University of Pittsburgh's Interested
So I've just spent the last few days in Pittsburgh attending a few exploratory meetings with the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies department, and publicly presenting Kaala's work and the work of our friends in Tōhoku (Northern Honshu) at Tōhoku Live House Daisakusen

Specifically, I flew in to discuss how Kaala and Pitt might collaborate in supporting Daisakusen's efforts by 1.) using our systems to better engage their students with Japan's music culture and 2.) developing a platform to physically get their students over to Japan to experience Tohoku and Daisakusen first hand. 

To be sure, I wasn't coming in with any expectations of a deal getting brokered this time around, and prepared our documents accordingly. Which fit the agenda just fine: Pitt's curious about us and wanted to test the waters a bit before opening up real discussions, and to that end we definitely did good work. Now that Pitt knows what it is we're doing and who it is they're dealing with, they're very much on board with the idea of developing with us a package for their students. So that's a win in my book!

There was a nice surprise in all of this, too! As I was still preparing my presentations the night before I was set to meet with Pitt faculty, I was unable to attend a lecture being given by Christopher Gerteis, from the University of London, called "Rebellious Youth and the Global 1960s: Politics, Punk Rock, and Propaganda in Cold War Japan." So I was quite pleased when he ducked into our meeting to check us out! A very interesting character with a very deep understanding of Japan's modern history, particularly regarding the Red Army, I was very glad to meet with him and discuss our works. Here's hoping we'll keep in touch!

I'm scheduled to return to Seattle tomorrow, but this trip to Pittsburgh has been a great success. If we're lucky, more such trips will be happening more frequently!