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1. Patrick Henry High School, Minneapolis
Awarded a grant from the Choi-Chiu and King-Wo Lam Family Fund for students from its Chinese class to attend the Beijing Opera and Kun Qu Opera performances by members of the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts from China at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on November 18. Some of the students were able to join the performers on stage during one of the demonstration workshops.

Browse photos taken by Donna Kelly

2. Minhua Chorus, St. Paul
Awarded a grant for its annual concert, Rainbow Across Pacific. It is a joint concert by Minhua Chorus and the Minnesota Center Chorale. This purpose of this concert is to mingle Chinese vocal arts with American vocal arts. The concert also will feature some of the top Chinese singers from Minnesota and China. The main objective of this project is to help the Chinese community to appreciate American music and culture, on the other hand also help American people to appreciate Chinese music and culture.

3. Minnesota Center Chorale, St. Cloud
Awarded a grant for the presentation of its May 2009 concert, Returning Home. The concert will include a collaboration with Gao Hong (Chinese pipa and composer) and the Twin Cities' Minhua Chorus with conductor Li Lei. The Minhua Chorus and a pipa player will join Chorale in a performance of Gao Hong's work, Coming of Spring for chorus and pipa. The work will be sung in Chinese.

The Chorale wishes to respond to the increase in cultural diversity in Central Minnesota, and the opportunity and challenge to build bridges and increase understanding among cultures. Director J. Michele Edwards and the Chorale Board plans to focus their concert season on the meaning of home to the many cultures, including Chinese, that have settled in Minnesota. The focus will include musical collaborations with groups such as Minhua Chorus; targeted publicity to diverse cultural groups, contact with nonprofit organizations working with families and children, and area schools. There will be educational program notes at the concert, and a reception afterwards that will feature area organizations working on housing and cultural issues.

4. Arts Midwest
Awarded a grant for its World Fest Program, presenting Beauty & Melody in a residency in Alexandria, MN. Beauty & Melody consists of group of fifteen talented young women from the Sichuan Province of China. They are all graduates of conservatories and are professional musical instrument players as well as singers and dancers. The ensemble has concentrated on studying the thousand-year Chinese musical culture, adapting and composing classical music, and exploring the modernization and globalization of China's folk music. The group innovatively adds China's classical and folk dance in the playing of traditional musical instruments. Such combination of music and dance will unfold a new dimension of China's rich cultural contents to the audience.

The purpose of the Arts Midwest World Fest is to provide inspiring arts experiences while instilling appreciation for diversity and acceptance of others and their cultures. The residency of Beauty & Melody in Alexandria will include low-cost public concerts; free school concerts; workshops with elementary-, middle-, and high-school students; and community outreach activities such as family workshops in public libraries, master classes with local musicians, and community-hosted dinners with the ensembles. The program is also supported by online education materials specific to the Chinese culture.

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