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      Midlands students use art to help Japan

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Two Midlands students are using art to help earthquake-ravaged Japan.

      Sisters Alix and Cari Takayama Tuel, sisters who attend Dreher High School and Hand Middle School, are organizing an event called Red Dot 4 Japan to help support the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

      Columbia area artists, businesses, and students have joined forces to help the cause.

      Alix and Cari Takayama Tuel have worked together to create this fundraising campaign to rally support from the arts, local businesses, and the community.

      We could not believe the images we were seeing were real. The destruction is cataclysmic, said Alix. We felt compelled to do something locally. Many people think Japan is a rich country that does not need our help. In addition, their culture makes it difficult for them to ask for assistance.

      The sisters have Japanese heritage, as well as study the language and culture. Their grandmother, who is originally from Tokyo, went to school in Sendai, where a crippled nuclear reactor is located.

      The event will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 1200 Hampton Street, on Wednesday April 20th from 4:30-8:00 pm with the art auction from 5:00-7:00 pm.

      The evening will include a silent art auction featuring local and out-of-state artists, musical performances by a quartet from the SC Philharmonic with special guest Morihiko Nakahara, a Japanese percussion group from Dreher High School, a flute soloist, as well as delicious Japanese food from area restaurants.

      All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami disaster relief fund. An American Red Cross representative will be on-hand to accept donations.

      If you would to learn more aboutRed Dot 4 Japan, click here.