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SMPL Presents: From Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie

Swing in the Japanese American Internment Camps

As part of the 2018 Santa Monica Reads community reading program, Rusty Frank presents Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie: Swing in the Japanese American Internment Camps, on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 2:00 pm in the Main Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

LtoR, June Aochi Berk, Rusty Frank, Takayo Tsubouchi Fischer

Now in its sixteenth year, Santa Monica Public Library’s Santa Monica Reads is a community reading initiative that encourages all residents and visitors to read and discuss the same title in book discussions and special events held throughout the city. This year’s selection is Farewell to Manzanar, the classic memoir by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, which chronicles young Jeanne’s experience with her family in the World War II-era Japanese American internment camps.

Dance preservationist Rusty Frank presents the uniquely American art form of swing dance through oral history and archival clips, and discusses how it gave young people respite from their lives in the internment camps. Takayo Tsubouchi Fischer and June Aochi Berk, who met while incarcerated at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas at the age of 10, share photos, dance cards and other memorabilia.

After the presentation, Rusty and program attendees will adjourn to the North Courtyard for an easy dance lesson on the “Shim Sham Shimmy.” No partner is needed.

Rusty Frank is a tap dancer and Lindy Hopper, producer, choreographer, author and dance preservationist. She founded the longest-running Lindy Hop Swing Dance program in Los Angeles, the Lindy By The Sea dance school in El Segundo, California. Rusty’s “Rhythm Club” weekly swing dance in Playa Del Rey, California, is one of the few clubs in the nation featuring an evening of dancing to live bands.  Learn more at rustyfrank.com.

This program is free and open to all ages. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis. The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to the event. The Main Library is directly served by Big Blue Bus lines 1, R10 and 18. The Expo Line and Big Blue Bus lines 2, 3, R3 and 9 stop nearby. Ride your bike. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library.

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