Peace Crane Project Flyer
The images from Japan in March were difficult to watch as a massive earthquake and tsunami swept across the island. Thousands were killed, whole towns vanished, and the survivors were left with rubble that will take years, if ever, to rebuild.
Looking for a way to reach out to the Japanese people, a local Tamworth couple began an effort they called the “Peace Crane Project” through an international arts organization. Jeff and Sharon Malenfant began by asking members of the International Union of Mail Artists (IUOMA) to help make one thousand origami paper cranes. At the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum, there is a children’s peace monument area where they hang the giant loops of cranes that are received from all over the world. The goal of the local project is to send a thousand paper cranes to the museum for the well-being of the Japanese people in time for the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11am-1pm, the community is invited to join this effort at Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth. Children and adults of all ages are invited to come and learn how to make origami cranes and help string them together. All materials will be provided. People who are unable to attend are welcome to make cranes and drop them at the library.
The idea is based on an ancient Japanese legend which promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami paper cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life, healing, or recovery from injury and illness. In Japan, it is commonly said that folding and stringing a thousand paper cranes makes a person’s wish come true. “Our hope is that the cranes offer a message of healing for the Japanese people as they struggle to recover their lives and land,” Jeff said. In Japan, the crane is one of the most mystical or holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years.
Since the project began, hundreds of paper cranes have arrived in Tamworth from many countries in Europe and South America, as well as from around the United States. They came in every size and are made from many different types of paper, including handmade paper from Japan, Greek magazines, and Starburst wrappers, to name a few. Several IUOMA artists created collages that incorporated cranes into the artwork. Students from a special education class in South America made cranes and wrote messages on them to the Japanese people.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Amy at Cook Memorial Library, 323-8510. Here is a YouTube video of people making cranes On Oct 1st.
Image by Dimitri Karlaftopoulos of Greece

Come join the 1000 Paper Cranes Project on Sat, Oct 1st, 11-1
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2 thoughts on “Come join the 1000 Paper Cranes Project on Sat, Oct 1st, 11-1

  • October 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make or string paper cranes for this project! We are halfway to our goal of 1,000 … please keep making them. You can drop them at the library through November 1st and you can see the ones that are already strung hanging behind the library circulation desk!

  • February 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Letter from Jeff and Sharon Malenfant

    “I wanted to give you an update on the Peace Crane Project … the thousand cranes are flying their way to Japan, having left the Tamworth post office earlier this week! In addition to the cranes and all the collages done by the artists of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), we also included a DVD with the video I made at the library. In our cover letter to the Hiroshima Peace Museum, we mentioned the library as a partner in the event and included the flyers from the events. We have asked that they email us a picture of the cranes when they are hung in the Children’s Peace Garden, and will share with all involved.

    If you go to this site at IUOMA, it is the group page for the project. You can see all of the pictures and posts that chart the history of the project over the last year, including the one of our merry mailman Steve sending the cranes on their way. (You do not have to join the site or be a member to visit the pages.)

    From Jeff and I, thank you ALL for your support and enthusiasm for the project!”

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