Emily Riley-Smith won the 2020 Departmental Research Grant Award for her project “Research on Historic Arcade Street”
In the small city of Shiso in Hyogo, Japan, there is an old shopping street that one neighborhood decorates for major festivals such as the Wisteria Festival and the Winter Lights Festival, drawing tourists and locals alike. During her time in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, Emily Riley biked through this street everyday to work. This summer, she’ll spend three weeks there learning more about the area as a volunteer at a local museum, gathering reference photos, conducting interviews, and taking notes that she’ll use to produce multigenre work, including paintings, short stories, and poems that capture the unique feeling and community of this street. Through these works, she hopes not only to be a good ambassador for a city she loves but also to preserve and share the nature of this fantastic street before time changes its face too much. She also hopes to encourage others to encounter what is different from them in positive ways.