Opening to the public on May 19, 2017, Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China is an exhibition designed to engage children and families by teaching about one of the oldest civilizations – and now among the most modern — in the world. Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China was created by Boston Children’s Museum and is part of the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, funded by The Freeman Foundation and administered by the Association of Children’s Museums. The exhibit is on a three-year, 10-city U.S. tour, and will be at Discovery Gateway May 19 through September 10, 2017.
Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China presents four children from Hangzhou in several environments, including at home, at school, in the library, in the theater, and in the countryside. The Chinese children will introduce themselves through media and the activities of their daily lives. Visitors will discover that Chinese life today mixes ancient traditions with modern lifestyles. It features original artwork created to present a unique Chinese aesthetic that delivers an immediate and unmistakable impression: You are in China.
For Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, this exhibit is a bridge to learn about China and build cross-cultural understanding bydispelling stereotypes and demystifying the nation of China. The exhibit showcases a wide range of subjects, such art symbols, what a school day is like for a student in China, the history of the Great Wall, the Chinese opera, rice planting in the countryside, and the evolution of the Chinese language. The iconic centerpiece of the exhibit is a Pavilion in West Lake, Hangzhou. In the Pavilion, visitors can practice Tai Chi with a master and play traditional Chinese games.
Discovery Gateway members are invited to preview the exhibit on May 18 from 2 – 4 pm. The grand opening of Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China will be Friday, May 19 from 11 am – 2 pm. On the morning of the opening, the museum will host two fifth grade Chinese Dual Immersion classes from Calvin Smith Elementary. The students will be encouraged to engage with the exhibit in their secondary language, Mandarin.
“Hosting Children of Hangzhou, gives us the opportunity to connect with China through the eyes of children.” explains Discovery Gateway’s Director of Museum Education and Operations, Tammy Spicer. “The exhibit aligns perfectly with our mission of discovery and allows us to celebrate Utah’s cultural diversity,” adds Laurie Hopkins, Discovery Gateway’s executive director.
The grand opening will kick off with a lion dance performed by Calvin Smith Elementary students, and several performances by artists from Utah’s Chinesecommunity will follow. The University of Utah’s Confucius Institute will provide hands-on activities for children and families including Chinese paper cutting, origami, and calligraphy.