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 SFU VANCOUVER BLOG - FEB 19th 2013

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There's No Place like OZ, a Project Limelight production Fukumura has helped with, will be at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts this Sunday with shows at 2pm and 6pm.

@SFUVan Profile: June Fukumura

February 19, 2013

- Emily Ross.
June Fukumura, a third-year Theatre Performance major at SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts, has an evident passion for performance.
Starting theatre in high school, Fukumura was involved musicals, dance and theatre on a smaller scale and that’s where her desire to perform started.
Through film and TV acting, as well as productions at school, Fukumura pursued as many types of performance experience as possible. From there, she started work at Tarlington Training, an acting school. In exchange for acting classes, Fukumura started working with kids who shared her passion.
“To teach was cool, because I learned more,” she explains. “I was only 15 when I started this so I wasn’t very old myself and still had lots to learn.”
Her experience at Tarlington Training led her to continue to work with kids and pursue theatre. Through experiences like summer camps, after school care, as well as her current role at the Boys and Girls Club, Fukumura found ways to infuse theatre into every facet of her life, including university.
Starting three years ago at SFU, Fukumura began pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). Though this allowed her to pursue her main interest, she always had curiosities about community involvement and how these opportunities could intersect with theatre.
Through volunteer work, Fukumura began exploring how to get involved, first by going to Japan to volunteer following the devastating tsunami, and then after returning home, volunteering with Japan Love.

“That’s where I really wanted to pursue acting and theatre,” Fukumura notes. “[Volunteering] gave me some perspective and motivated me to get involved.”
This involvement extended back into her Vancouver life. As the External Relations representative for the Theatre Student Union (TSU), Fukumura decided bring her desire for involvement to school and see how she could make a difference in the community.
Coordinating workshops for students in the Theatre Performance program, she wanted to do more outside of the school. Since the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts building was a new space for the BFA students when she started at SFU, there weren’t a lot of pre-determined activities or opportunities for her to choose from and she sought them out herself.
Getting in touch with Am Johal, Community Engagement Coordinator at the Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Fukumura began discovering programs in the area.
One that particularly piqued her interest was a youth performance program called Project Limelight. An intensive training program for children ages 8 to 15 in the Strathcona district, Project Limelight allows kids the opportunity to learn skills, techniques and forms of expression, including clowning, creative writing, voice work, movement and improvisation.
This program, for Fukumura, was the ideal place to put her theatre skills to use while being able to work with kids. Having been involved since January 2013, Fukumura has already made an impact on both the program and the School for the Contemporary Arts. This includes recruiting other students and alumni to become involved and help with Project Limelight’s upcoming performance of “There’s No Place like Oz,” a Wizard of Oz inspired show.
Along with Fukumura and other SFU students, Project Limelight also provides kids the unique opportunity to work with professionals in performance and theatre. Many local, talented individuals lend their skills to this program to make a difference in children's lives and infuse the community with more creative art practices.
After the production, Fukumura plans to keep helping with Project Limelight and grow her involvement into a partnership more students can benefit from. She’d like to see BFA students have more opportunities to get involved in the community and she sees this as a great place to start.
“As an artist, you need to know the community,” she explaines. “It’s important to know what the community is like and what’s happening there right now.”
Getting involved with Project Limelight has allowed Fukumura to delve into the community and find out more about the activities and people around the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. She hopes to continue to do this after her degree where she plans to start her own theatre company and use the art as a vehicle to explore social issues.
Project Limelight’s “There’s No Place like Oz” will be performed for one day only. Two shows will be held at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on February 23, at 2pm and 6pm. Ticket details can be found online.

 

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Student continues Japan relief effort 

 24 Hour Newspaper - May 19, 2011
By Stephanie IP

It’s been more than two months since a magnitude 9.0 earthquake devastated Japan and while many relief workers have already left, June Fukumura, 19, is in it for the long haul.
“Short term ( help) is great but in order to connect with the people living in the shelters, it’s nice to stay longer so that they have that trust with the volunteers,” said the Canadian-born Fukumura, who departed Vancouver Wednesday for Japan to spend her summer volunteering in shelters and rebuilding damaged schools.
Fukumura, who taught English in Japan for a year after high school, still has family overseas and calls the country her “second home.” She credits that experience as one of the reasons for her trip.
“Maybe I’ll be able to give something back this time,” said Fukumura, whose parents first met while volunteering abroad in the 70s.
Fukumura encourages others, especially students, to volunteer overseas.
“If people have any sort of interest in volunteering, go for it,” said Fukumura. “There’s nothing else like it. You can’t buy that sort of experience.”
To date, more than $20 million has been raised in Canada for quake relief. Within Vancouver, relief efforts were organized through countless local schools, community groups, and businesses.
Those interested in donating to Fukumura can visit www.teachersforjapan.org and follow her updates at www.junefukumura.blogspot.com.

 

SFU student joins Japan relief effort

April 29, 2011

 SFU News Online Headline




 

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Vancouver Shinpo May 12, 2011

 

 

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