Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and Friends among Lunar New Year Festival Highlights at Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 5

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

Hop over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 82nd St. and 5th Ave in New York on February 5, where you can the celebrate the Year of the Rabbit during a day-long Lunar New Year Festival highlighting Chinese arts and culture, scheduled from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Presented by the Museum’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and its Education Department, the Lunar New Year festival begins with family programs, including a performance by Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and friends at 11 a.m. in the Carson Family Hall and storytime in the Nolen Library at 11:45 a.m. Afternoon programs begin with a dramatic lion dance procession up the Museum’s front steps and into the building at 12:15 p.m., followed by calligraphy and face painting workshops at 1 p.m.; a youth orchestra performing on traditional Chinese instruments at 1:30 p.m.; a Chinese tea ceremony at 2:15 p.m.; and fan and ribbon dances at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

The Lunar New Year Festival culminates with Peking Opera performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Chinese Theatre Works’ production of the Peking Opera Little Red Riding Hood features stage acrobatics, martial arts, music, dance, pantomime, face painting, and lavish costumes to create a breathtaking, cross-cultural journey. A one-hour children’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, performed in English to a pre-recorded score, will be presented at 3 p.m. (tickets: $15). A full-length production of the classic tale will be presented at 7 p.m. (tickets: $30). The evening performance, introduced by an informative talk, will be spoken in English and sung in Chinese, accompanied by live music. Both concerts are in the Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and tickets include free Museum admission on February 5. To order tickets for Peking Opera: Little Red Riding Hood, call 212-570-3949 or go to

Event Information
Lunar New Year Festival information will be available at the Information Desk inside the Museum’s main entrance on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, and in the Uris Center for Education, which is reached from the ground-floor entrance on Fifth Avenue at 81st Street. All Lunar New Year programs are free with Museum admission, with the exception of the Peking Opera Little Red Riding Hood. Recommended Museum admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for students. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.

Check out the schedule of Lunar New Year programs on the Museum’s website:
Museum information in Mandarin, including hours, admission, and directions, can be found online:

In addition, the Museum’s cafeteria will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a traditional Chinese menu including soy sauce chicken, pork buns, and napa cabbage with garlic and ginger.

Related Exhibition
Visitors are also invited to explore the special exhibition The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City, featuring 90 exquisite objects that once adorned an exclusive compound in the Forbidden City. The exhibition, on view February 1 – May 1, 2011, presents works of art that demonstrate the highest levels of artistic accomplishment in 18th-century China, including sumptuous murals, furniture, architectural elements, Buddhist icons, and decorative arts—almost all of which have never before been seen publicly. A lecture on The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Its Survival and Conservation will be presented by Henry Tzu Ng, Executive Vice President of the World Monuments Fund on Friday, February 4, at 6 p.m. In addition, on Saturday, February 5, at 11 a.m. there will be a public gallery talk for this exhibition.

The exhibition was organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in partnership with the Palace Museum and in cooperation with World Monuments Fund and has been made possible through generous support from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and American Express. Additional support was provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Freeman Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ECHO (Education through Cultural & Historical Organizations).

Education programs are made possible by The Freeman Foundation.

College Group at the Met Event
On Friday, February 4, at 8 p.m., the College Group at the Met will present Gilded Ink: Write like an Emperor, a reading of original prize-winning short stories by four college students. The event, hosted by David Rakoff (author of Half Empty and frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life), will feature stories on the theme of a “private paradise” in conjunction with the exhibition The Emperor’s Private Paradise. The event is co-sponsored with Selected Shorts.

About the Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with collections of more than two million works of art that span 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum, located at the edge of Central Park along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, received 5.24 million visitors last year and is New York City’s number-one tourist attraction.

The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative began more than ten years ago at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It reflects the Museum’s founding mission to educate and inspire by reaching out to all of its constituencies, including the many diverse communities of the New York Tristate area. Its objectives are to increase awareness of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections and programs, to diversify its visitorship and membership, and to increase participation in its programs.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at the corner of 82nd and Fifth Ave in New York.
Fridays and Saturdays
9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Sundays, Tuesdays-Thursdays
9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Met Holiday Mondays in the Main Building:
February 21, April 25, and May 30, 2011
9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
All other Mondays closed; Jan. 1, Thanksgiving, and Dec. 25 closed
Recommended Admission
(Includes Main building and The Cloisters Museum and Gardens on the Same Day)
Adults $20.00, seniors (65 and over) $15.00, students $10.00
Members and children under 12 accompanied by adult free
Express admission may be purchased in advance at

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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.


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