Celebrate Lunar New Year with Dragon Dances, Martial Arts and Vocal Performances

ROANOKE, Va. (Jan. 16, 2017) — The Taubman Museum of Art, Local Colors and Roanoke Valley Sister Cities invite the community to celebrate Lunar New Year Saturday, Feb. 4, 12-3 p.m. at the Taubman Museum of Art, 110 Salem Ave. SE.

The event was formerly known as Chinese New Year but recently was renamed Lunar New Year to be more inclusive to all the Asian communities that celebrate the holiday, which is a time when families mark the changing of the year with special foods, gifts and customs.

“The Chinese community of the greater Roanoke Valley led the annual celebration of the Lunar New Year at the Taubman Museum of Art with performances of Chinese dance, martial arts, and music for many years,” noted Local Colors Executive Director Beth Lutjen. “We thank the leadership of the Chinese community and look forward to the growth of our celebration of Lunar New Year as we incorporate more of our Asian communities in the event.”

Added Cindy Petersen, Taubman Museum of Art deputy director of education and visitor services: “Lunar New Year is a wonderful opportunity for our community to learn about the cultural traditions of our Asian friends and neighbors living right here in southwest Virginia. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this special day with spectacular dances, performances and art making.”

Event highlights include:

  • David White and the Shaolin Dragon Martial Arts Academy performing lion and dragon dances;
  • Jane Wang and her accomplished students showcasing traditional Chinese string compositions;
  • 1550 Dance Group performing two unique dances;
  • Dancing Crane leading an interactive demonstration of Qigong/Neigong;
  • Calligraphy demonstrations from sister city Liijang;
  • Art projects for children and families representing cultural celebrations from a variety of Asian cultures.

Guests also are invited to visit Art Venture, the Museum’s interactive children’s gallery, to create their own handmade crafts inspired by the Lunar New Year. Art Venture is free Feb. 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. as part of the celebration.

The event concludes with Pearl Fu, former executive director and founder of Local Colors, distributing traditional Chinese Red Envelopes with well wishes to children in attendance. She also will lead a group sing-along of the traditional New Year’s song, “Gong xi Gong xi.”

About Local Colors

Local Colors is Roanoke’s premiere, year-long multicultural program that recognizes and embraces people of diverse origins, races and ethnic backgrounds. Throughout the year, Local Colors works with schools, colleges, neighborhoods, retirement communities, government, businesses and civic organizations to promote diversity and multicultural understanding. Visit their website learn more about future events and programs.

About Roanoke Valley Sister Cities

Roanoke Valley Sister Cities provides connections to four continents and seven different countries through its artistic, education, medical, municipal, social, humanitarian and business exchanges.

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