Soulful Robots: Japanese Street Culture Invades Major East Coast Museum

Newburyport's Tannery Series Celebrates Manga, Anime and Japanese Street
Culture at PEM/PM

Join The Tannery Series at PEM to Explore the Japanese Art Forms That Have Taken America by

November 21, 2013, 6:30-9:30 pm, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

Newburyport, MA, Nov 1, 2013—Dig out your Astroboy and don your Pokemon ears. Newburyport's community arts program, The Tannery Series, is returning to the Peabody Essex Museum this month to host “Manga Nation: Japanese Design and American Pop Culture,” a celebration of the Japanese cultural phenomena that are all the rage. The Tannery Series will add its unique literary spice to the museum's ongoing PEM/PM program, a series of wonderfully warm and unconventional evening gatherings. The event will feature drinks, music, conversation, a world-class art exhibit and the chance to discover what your kids are already reading and what you'll be reading next.

Hear writers Roland Kelts and Robin Brenner discuss soulful robots, gender-bending plotlines, punk-haired heroines and heroes with stars in their eyes. From cosplay to fanservice, these two Manga and Anime experts will cover it all. They'll take us beyond the usual notions of cartoon and costume, fantasy and reality, to explore ideas about public and private selves and what the popularity of Manga in the United States reveals about the changes in American identity.

The evening will also include musician VJ Beyonder Domela, some hands-on instruction in drawing Manga and an opportunity to visit PEM's latest exhibit, “Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion,” which showcases the work of designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, who reshaped the world of fashion in the 1980s.

Robin Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. When not presenting programs and reading guidance, she writes for publications including VOYA, The Horn Book, Library Journal, and Knowledge Quest. She is the editor-in-chief of the graphic novel review website No Flying No Tights. Her first book, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

Roland Kelts is a Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a co-editor of the New York-based literary journal, A Public Space. His articles, essays, and stories have been published in Zoetrope, Playboy, Doubletake, Salon, The Village Voice, Newsday,Cosmopolitan, Vogue and The Japan Times, among others. His first book, Japanamerica, addresses the American experience with the Japanese pop phenomenon. Highlighting the shared conflicts as American and Japanese pop cultures dramatically collide in the here and now, the book is as literate as it is hip.

Come dressed as your favorite character. Look, listen, toast and talk with The Tannery Series.

The Tannery Series was founded three years ago by writers Dawne Shand and Kirun Kapur. Thus far, the series has focused on bringing authors to the North Shore whose writing confronts the world in essential and curious ways. Running such memorable events as “Love, Lust and Loathing” and “Are You Cool?”—often for standing-room-only audiences—the series is known for presenting serious literature in a manner that makes it fresh, accessible and fun.

Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collections are among the finest of their kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, maritime and photography collections. In addition to its vast holding, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and an interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructures and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month, 10 am-9:30 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

For INFO about the Museum: Call 866-745-1876866-745-1876 or visit our Web site at

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