A Chinese Lunar New Year/Asian Arts Celebration, the first of its kind in Southampton, will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Levitas Center for the Arts on Pond Lane in Southampton Village. The celebration features live stage performances by Asian instrumentalists, singers and dancers, a “Taste of Asia” buffet reception and a family-friendly mix of open workshops for children.
“We at the SCC are delighted to be hosting this Lunar New Year celebration as part of our cultural outreach,” said Kirsten Lonnie, Executive Director of Southampton Cultural Center.
The Chinese Lunar New Year/Asian Arts Celebration will open with the Lion Dance at 3 p.m. performed by Long Island’s popular Ryu Shu Taiko Japanese Art Center. Ever the crowd pleaser, the Lion Dance is an exciting traditional Chinese dance performed on special occasions for good luck as the lion is considered to be an auspicious animal. The dance is performed in a lion costume, accompanied by the music of beating drums, clashing cymbals, and resounding gongs, and imitates a lion's movements or demonstrates martial arts agility, depending on the style.
Children’s Workshops will follow 3 to 5 p.m., taught by popular local visual artists including Hiroko Uraga Senese, who specializes in the traditional Japanese arts. The workshops include Japanese flower arrangement, India henna painting, Chinese paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy and brush painting. Workshops are free and open to all.
The stage performance, the highlight of the afternoon, takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Southampton Cultural Center's auditorium. The performance showcases accomplished artists who have performed in prestigious venues throughout the metro NY area and beyond. Their countries of origin include China, India, Japan and Okinawa.
The celebration will end with “A Taste of Asia” food reception where guests will sample delicious, authentic cuisine.
The Chinese Lunar New Year/Asian Arts Celebration is the brainchild of Suiv Lee, EdD, Columbia Teachers College, an adjunct professor of Mathematics at Adelphi University who is also a commercial real estate specialist with Douglas Elliman in Southampton. Dr. Lee chaired the first Multinational Cultural Festival of NY three years ago for the Asian-American Cultural Circle of Unity (AACCU), a nonprofit organization founded to promote cultural awareness and appreciation of the different ethnic groups in the Long Island area.
Lee enlisted the help of Karen Bomzer, AACCU co-founder and communication director who also works as a copywriter and publicist; Rich Kruse (the event emcee), a luxury, social media & business community specialist at Douglas Elliman; Luana McGunnigle, a former Jericho School District history teacher and Site & Architectural Review Board member; and Kirsten Lonnie, who is in charge of programming and development for the Southampton Cultural Center. All were delighted to volunteer their services to bring this event to the East End.
Admission to the stage performance is $20 for adults and free for children and students 21 years old and younger with student ID. The food reception is complimentary. Tickets can be purchased online at www.scc-arts.org or by sending a check to Southampton Cultural Center, PO Box 5008, Southampton, NY 11968.
The major sponsors of the Lunar New Year celebration are the Butterfly United Foundation, a group devoted to diminishing ignorance, hatred and violence through cultural exchange. The non-profit organization is headed by founder and president Yi Han, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Corp. and Race West, produce supplier, according to the Southampton Cultural Center.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for business owners and individuals at three levels for the Chinese Lunar New Year/Asian Arts Celebration. Please visit the Southampton Cultural Center Facebook page for sponsorship details or call 516-647-3359 or 516-301-8476.
BASIC FACTS: The Chinese Lunar New Year / Asian Arts Celebration takes place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 3 to 7 p.m. Admission is free for the Lion Dance and Family Workshops. Tickets to the performance is $20 or free for children and students 21 years old or younger with Student ID. The Southampton Cultural Center is located at Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, NY 11968. www.scc-arts.org.
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