The Japan Festival is presented by the Heart of America Japan-America Society. The Japan Festival showcases the traditional and pop culture, food and art of Japan, along with the vision, technology, and hopes for the future shared by the people of Japan and the people of the Kansas City area. Approximately 4,500 persons attended the Festival in 2014 and over 4,700 in 2015.
Each year the Festival offers approximately 190 opportunities for persons to become more than an attendee and receive a number of benefits. The benefits are:
- A complimentary ticket to attend the Festival. The normal cost is $15 for adults. You serve a three or four-hour shift and have the remainder of the day to enjoy the Festival.
- An educational experience. As a greeter you will learn Japanese greetings. As a Bazaar Sales Assistant, you will learn about several Japanese traditions. In the workshops and presentations you get to meet and work directly with persons teaching or presenting on the Japanese language, garden design, or calligraphy as examples.
- Meet new friends. You can serve with your friends for a fun time together. Or you can sign up for a time slot and meet other volunteers for a friendship that may continue long after the day is over.
- A new credential. For persons who are documenting their community service and their participation in educational and cultural activities, this can be added to resumes and application documents.
- Making a contribution. The most important benefit is the satisfaction you obtain by making a contribution to an event that needs and welcomes your involvement.
The Festival is using SignUpGenius as an online registration format. You use this link for Volunteer Opportunities to review the open volunteer opportunities and indicate which one you are selecting. You are asked to give your email and phone number because we want to be able to contact you during the week prior to the event to give you additional information and final confirmation. Your contact information is available only to the Volunteer Coordinator and the person responsible for the activity. If you wish to serve as a volunteer without using the online registration, you can contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Douglas Viehland, and you will be registered without using the online process.
913-491-5111 or 913-515-3680
The volunteer opportunities are as follows:
Thursday Set Up
Friday Set Up
Sunday Tear Down
Description: You can be among those that see all that is involved in putting together and taking away all of the items used during the Festival. By participating on one of these days, you can explore all the Festival has to offer on Saturday with your complimentary ticket.
Number of Open Positions: Five persons are needed on Thursday for a four-hour shift. Ten persons are needed on Friday for the entire day. If your company offers community service days this is an excellent opportunity to join other co-workers and then return the next day for a full day of Festival activities. Ten persons on Sunday will help to take down the items beginning at 9:00 a.m. and continuing until 5:00 p.m. although you may be finished earlier.
Entrance Greeter – Saturday
Description: You will be at the main entrances of either the Carlsen Center or the Regnier Center to greet people in Japanese, if you are comfortable to do this. We can teach you a few phrases but otherwise any greeting is fine. You will answer questions and direct persons to the ticket sales booth.
Number of Open Positions: 12 total positions, with four persons serving one of three shifts: 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Information Booth Assistant – Saturday
Description: Your job will be to answer questions, give directions (we will have a map for you to use) and to distribute Festival booklets. We will have an information booth in three locations, the entrance to the Carlsen Center, the entrance to the Regnier Center, and second floor of the Carlsen Center.
Number of Open Positions: 18 total positions, with six persons serving one of three shifts: 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Food Court Greeter – Saturday
Food Court Line Organizer – Saturday
Food Court Clean Up – Saturday
Description: The Food Court features vendors serving primarily Japanese food.
- As a greeter you welcome customers with warm smiles and helping customers including handing out menus, directing customers into the dining area, keeping customer lines neat and efficient.
- As a Line Organizer, you will direct customers to the desired vendor line in the Food Court.
- As a person responsible for clean-up, you will help to keep the tables and surrounding area very clean and collect the used menus to recycle.
Number of Open Positions: 24 total positions, with two persons serving one of three shifts for Greeter or Clean-Up positions and four persons serving one of three shifts in the Line Organizer position: 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. or 3:15 until 6:15 p.m.
Ticket Sales – Saturday
Description: From a location in either the Carlsen Center or Regnier Center you assist those selling tickets and distribution of wristbands. Requires familiarity with use of mobile devices such as Ipad. Individuals will be required to attend a one-hour training session on Friday, October 6.
Number of Open Positions: 6 total positions, with two persons serving one of three shifts: 9:00 until 12:00; 12:00 until 3:00; 3:00 until 6:00.
T-Shirt Sales Assistant – Saturday
Description: You will assist in the sale of t-shirts and festival bags. You should be a member of the Heart of America Japan-America Society, but this is not required.
Number of Open Positions: Six total positions, two volunteers for each of three shifts of three hours each.
Bazaar Sales Assistant – Saturday
Description: The Bazaar offers Japanese crafts, Kimono, yukata, happi coats, kokeshi dolls, games, books, and more. Each sales assistant is present to answer questions and sell items including payment transactions. The first shift will help with the set-up of the Bazaar and the last shift with closing. This is a great way to meet the many persons attending the Festival and to expand your knowledge of Japanese culture. Instruction is provided for the sales procedure.
Number of Open Positions: 42 total positions, with 14 persons serving one of three shifts: 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Assistant – Saturday
Description: Exhibitors are vendors mostly displaying Japanese related items. You will welcome guests to the exhibit area and answer questions.
Number of Open Positions: Six total positions, with two persons serving one of three shifts: 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Video Gaming Assistant – Saturday
Description: As an assistant you will answer questions, keep consoles running and controllers charged, change games, encourage player change over, and keep the room organized and tidy. The first and last shifts will assist in setting up and taking down/packing and unpacking the equipment.
Number of Open Positions: Eight total positions, with two persons for each of four shifts: 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Workshop/Cultural Assistant – Saturday
Description: Twenty workshops and presentations are offered on topics such as Origami, Japanese Conversation, Kimono Demonstration, Japanese Garden Design, Temari Demonstration, Dyeing for Children, Introduction to Bonsai, Kanji Made Easy, Candy Artistry, and Calligraphy. As an assistant you will greet attendees as they arrive, count the number of attendees, assist the presenter during the workshop or presentation and, assist in cleaning the room following the workshop or presentation. Some understanding of the content that is presented is preferred to serve as a volunteer or to meet with the presenter prior to October 7 to gain a brief understanding of the content.
Number of Open Positions: 42 total positions, with persons serving shifts of one hour. The schedule as posted requires you to arrive 15 minutes prior to the workshop/presentation to help with the arrival of guests and to stay 15 minutes after the session ends to assist in concluding responsibilities for a total of 1.5 hours per shift.
Special Note: We ask you to select workshops that will lead to a total of three hours of volunteer service or a workshop and other volunteer opportunity so the total equals or is greater than three hours.
Back Stage Assistant – Saturday
Description: You will report to the stage manager and support the performing arts and cultural presentations in Polsky, Yardley and the Recital Halls. Duties include assisting performers with costume changes, setting up and clearing the stage, supervising youth, moving drums, assisting with unloading and loading vehicles and helping to ensure a smooth performance program.
Number of Open Positions: Six total positions are offered. Three shifts from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. will require two persons during each shift.
Performing Arts CD Desk – Saturday
Description: You will assist the performing artists who are offering CD’s by staffing the sales desk while they are performing. No sales transactions are involved.
Number of Open Positions: Six total positions are being offered with two persons at each of the following shifts: 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m., 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Volunteer Desk Assistant – Saturday
Description: You will greet volunteers as they arrive at the Festival, provide them a wristband, and assure they know their correct assignment to serve.
Number of Open Positions: Six total positions are being offered with two from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., two from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. and two from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Standby Volunteer – Saturday
Description: You will be on standby to help where needed at the time you designate and for an assignment you approve. You will report to the Volunteer Information Desk for assignment.
Number of Open Positions: 9 total positions are being offered with three from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., three from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. and three from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Decorations Set-Up – Thursday
Decorations Removal – Sunday
Description: You will assist in the installation or removal of the decorations prior to and following the event. The set-up will be on October 2 beginning at 1:00 p.m. and continuing until finished. The removal will be on October 8 beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing until finished.
Number of Open Positions: Five total positions, three to assist with set-up and two to assist with removal, were being offered but all positions have been filled.
Japanese Cultural Village – Thursday
Description: The Japanese Cultural Village (Carlsen Center 1st floor) is an opportunity to experience the real Japan with photos taken with Kimonos or Samurai Armor, purchase of Japanese handicraft items, and more. As a volunteer you would help selling and organizing the items and activities underway.
Number of Open Positions: The Japanese Cultural Village (Carlsen Center 1st floor) is an opportunity to experience the real Japan with photos taken with Kimonos or Samurai Armor, purchase of Japanese handicraft items, and more. As a volunteer you would help selling and organizing the items and activities underway.
Thank you for reviewing all that is offered by serving as a volunteer for the 2017 Japan Festival