Ink People Center for the Arts

Folk & traditional arts

The Ink People Center for the Arts, founded in 1979, is a community-based arts and cultural organization with over 700 members, providing programs and services to create vibrant and visionary tools for community cultural development, and to weave the arts into the fabric of the community.  Located in the old Winship School in Eureka, the facility provides space for galleries, shared artist studios, a cyber-arts center with free public Internet access, administrative offices, and a cultural library.

In 2010, the Ink People received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program for their Sharing Senryu with Nikkei: An Interdisciplinary, Intergenerational Approach project, focusing on multiple generations of Japanese Americans.  Senryu is a form of poetry in 5-7-5 form like haiku, but its subject matter is one of everyday matters as opposed to the spiritual and seasonal themes of haiku.  During the project, the Ink People Center for the Arts will publish Sanae, Senryu Poet: Her Life in 5-7-5, written by first-generation Japanese American Shizue Harada, who wrote senryu up to her death in the mid-90’s.  The project is under the direction of the poet’s granddaughter, Amy Uyeki, who works in woodcut and other traditional Japanese media and will illustrate the poems.  Aiko Uyeki, Shizue Harada’s daughter, will edit the book.  A reading of the poetry and a workshop combining senryu with visual imagery, or haiga, will be presented at the Ink People Center for the Arts in Eureka, Humboldt State University’s Multicultural Center, and in two major Japanese American communities: San Jose and in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

In 2006, the Ink People received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to contract Andrea Graham, folklorist, to continue a comprehensive survey of traditional artists and resources in Humboldt County.  The resulting databases and needs assessment served in placing artists in school settings and public venues, as well as ascertaining the needs of traditional artists in sustaining and presenting work.

In 2004, participation in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program allowed Ink People to hire folklore consultant Andrea Graham to conduct fieldwork and construct an inventory of Humboldt County folk artists, their assets, and their needs.  Ms. Graham’s consultancy for the Ink People will ultimately result in the preservation of artistic works and cultural traditions in the region and included a searchable database available from the Ink People’s website.