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Commissioner for Cultural Affairs [Mecenat] Award 2009 awarded to Art Area B1


The winners of the 2009 awards presented by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Japan [Japan Mecenat Awards] to honor companies and organizations contributing to the promotion of the arts were announced on October 30. University-community collaboration in cultural activities at Art Area B1 in the Naniwabashi Station on the Nakanoshima Line of Keihan Electric Railway was awarded the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award.

Art Area B1 is the open space on the concourse on the 1st basement of the Naniwabashi Station on the Keihan Electric Railway's Nakanoshima Line. A steering committee consisting of Keihan Electric Railway, NPO Dance Box, and Osaka University is in charge of Art Area B1.

The Lab Cafe, the major program at the Art Area B1, was designed and is implemented by the Center for the Study of Communication-Design. The Lab Cafe is an interactive program in which participants can have free discussions. The program aims to make the station a communication space on the arts and scholarship by taking up various themes in philosophy, art, science and technology and providing the general public with the chance to be exposed to expertise.

This prize recognizes the uniqueness of producing, through cooperation among a business, a university and an NPO, a space for art and scholarship in a urban area. Further development of this area is anticipated.

At the Naniwabashi Station, the Nakanoshima Communication Cafe started in 2006 by integrating university scholarship, the power of art, and the energy of local communities in a university-community project examining the possibilities of a station as urban space. Since then, various ways of using the station have been tried and refined.

The concourse on the 1st basement of the Naniwabashi Station was set up as Art Area B1 at the time of opening of the Keihan Electric Railway's Nakanoshima Line on October 19, 2008. Starting then, the project to make the station an "intelligent and artistic" communication space commenced. This year, university-community collaboration was involved in projects coordinated with Aqua Metropolis Osaka, examining culture originating along rivers with the goal of reinvigorating the Nakanoshima area.


For more in-depth information, go to Mecenat Awards 2009 web site:

Art Area B1 web site:


ラボカフェ B1

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