News / Blog

Arigato!

Miho Takekawa

Artist Trust Grant & Residency Recipient

I know this sounds dramatic, but it is true: ARTIST TRUST CHANGED MY LIFE! Let me tell you how:

Music is my passion. I began playing piano at age three and percussion at thirteen. After completing my Master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Washington, I was struggling with how to pursue a music career and support myself. The path was not clear. People told me to be realistic-that I could not make a living as a musician. But I wanted to follow my passion. So I applied for—and was awarded!—an Artist Trust Fellowship. Receiving the Fellowship was a turning point in my life.

Artist Trust encouraged me to pursue my dream. The funds helped launch my career, making it possible for me to travel to Japan to research traditional Japanese folk songs. I also used the money to rent rehearsal space, pay other musicians, and secure a performance hall. In fact, I celebrated the release of my first recording and held a live concert at the University of Washington’s Ethnic Cultural Center in December 2006 for my Meet the Artist event, as part of the Fellowship requirements. The financial support from Artist Trust made it possible for me to take risks with my music and to expand my work. Creating my own style by fusing Japanese music with the jazz and Latin music, I was able to become the multi-cultural artist I am now.

Artist Trust opened the door to many career opportunities for me. Since receiving the Fellowship, I have received multiple grants from other agencies, released three albums and produced concerts in Washington State and Japan. In 2008, Artist Trust awarded me a month-long Centrum Residency where I composed and practiced intensively, and held concerts to packed crowds in Port Townsend. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say that I will never forget this experience. These awards and opportunities also helped me connect with both the Japanese and immigrant communities in Washington State—this fall I am embarking on a Japan tour to encourage cultural understanding through music.

Arigato! I want to thank you and all the supporters of Artist Trust. I want you to know that I am doing well as a musician because of you. The money you donate to Artist Trust affects thousands of artists like me.

Every year over a thousand artists submit grant applications to Artist Trust—the need is great, but the resources are few. On behalf of my fellow artists, I am asking you to please make a donation to Artist Trust now. I know first-hand that every gift makes a difference to the artists of Washington State. I urge you to support the many artists who are creating wonderful new work that enriches our community.

With my deepest appreciation,

Miho Takekawa