First USF Confucius Institute Chinese Culture Week Completed with Great Success
September 22, 2016

In addition to its strong support for the Chinese language programs at USF and local K-12 schools, the USF Confucius Institute has enhanced programs that promote cross-cultural understanding and US-China relations in the Tampa Bay region. The best example of this effort is the Chinese Culture Week with multiple opportunities for cultural exploration: a photo exhibition, a CI lecture, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and a concert with Chinese and Western music. Together, the events reached more than 1,500 USF students and faculty/staff, as well as community members, and received positive feedback from participants.

The photo exhibition, titled “People and Places of China,” is by Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, President of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). It is a selection of impressive photos of the diverse peoples and landscapes in China from Dr. McPhee during his travels throughout China. The exhibition is made possible thanks to Dr. McPhee and Dr. Guanping Zheng, CI Director of MTSU, as well as space provided by the USF Centre Gallery supported by the USF Center for Student Involvement. The exhibit ran for two weeks from September 12 to 23.

On September 15, the annual Mid-Autumn Festival offered free performances and moon cakes to more than 800 participants from USF and the Tampa Bay community. Dr. Roger Brindley (USF System Vice President, USF World) and Kun Shi (USF CI Director) welcomed everyone at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom. The performances included singing and dancing, music, acrobat, and Taiji sword/fan performance. The event connected hundreds of Chinese students with American students, and was co-sponsored by USF organizations and Chinese American communities. For a complete list of the co-sponsors and event program, click here

Dr. McPhee attended the opening of the photo exhibition and delivered a lecture with dozens of photographs from over a hundred places he visited in China in more than a decade. The lecture was proceeded with a reception with live music. USF President Judy Genshaft delivered welcome remarks in honor of Dr. McPhee. Some of the images for the exhibition and lecture are based on Dr. McPhee’s 2012 book, China Through the Eyes of an American University President.

Finally, the “East Meets West” concert was held on September 16 at the USF Music Concert Hall to more than 400 people,  including members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USF . With Haiqiong Deng as the leading music artist and educator, the concert featured both traditional Chinese masterpieces and a world premiere of the Double Concerto for Tuba, Zheng, and Percussion Orchestra composed by the Guggenheim Award receiver Dr. Chihchun Chi-sun Lee. Other artists include Robert McCormick (conductor), Jingyi Zhan (pipa), Jay Hunsberger (tuba), Nan Liu (Chinese painting), Megasari Honggokusuma (piano) and the McCormick Percussion Group. For details of the program and co-sponsors, click here.

Countless people at the Chinese Culture Week events expressed appreciation for the wonderful experience of sharing cultural performances and moon cakes. After hearing Dr. McPhee’s lecture, several students said they were deeply impressed by the images of the people and places in China and would plan to visit or study there. Additionally, a family from St. Petersburg came with their daughter enrolled in a middle school Chinese program. They are so grateful to the USF CI for the opportunity and want to help their daughter to study in China and contribute to US-China relations.

The USF Confucius Institute appreciates the support from USF and Qingdao University, as well as all co-sponsors to make the Chinese Culture Week a huge success.

Haiqiong with the McCormick Percussion Group

Haiqiong playing guqin and Nan Liu painting

President Genshaft reading Dr. McPhee’s book with Marc Powers and Margaret Miller

Dr. Sidney McPhee visits Dr. Judy Genshaft

CI staff with President Genshaft and Dr. Brindley

Jasmine Flowers by Sunshine Dance Group of Tampa

Acrobat by Lily Li

Taiji Fan Dance by Mt. Song Martial Arts Academy

Pipa and Guzheng by CI assistants Yang Yu and Huiruo Chen

Dr. Sidney McPhee and CI lecture audience

For more photos of the 2016 Chinese Culture Week, visit the USF World Facebook page.