DevelopmentJapantownSan JoseSan Jose CultureThe Arts! May 13, 2019

Japantown San Jose – New Arts Center


The nonprofit organization Silicon Valley Creates is building a cultural and arts community center at the former Japantown Corporation Yard along N. 7th Street between E. Taylor Street and Jackson Street. Long time a dusty vacant lot that provided space for J-town’s Farmer’s Market, now has begun construction.

The center, slated to be 55,000 square feet, is expected to house the nonprofit, as well as San Jose Taiko, the New Ballet School, the media nonprofit CreaTV and other groups. It will include rehearsal space and meeting rooms for other arts organizations and community groups. The space is expected to be bordered by housing on two sides and a park.

“This is our opportunity to make San Jose the real arts center for the West Coast,” said Roy Hirabayashi, founder of San Jose Taiko.

A rendering of an arts center to be built in Japantown by the organization
Silicon Valley Creates. (Courtesy of Silicon Valley Creates)

Silicon Valley Creates is the largest nonprofit arts council in California, providing a comprehensive suite of programs that provide funding, capacity building, and promotional services that support the creative sector throughout Santa Clara County. This grant will support the development of the Creative Center at Japantown Square, a 5.75-acre mixed-use development that will provide a permanent home for more than two dozen artists and arts organizations, including at least three Performing Arts Program grantee organizations.

We’re excited to see leadership step-up and to value and promote the local arts in our community.

More from San Jose Mercury article here.

What is the importance of supporting arts in our community?

  • Creates a culture in our community – Research has even shown that cities that emphasize art have more civic and social engagement, better child welfare and even lower poverty rates.
  • Arts stimulates business – The arts contribute more than $ Billion to the U.S. economy and the arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA.
  • Driving tourism & creating inspiration to the next generation – It has even been found that children who receive education in the arts have higher GPAs, better test scores and lower dropout rates. By inspiring people of different ages, not only the youth, is to embrace individual creativity and expression! San Jose’s Japantown is one of the last remaining three Japantown in the U.S. and it’s important to the community to retain the heritage and values to pass on to future generations.

Article on Why the Arts Matter by National Endowment for the Arts.