Our Mission

Sonoma Cultural Exchange was founded in 2015 to bring master artisans, artists, chefs, and performers from around the world to Sonoma County, and the greater Bay Area. Through hands-on workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions we hope to inspire people of all ages to learn about traditional practices and gain an insight into different cultures.  Our aim is that this cultural exchange will also benefit the artists who visit by introducing them to different viewpoints and perspectives, and inspiring them to create new work.


Maki Aizawa and Mitsuyo McDermott share a deep love of Japanese culture and art forms from all over the world. They founded Sonoma Cultural Exchange to bring both Japanese and other international cultural experiences to a wider audience in Sonoma county and the greater Bay Area.  Maki grew up in Sendai, Japan, and is the daughter of a master kimono maker and is an Ikebana master herself.  Mitsuyo grew up in Shizuoka, Japan, and has a passion for exposing her family, friends and the greater community to the richness of Japanese tradition.  Both women travel several times a year to Japan, where they are connected to a growing network of artists, performers and chefs.  Maki and Mitsuyo are both excited to share these riches with people in Sonoma and the greater Bay Area through their new organization.