To help foster an understanding of Chinese arts, culture and people, the Michigan State University China Experience kicked off this month, offering various campus and local community events scheduled through March.
Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the MSU China Initiative, the exploration of Chinese arts and culture is designed to provide creative programming, engage in open dialogue and encourage active student, faculty and community involvement in China-themed year activities.
“During the 18 months of the MSU-themed year, we will explore China through art, film, music and performances, as well as lectures, events and exhibits,” said Kurt Dewhurst, director, arts and cultural initiatives and senior fellow, University Outreach and Engagement. “Guest speakers on China and other visitors will include artists, scholars, authors, musicians and filmmakers in order to explore a country that is rich in history and contemporary art, and that, in many respects, lays at the forefront of change.”
Through the China Experience, MSU’s Cultural Engagement Council member units hope to significantly inform and enrich the lives of MSU faculty, students and the broader community. The China-themed year is especially timely given China’s growing prominence on the world stage and the increase in global connectedness.
Officially kicking off the 2015 Chinese New Year and the Year of the Goat are five events:
- Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m.: The Chinese Undergraduate Students Association and Chinese Students and Scholars Association at MSU will jointly present the 2015 MSU Spring Festival Gala at MSU’s Breslin Center with traditional Chinese music and other entertainment, food and cultural activities.
- Feb. 21, 1:30 - 6:30 p.m.: The third Annual Chinese New Year/Spring Festival at the Meridian Mall in Okemos organized by the Greater Lansing Chinese Association along with several area organizations and sponsors. Catering to families and individuals alike, this community-wide celebration includes music, singing, dancing, tai chi, fashion and pageantry.
- Continuing through March 8: “Future Returns: Contemporary Art from China” at the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. (A China Experience pre-launch event was held during fall term 2014 with the opening of the exhibition.)
- Continuing through Aug. 30: Seeing China: Photographic Views and Viewpoints presents the work of six contemporary, non-Chinese photographers and stereographs, from the MSU Museum's collection, made in China between 1901 and 1950.
- March 3, 7:30 p.m., Fairchild Auditorium: The MSU College of Music presents Musique 21: University Chorale with guest artists the Orchid Ensemble —traditional Chinese songs and new works by Jon Zhang and John Sarpley for chorus with erhu, zheng and percussion.
In addition, the CSSA is hosting its annual Chinese New Year/Temple Fair at MSU’s McDonel Residence Hall from 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13, featuring authentic Chinese food, live performances, traditional Chinese games, a Chinese cultural showcase and gift sales.
“Our primary goals are to inform and educate the MSU campus and greater community about Chinese art and culture; showcase MSU faculty and student work through music, art, film and events; and help integrate our students from China into the MSU campus and surrounding community,” said Min Jung Kim, deputy director of external relations for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.