University Receives Grant to Bring Taiwanese Culture to NEPA

09/09/2014

Spotlight Taiwan, a project initiated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture that brings examples of Taiwanese culture to select college campuses and their local communities throughout the world, has awarded a competitive grant to The University of Scranton to bring this $100,000 project to northeastern Pennsylvania. The University is among just 15 organizations in the world chosen to participate in this program for the 2014-15 academic year. This is the second year that the University was awarded a grant to participate in this initiative.

In August, University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. and Paul Wen-Liang Chang, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, signed the Memorandum of Understanding to launch the 12-month collaboration between the University and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) that will bring unique film screenings, lectures, seminars, an international conference on Asian Studies, and workshops and performances to the Scranton area. A three-part film festival featuring the famed academy award director Ang Lee’s three decades of pioneering work are scheduled for October and November, 2014, and March 2015.  The internationally acclaimed Taipei Folk Dance Theatr will be invited to perform and to conduct a master class and a workshop in Scranton in March 2015, concurrent with the international conference. All events are open to the public.

“On behalf of The University of Scranton, we are grateful to be once again among the select institutions in the world honored to be part of Spotlight Taiwan Project and for the opportunity this initiative provides to the greater Scranton community and especially to our students,” said Father Quinn. “The University is committed to providing its students an education that is engaged, integrated and global – one that integrates academic inquiry, creative imagination, and reflection on experience that inspires fashioning a more just and humane society.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to enhance collaborations for faculty and students in East Asian studies, art, music, dance and theater, through real world encounter with speakers, scholars, and Taiwanese artists and performers. It enables us to provide local communities and K-12 students and teachers an important window for their exploration of world cultures,” said Ann A. Pang-White, director of Asian Studies Program at The University of Scranton.

Through the Spotlight Taiwan project grant awarded to the University for the 2013-14 academic year, the University organized a series of multi-platform cultural events under the theme “Traditions in Transition.” The programs included performances of “A Sea of Puppets” by Taiyuan Puppet Theater Company and the “Eastern Legends” concert by Chai Found Music Workshop, as well as exhibits, workshops, lectures and seminars.

In May 2014, the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated a replica of the renowned Kinman Peace Bell to the University, which further cemented mutual friendship and future initiatives.

In addition to The University of Scranton the institutions that are participating in Spotlight Taiwan Project are, in the United States: the Five Colleges, Inc., the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley, George Washington University, the University of Texas at Austin; in the United Kingdom: the University of London, the University of Edinburgh, Birkbeck University of London and the University of Surrey; in Germany: Heidelberg University, the University of Tübingen; in Japan: Tokyo University of the Arts and Japan Yomiuri NTV Culture Center; and in Singapore: Nanyang Technological University. Additional institutions are expected to participate in the four-year program.

The Spotlight Taiwan project, with Taiwanese contemporary art as its subject, is an effort to share Taiwanese perspectives of history, philosophy, mass culture, art, literature, and film through such forms as lectures, artist talks, seminars, workshops, performances, exhibitions, Taiwanese film festivals, and art festivals. “This is an opportunity for Taiwan to connect with the world through our culture,” said Lung Ying-tai, Taiwan’s minister of culture.

Spotlight Taiwan events in Northeastern Pennsylvania are funded in part by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China and special patron Dr. Samuel Yin, with support from The University of Scranton and a Scranton-Marywood Collaborative Grant.

Information about Spotlight Taiwan events can be found at: http://www.scranton.edu/academics/cas/asian-studies/.

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