Minister Cai Wu of the Ministry of Culture held talks with John Kress, Deputy Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on June 28, in Washington, D.C. [Photo/culturalink.gov.cn]
Minister Cai Wu of the Ministry of Culture held talks with John Kress, Deputy Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution during his visit in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 2014.
Minister Cai spoke highly of the great importance the Smithsonian Institution has attached to its cooperation with China and appreciated that the Smithsonian Folklife Festival helped hold the Chinese Theme Activity named "China: Tradition and the Art of Living." Minister Cai pointed out the Chinese Theme Activity provides a platform for Americans to discover more about Chinese folk culture. The two sides exchanged ideas on how to promote exchange between museums and cultural research institutions with the two countries.
Dr. Kress welcomed Minister Cai and his contingent, expressing his appreciation for the participation of the Ministry of Culture in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. He said, "the Chinese Theme Activity will spur the interests of Americans on Chinese culture and promote mutual understanding and friendship between people in the two nations."
After the meeting, Minister Cai inspected the Chinese Theme Activity. He walked through the exhibitions of Chinese folk artists and representative heirs of intangible cultural heritage, talked with visitors, enjoyed a spectacular performance by Chinese artists with up to 500 American audiences, and encouraged artists to showcase the charm of Chinese folk culture to Americans through their exquisite skills.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex, with nineteen museums and nine research centers across the globe. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, with a history spanning 48 years, is underway at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Over 25,000 musicians, artists, performers, craftsmen and women, chefs and storytellers from more than 90 countries have taken part in past festivals.
The Chinese Theme Activity is a two-week event. 120 Chinese folk artists, representative heirs of intangible cultural heritage and experts of folk culture preservation participate. These people introduce Chinese folk culture to Americans through stage performances, live shows and lectures. Estimated audiences normally reach 1,000,000 for the entire event.