NEW YORK – Visitors of all ages are invited to The Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 5, 2011, to enjoy a day-long Lunar New Year Festival celebrating Chinese arts and culture. The Museum will ring in the Year of the Rabbit with interactive programs, art-making workshops, and lively performances. Nearly all Lunar New Year programs are free with Museum admission.
The Lunar New Year Festival is presented by the Museum’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and its Education Department.
The festival begins with family programs, including a performance by Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and friends at 11 a.m. in the Carson Family Hall and storytime in the Nolen Library at 11:45 a.m. Afternoon programs begin with a dramatic lion dance procession up the Museum’s front steps and into the building at 12:15 p.m., followed by calligraphy and face painting workshops at 1 p.m.; a youth orchestra performing on traditional Chinese instruments at 1:30 p.m.; a Chinese tea ceremony at 2:15 p.m.; and fan and ribbon dances at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The Lunar New Year Festival will culminate with Peking Opera performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Chinese Theatre Works’ production of the Peking Opera Little Red Riding Hood features stage acrobatics, martial arts, music, dance, pantomime, face painting, and lavish costumes to create a breathtaking, cross-cultural journey. A one-hour children’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, performed in English to a pre-recorded score, will be presented at 3 p.m. (tickets: $15). A full-length production of the classic tale will be presented at 7 p.m. (tickets: $30). The evening performance, introduced by an informative talk, will be spoken in English and sung in Chinese, accompanied by live music. Both concerts are in the Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and tickets include free Museum admission on February 5. To order tickets for Peking Opera: Little Red Riding Hood, call 212-570-3949 or go to www.metmuseum.org/tickets.
Lunar New Year Festival information will be available at the Information Desk inside the Museum’s main entrance on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, and in the Uris Center for Education, which is reached from the ground-floor entrance on Fifth Avenue at 81st Street. All Lunar New Year programs are free with Museum admission, with the exception of the Peking Opera Little Red Riding Hood. Recommended Museum admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for students. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.
A complete schedule of Lunar New Year programs can be found on the Museum’s website: www.metmuseum.org/lunarnewyear.aspx.
Museum information in Mandarin, including hours, admission, and directions, can be found online: http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/general_information_mandarin
In addition, the Museum’s cafeteria will be celebrating the Lunar New Year with a traditional Chinese menu including soy sauce chicken, pork buns, and napa cabbage with garlic and ginger.
Visitors are also invited to explore the special exhibition The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City, featuring 90 exquisite objects that once adorned an exclusive compound in the Forbidden City. The exhibition, on view February 1 – May 1, 2011, presents works of art that demonstrate the highest levels of artistic accomplishment in 18th-century China, including sumptuous murals, furniture, architectural elements, Buddhist icons, and decorative arts—almost all of which have never before been seen publicly. A lecture on The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Its Survival and Conservation will be presented by Henry Tzu Ng, Executive Vice President of the World Monuments Fund on Friday, February 4, at 6 p.m. In addition, on Saturday, February 5, at 11 a.m. there will be a public gallery talk for this exhibition.
The exhibition was organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in partnership with the Palace Museum and in cooperation with World Monuments Fund and has been made possible through generous support from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and American Express. Additional support was provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Freeman Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ECHO (Education through Cultural & Historical Organizations).
Education programs are made possible by The Freeman Foundation.
College Group at the Met Event:
On Friday, February 4, at 8 p.m., the College Group at the Met will present Gilded Ink: Write like an Emperor, a reading of original prize-winning short stories by four college students. The event, hosted by David Rakoff (author of Half Empty and frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life), will feature stories on the theme of a “private paradise” in conjunction with the exhibition The Emperor’s Private Paradise. The event is co-sponsored with Selected Shorts.
About the Metropolitan Museum:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with collections of more than two million works of art that span 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum, located at the edge of Central Park along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, received 5.24 million visitors last year and is New York City’s number-one tourist attraction.
The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative began more than ten years ago at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It reflects the Museum’s founding mission to educate and inspire by reaching out to all of its constituencies, including the many diverse communities of the New York Tristate area. Its objectives are to increase awareness of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections and programs, to diversify its visitorship and membership, and to increase participation in its programs.
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