Sculptor Isamu Noguchi and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley discuss the construction of the JACCC Plaza.
Breaking ground for the new Plaza in 1982.
The exhibition "Living National Treasures of Japan" in the new George J. Doizaki Gallery in 1983.
Since first opening its doors in 1980, the JACCC has evolved into one of the largest ethnic art and cultural centers in the U.S. Its owned-and-operated facilities include the Center Building (which houses the George J. Doizaki Gallery, the Japanese Cultural Room, conference and meeting rooms, and office space for more than 20 nonprofit tenant organizations), the 880-seat Aratani / Japan America Theatre, the JACCC Plaza designed by Isamu Noguchi, and the award-winning James Irvine Japanese Garden.
Located in Little Tokyo, the historic heart of the Japanese American community, the JACCC was the dream of visionary Issei and Nisei (first and second-generation) Japanese American pioneers to create a permanent center for the community where arts and culture come alive and can flourish for future generations.
The JACCC has its roots in the early 1970's redevelopment of Little Tokyo, when a citizens advisory committee determined that one of its first priorities was to build a cultural and community center. With the support of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of Los Angeles and other lead funders, the JACCC’s Center Building was opened in 1980. This was followed shortly thereafter by the opening of the Japan America Theatre and JACCC Plaza, respectively, in 1983.
Construction on the JACCC’s facilities took place between 1978 and 1983 at a cost of approximately $15 million. The initial capital campaign to build the JACCC was launched in 1976 and largely completed by 1983 with the participation of the Japanese American community, local governmental sources, U.S. foundations and corporations, and Japanese businesses, both in the U.S. and Japan. A final push to retire the remaining building debt of approximately $1 million was completed in 1989.