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The community is invited to learn how to fold origami cranes at the April Arts Alive! event at the YSAC Community Gallery this weekend.

The community is invited to learn how to fold origami cranes at the April Arts Alive! event at the YSAC Community Gallery this weekend. (Photo by YS News Staff)

Fold paper cranes for peace at Arts Alive! event

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The YS Arts Council will host its monthly Arts Alive! event this Saturday. The featured artist will be Jonathan Heart, who specializes in origami, the Japanese practice of paper folding. Heart has performed his trademark paper-folding programs many times throughout his career, including a program at the Greene County Public Library in recent years. During the Arts Alive! event, he will teach participants to fold various items, including paper cranes.

The Arts Alive! event is part of a collaborative effort between the YS Arts Council and Antioch College which invites community members to help meet the goal of folding 1,000 origami cranes. This effort was inspired by the novel “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr. The young adult novel is based on the life of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who developed leukemia after the American bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. While Sadako was in the hospital, she began to fold paper cranes, having heard a legend which claimed that anyone who folded 1,000 cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako went on to fold more than 1,000 cranes before she ultimately succumbed to her illness; Sadako and her cranes are remembered as symbols of peace and hope and the victims of nuclear warfare.

The paper crane effort in Yellow Springs is part of “Ohayo Ohio,” an upcoming symposium on Japanese arts and culture.  

When we originally sat down to discuss ideas for the … symposium, we thought inviting the community to make 1,000 cranes for peace would be a fun idea,” said Lara Bauer of the YS Arts Council via email this week. “The act of making the crane is a kind of meditation, and so putting a prayer for peace in each one is part of the project.”

Those who can’t make it out to the Arts Alive! event, but who would still like to contribute to the effort, are invited to stop by the library, the YSAC Community Gallery or the Olive Kettering Library at Antioch College to find instructions on how to fold cranes and to drop off finished cranes.

The Arts Alive! event will be held April 9, 7–9 p.m., at the YSAC Community Gallery, located at 111 Corry Street. Suggested donation is $5.

For more information on “Ohayo Ohio,” visit, and watch the pages of the Yellow Springs News for an upcoming feature story on the symposium.


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