In the course of the weekend of February 9th and February 10th, we attended two Chinese New Year Celebrations both of which were either sponsored or supported by Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. In the case of both celebrations, the performances were introduced in both Chinese and English, which heightened their accessibility.
The first celebration took place in the MC Auditorium at CSU on Saturday afternoon and was organized by the Confucius Institute. Quite a few of our friends were present including Mr. Ali Soltanshahi, Director of the Center for International Services and Programs at CSU, Mr. Ken Kovach of ICC-WIN, and Ms. Lori Ashyk of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation.
The emcees were our friend Mr. Alex Lackey from the Mayor’s Office at Cleveland City Hall; Dr. Lu Geng, Visiting Professor from China at the Confucius Institute; Professor Bin Su of the Chemistry Dept. at CSU; and Ms. Yan Wang, a member of the Board of Directors at the Westlake Chinese Cultural Association.
All told there were 20 performances consisting of songs, martial arts, and colorful dances. Among the participants were talents from the Nritya Gitanjali School of Dance and Music, the Great Wall Enrichment Center, the Westlake Chinese Cultural Association, Ohio Wushu Academy, and the Westlake Reserve Academy.
What were really liked is that people who were not native speakers were given the opportunity to showcase remarkable grasp of the Chinese Language in spoken word entertainments. Along these lines, Mr. Vivian Kellicker did a rapid-fire dialogue solo appropriately titled “Tongue Twister” while Mr. Ben Lyons and Mr. Alex Meyer engaged in a duet titled “Cross Talk”.
Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC was a Bronze Sponsor for the event, Cleveland Mayor Frank J. Jackson issued statement of welcome and commendation, and U.S. Congressperson Marcia L. Fudge sent a “Congressional Recognition” which in part read: “I commend the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University for their tireless efforts in providing cultural richness through art, language and community engagement to the Greater Cleveland community. The continued growth and celebration of Northeast Ohio’s Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and celebration of heritage is paramount to community growth and participation.”
On Sunday afternoon we drove out to Solon High School to enjoy the celebration put on by Cleveland Contemporary Chinese Culture Association (CCCA) and the Cleveland Contemporary Chinese School (CCCS) and were warmly welcomed by our friends Mr. Liming Wang, Dr. Nianfa Tang, and Mr. Bo Li who work very hard to ensure the success of these organizations.
Our co-workers, Mr. Jury and Ms. Lani Pychowycz were sitting close by watching as their daughter, Morgan, take part in several of the dance numbers. This time over 30 cultural dances and songs were performed by students from the CCCS as well as other contributing individuals or groups. We really appreciated the music of Ms. Sheng Jie, a young performer who writes her own songs and found the dances/exercises performed by young children, like a boot camp romp, to be delightful.
Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC was a strong supporter of the event and Solon Mayor Ed Krause was on hand to present a proclamation which in part read: “the Chinese New Year celebration as become an important part of the community and the Cleveland Contemporary Chinese Culture Association should be commended for their dedication in bringing this important cultural festivity to life for another year…”