Illustrating its mission to provide global arts for its global communities, Flushing Town Hall is celebrating the Year of the Rat with art, performance, music, and puppetry in the heart of Flushing. The Lunar New Year—which marks the start of a new lunar cycle—begins on January 25, and Flushing Town Hall will host weeks of activities in celebration, providing audiences of all ages with multiple opportunities to experience and revel in the festivities.
Highlights include two amazing performances: on January 26, the Zhou Family Band will play traditional wind and percussion music which have accompanied birth and death celebrations of the people of Central-Eastern China for more than 600 years.
Coming from Lingbi, Anhui Province, part of the Central Plains area which formed the cradle of Chinese civilization, the Zhou family have been musicians for seven generations, and are bearers of a tradition that represents the finest of Chinese folk music—Bolin Laba, a national intangible cultural heritage of China as declared by the Chinese government. The event is co-presented with the World Music Institute.
And, on February 21, Latin Grammy-winning violinist Sita Chay of New York and provocative percussionist Jihye Kim of London will take the stage in SaaWee’s New Ritual. The performance will embrace the wounds of current society and heal through ritualistic performance, incorporating Korean shaman rhythm, Korean mask dance movements, and contemporary languages created through violin.
Among the other offerings is “A Good Beginning, Here,” a cross-cultural exhibition—opening on January 17—that illuminates eight diaspora artists who trace their roots back in China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Lunar New Year Tradition: Puppet Making & Dragon Walk, led by Puppetry in Practice (PiP) artist and acclaimed author/ illustrator Angelo DeCesare, on January 18; and, Tiger & Magpie: Good Luck Painting from Korea, led by contemporary Minhwa artist Stephanie Lee, on February 9.
A returning season highlight is the incredibly popular Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar, with two sessions on February 1 to accommodate the crowds. For centuries, people in China have celebrated the Lunar New Year in temple fairs—and the two events (at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM) will feature live performances, hands-on activities, and food in celebration. Additionally, a dragon parade (which starts at Flushing Library) will proceed down Main Street at 10:00 AM to launch the first event. This event is supported by WAC Lighting and Glow Community Center.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot—located a short distance from the 7 train—at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available. More information is available at www.flushingtownhall.org.
In 2020, Flushing Town Hall will continue to open its doors to teenagers for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.
Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.