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Confucius Institute Opening Ceremony at Binghamton University

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Published on Nov 10, 2009

Binghamton University officially opened its latest global partnership initiative, the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, in an opening celebration held Nov. 6 in the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts. The festivities were followed by an opera performance by a troupe from China's prestigious National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA).

The Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, jointly formed by Binghamton University and NACTA and sponsored by the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing, China, is expected to further international education and cultural ties with China. "We are tremendously excited about the opening of the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University," said President Lois B. DeFleur. "We are looking forward to the intellectual discoveries, artistic performances and cultural bridges that will develop out of this relationship. The Confucius Institute is a noteworthy addition to the University and will enrich the academic and cultural life of both the University and the entire Greater Binghamton region." Joining a network of over 300 Confucius Institutes worldwide, the Binghamton University institute will promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture both on campus and in the community. "The opening of the Confucius Institute at Binghamton is a great opportunity for the University and our community," said Zu-yan Chen, who will serve as the University's Confucius Institute director. It is built upon a strong foundation of teaching in Chinese language and culture on our campus as well as a rapidly growing interest in Chinese language in local schools. China has become a major player in the world economy and there is a growing need for American students to be fully prepared to participate fully in this environment. The Confucius Institute will allow us to deepen those experiences by serving as a bridge between our cultures. Funded by a start-up grant and the assurance of ongoing financial support, and a large selection of books and audio-visual materials from the institute's headquarters, coupled with teaching resources from NACTA, the Confucius Institute will offer courses on the Binghamton campus as well as organize lectures, workshops and a range of cultural activities. As host to the only performance group in the United States to feature Beijing Opera artists, the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University is expected to play a major role in the promotion of Chinese Opera, performing arts and culture on college campuses and in communities nationwide. In fall 2010, NACTA is expected to send five faculty members to the Binghamton campus -- two language teachers, two Beijing Opera professors and a Chinese instrumental musician. They will join faculty in the Asian and Asian American Studies program, the Theatre Department and the Music Department in expanding course offerings and Chinese cultural activities. One of the language teachers is expected to assist with the development of a Chinese program at Broome Community College. Preparations concerning specific course offerings and other activities will begin in earnest during the spring 2010 semester.

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