Asian Cultural Center adds new workshop to cultural series


Origami instructor Arai Chiaki teachs students how to fold paper into 3D figures Wednesday evening at the Asian Culture Center. Origami is a traditional Japanese art form that is used for recreational and ceremonial purposes. Rachel Meert and Rachel Meert Buy Photos

The Asian Culture Center introduced a weekly origami workshop as part of the Asian Cultures Around Campus 

Every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m., participants can come to the ACC to learn and improve their skills in the art of origami.

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. Users can fold paper to create animals, flowers and decorative objects without the use of additional materials.

Chiaki Arai, an IU student and volunteer instructor, will guide participants in creating a variety of origami crafts that she has prepared each week.

Sarah Stamey, a program associate at the ACC, said the workshop is designed be to as relaxing as it is educational.

“People can come once a semester, or they can come every single week,” Stamey said. “If you have time after your class, either at 4, 5, or even if you want to pop in at 6:30 and do something a little different, you can just come and go as you please.”

Stamey said the workshop, as well as the ACC as a whole, is open to everyone, in every sense of the word.

“You don’t have to be of Asian descent to come to the Asian Culture Center,” Stamey said. “That’s one of the misconceptions we are fighting against. Actually, I would say that 70 to 80 percent of people who utilize the Asian Cultural Center are of non-Asian decent.”

In addition to the origami workshop, the ACC offers two other weekly workshops, including Henna 101 every Monday and calligraphy lessons every Friday, according to the ACC’s website.

“We’re always, always trying to find new things to offer the students,” Stamey said.

The origami workshop is part of the ACC’s series, Asian Cultures Around Campus, which aims to bring a variety Asian cultures to Bloomington through an ongoing series of performances and instructional demonstrations, according to the ACC’s website.

“We have our cultural component, our language classes, our weekly offerings,” Stamey said. “We also like to partner with academic departments as well.”

The ACC also raises awareness about Asian and Asian American issues through discussions and lectures on a variety of topics.

Some presentations are one-time events, but the ACC also runs four regular discussion series, including Over a Cup of Tea and Monday Table Topics, which are both monthly discussion series, according to the ACC 

All workshops and discussions in the series are free and open to the public and do not require registration.

Stamey, however, said participants should notify the ACC if they plan to attend the workshop with a group of six or more.

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