Pace CI: The 5th Annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival with New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) & Award Ceremony for the 2nd NYCOS Student Essay Contest

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Pace University [Time]    2011-12-13 18:00:02 

As the grand opening of the 5th Annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival, the Award Ceremony for the NYCOS Student Essay Contest by the Confucius Institute at Pace University (Pace CI) and New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) was held on December 2 at 7:30-8:30pm at the Schimmel Center for the Arts in downtown Manhattan. New York City councilwoman, Ms. Margaret Chin attended and spoke at the event, acknowledging the extraordinary contribution Pace University and NYCOS have made on promoting Chinese Culture.

During the ceremony, the New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) presented the NYCOS excellent essay awards to Pace student winners. Dedicated to promote the Chinese culture through facilitating the development of the art of Chinese Opera, NYCOS generously set up the fund and inaugurated this award with the Pace CI last year, which has become an important part of the cultural festival. Created to spurn more in-depth research in Chinese culture and increase the interest and participation of Pace students in Chinese cultural studies, the yearly competition is open to all Pace students, undergraduate and graduate. After months of deliberation, a Review Committee constituting five experts in Chinese culture from Pace selected three winners: Claudia Chan, Kristina Hodelin, and Serene Su. The contest this year was highly competitive, with essays on topics including the Great Wall of China, Chinese cinema, economic and social development in China, America's transcontinental railroad and Chinese workers, and comparing Chinese and Western philosophy. Claudia Chan, from the Lubin School of Business came in first place for successfully examining the connections between Daoism and modern Western philosophical concepts. Kristina Hodelin, double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology at the Dyson College of Arts and Science, and Serene (Hang) Su, a student at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, tied for second place, for their respective essays: Social Change and Women in Chinese Cinema and The Grandeur of the Great Wall of China. Serene Su also received a special prize recognizing her special creativity in a new genre of writing. Dr. Herrmann, Dean of Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Weihua Niu, Director at the Pace CI introduced the winners and their sponsoring faculty while Mr. Chi K. Chu, President at NYCOS, presented the awards and plaques.

In addition, to commend the goodwill and good deeds of NYCOS in promoting cultural exchanges and the art of the nationally treasured Peking Opera, the Pace CI honored the renowned opera artists from China, invited by NYCOS, with “Chinese Culture Award”. Dean Herrmann and Dr. Niu presented the awards to artists Jianguo Zhang, Muwei Deng, Hongmei Gao, Wei He, and Yang Li. .

After the ceremony, NYCOS presented three exquisite operas namely Secret Passage, A Flirtatious Duet in the Countryside, and The General and Prime Minister, which were warmly received by the audience. Upon watching the show, many Pace professors were gushing about the spectacular beauty of the art form that is Peking Opera.

The Annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival lets the general public appreciate and experience the beauty of the Peking Opera and Chinese culture. Moreover, the collaboration between the Pace CI and NYCOS is a marriage between Chinese operatic art and institution of higher education. As Dr. Weihua Niu, Director at the Pace CI mentioned at the press conference for this festival on November 28, “The inclusion of the NYCOS Student Essay Contest into the Annual Winter Cultural Exchange Festival will better promote the Chinese culture in mainstream America, especially among college students and faculty.”

Dyson Dean Herrmann and Dr. Weihua Niu presenting awards to the artists

President Chi K. Chu (first from right) honoring Essay Award winner Claudia Chan

New York City councilwoman, Ms. Margaret Chin (third from right) attended the event

Amazing opera performance after award ceremony

Min Zhu & Weihua Niu