The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Folk Arts in the Parks Program invites the public to attend its second series of afternoon Asian cultural performances at Peace Arch State Park in Blaine in August.
The free outdoor concerts begin at 2 p.m. Sundays in August and celebrate Asian cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
The concerts feature dance and music performers from Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Chinese cultures.
The artists’ fees for these events are paid for by an Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act “economic stimulus” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to Northwest Heritage Resources, of Mountlake Terrace.
Morning Star Korean Cultural Center: This music and dance ensemble from Lynnwood draws from performers of Korean heritage around the Puget Sound region.
Morning Star was founded in 1985 by Jiveon Cheh to teach Korean dance, music and culture to children of Korean descent.
Fujima Dance Ensemble and Miyagi Kai: The Fujima Dance Ensemble is led by Tazue K. Sasaki, of Seattle. Her professional title, Fujima Fujimine, was given to her by her teacher, the late Fujima Fujiko, who was named one of Japan’s official cultural “Living National Treasures.”
The ensemble performs in the classical Japanese style known as Nihon Buy. Fujima’s dance will be accompanied by the koto music of Miyagi Kai, a Seattle-based ensemble led by Kuniko Takamura.
Filipiniana Arts and Culture: Led by Roger Del Rosario, this Seattle-area troupe performs music and dance of the Philippines.
Filipiniana’s repertoire reflects the many cultures of that island nation, including mountain tribes of the inland north, Spanish-influenced cultures of the coastal cities and Muslim cultures of the southern islands.
Dragon Art Studio: This internationally acclaimed puppet theater, based in Portland, is the only professional Beijing rod puppet theater in North America.
Puppeteers Yuqin Wang and Zhengli Xu were trained in China at the Beijing Puppet Theater and the Beijing Opera School and came to the United States in 1996.
That summer they performed at the Atlanta Olympics. In 2004, they were honored as “National Heritage Fellows” by the National Endowment for the Arts. Their daughter Brenda Xu is the third member of the troupe.
This concert series is part of the fifth season of a broader series of events celebrating Washington's diverse cultures.
The Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program is a partnership between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Arts Commission and Northwest Heritage Resources.
Funding support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, through both a program grant and the above-mentioned Arts and the Washington State Arts Commission and the Washington State Parks Foundation. For a full schedule of Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program events, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission thanks the public for supporting state parks. Donations made to state parks through the vehicle license tab renewal program starting with September 2009 renewals will keep state parks open in the 2009-2011 budget cycle, provided adequate revenues are collected.
The commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
The 96-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.