastation of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, efforts to raise money and send aid have been coming from all corners of the globe. Two alumni of the BFA Illustration and Cartooning Department are doing their part to help the survivors. Dice Tsutsumi (BFA 1998 Illustration), an art director at Pixar Animation Studios, has created Artists Help Japan (AHJ), an open call to artists who want to help raise funds to help Japan. “As a Japanese native working in the creative industry, I created this movement calling for artist communities to come together to help victims in Japan,” says Tsutsumi. “We have raised over $54,000 through cash donations and are planning to have 10 – 12 fundraising art events in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Toronto and more.” Artists and/or donors who want to help can visit artistshelpjapan.blogspot.com for updates on AHJ fundraising events and information on how to become a part of the organization’s activities.

Fellow alumnus Daisuke Takeya (BFA 1993 Illustration) is a Toronto-based artist and one of the organizers of ASHITA: Artists for Japan, which is hosting an event on Tuesday, March 29, 7pm, at Toronto’s The Great Hall. The event’s host is Japanese fashion model Nana Akimoto and features music by Ashley Ingram, “Super Hero” dancing by AKA Dance, poetry by Ewan Whyte and a silent auction of works by Toronto artists. For more information about the event or making donations to ASHITA, visit ashita11.tumblr.com.