Canton Museum of Art Announces “Witness to Wartime” Exhibition FREE Speaker Series

Featured Speakers Illuminate Japanese American Internment in WWII and the Lessons from History for Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Canton, Ohio): April 15, 2022, Canton, Ohio – The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) announces a FREE Speaker Series in conjunction with its Spring Exhibition, Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichii Fujii starting Sunday, May 1st, 2022. This three-part Speaker Series will offer three opportunities for guests to learn more about Japanese internment camps during World War II and the experiences of Asian Americans during that period of history. Speakers include Karen Jiobu, Jamie Ford, Sandy Kita and Barbara Johns.

On Sunday, May 1st, the CMA will host Karen Jiobu who experienced WWII internment camps first-hand.  Jiobu will speak at Cable Hall, located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts at 2:00pm. Admission to the event is FREE and no reservations are required.  The CMA will also be offering FREE admission for all guests to enjoy the new Spring/Summer Exhibitions from 1pm-5pm.

Karen Jiobu will share her personal story as one of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were relocated to an internment camp in the United States during World War II. The experience shaped her outlook and resolve to help others through healthcare. Karen shared her story of being interned with OSU professor Judy Woo, which resulted in the documentary, Faces of the Past, Voices of the Present. She shares the story and images of her family and their lives before, during and after the war, alongside historic photos by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Toyo Miyatake. She continues to share her story so that these events hopefully will not happen again.

On Tuesday, June 21st, at 6:30pm, Stark Library will host New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford at the Canton Palace Theatre, presented as part of The Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series. Ford is the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, an historical novel depicting the heartwarming friendship between Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe, a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl—both American citizens—whose ethnic backgrounds impact their destinies in dramatically different ways during World War II. Ford will speak about his book, followed by a wide-ranging question and answer session.

Admission to the event is FREE but pre-registration will be required through the Stark Library website at  All guests for this event will be offered one FREE admission ticket to CMA to be redeemed from Tuesday, June 21st through July 24th to view the Witness to Wartime exhibit in-person. The Speaking of Books Author Series brings acclaimed writers to Stark County who inspire lively discussion and – at times – challenging conversation while exemplifying literary excellence.

On Thursday, July 7th, at 7:00pm, the CMA will host a virtual Speaker Series event on CMA’s Facebook page. Sandy Kita, grandson of Witness to Wartime artist Takuichii Fujii, and Barbara Johns, curator of the exhibit, will give insight into the life of Fujii and how the exhibition came together. Kita is the grandson of the artist and translated the art diary of his grandfather, selections out of which appear in the Witness to Wartime exhibit. He is presently writing a memoir of his grandfather. No registration is required for this event. Interested attendees can access the Facebook Live event via CMA’s Facebook page.


Exhibitions, Programming, and Operating Support
The Canton Museum of Art’s exhibitions, related programs, and operations are made possible in part through generous support from Arts In Stark, Visit Canton, Stark Community Foundation, The Hoover Foundation, the Paparella Family Foundation, the Canton Museum of Art Exhibition Endowment at Stark Community Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and Institute of Museum and Library Services. CMA FREE Thursdays, offering free admission all day, is sponsored by PNC Foundation.

About Canton Museum of Art
Recognized for powerful original exhibitions and national touring exhibitions focused on American art and its influences, the Canton Museum of Art makes the discovery and exploration of art accessible to all. The Museum’s education outreach programs, School of Art classes, and workshops serve thousands of students of all ages. CMA’s acclaimed Collection focuses on American works on paper, primarily watercolors, and contemporary ceramics. CMA’s Artisan Boutique is open during regular Museum hours. Founded in 1935, CMA serves more than 45,000 visitors each year. Visit and follow the Museum on Facebook for updates, or call 330.453.7666 for more information.

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