USF Confucius Institute Enhances K-12 Art Classes with New Partnership
August 1, 2013

Dr. David Sammons, Dean of the University of Florida’s International Center (UFIC) and Kun Shi, Director of USF’s Confucius Institute are working closely to establish a relationship with the UF Harn Museum of Art to enhance K-12 students’ knowledge of Chinese culture. This partnership provides professional development workshops to incorporate Chinese and Asian art to the curriculum and to establish an annual museum night to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Within the last year, steps were taken to integrate Chinese and Asian culture into the Alachua County Public Schools’ art program. Art teachers attended a summer institute where they learned how to integrate Chinese and Asian art into their lesson plans and in the coming school year, the curriculum developed will be piloted in the Alachua County Public Schools. Many resources are needed for the program and the USF Confucius Institute has given a “Chinese Culture Box” to the Harn Museum. The culture box included Peking opera masks, Chinese Proficiency test guides, a silk fan, water ink writing paper and Chinese writing/ painting brushes.

The Harn Museum hosted the first Museum Night on January 10, 2013 where over 600 people attended to see Chinese musical performances and dances, participate in scavenger hunts and learn more about calligraphy and how to create stamps and poetry. The universities plan to make Museum Night an annual affair to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Going forward, the University of Florida’s International Center and University of South Florida’s Confucius Institute hope to be able to implement their goals to more public schools.