On Friday, July 7th, the 1882 Foundation and friends gathered at the Kennedy Center REACH campus for our second activation as a member of the Culture Caucus. Families of all ages joined us for Chinese crafts and activities, including a wishing wall, Chinese noisemakers, paper dragons, and origami. Banners and music helped recreate the ambiance of a Lunar New Year celebration in the Skylight Pavilion in the middle of summer.
The lion dance performance featured Wong Kung Fu Association dancers, performing a set with two dragons who interacted with the crowd and each other. DC’s own Chinese American Bauss T, also known as Tom Fong, performed several songs exploring being Chinese in America. Accompanied by the lion dancers and a big head Buddha, the set interrogated the tenuous relationship between tradition and transformation. The intergenerational dialogue and mixed mediums explored how traditional practices and contemporary forms of artistry might work in sync and forge a new future for Chinese American celebrations that is both rooted in tradition and explores new horizons.
The activation is the second of four to be hosted between the 1882 Foundation and Social Impact at the Kennedy Center over two years. Read about our first activation, on the topic of the threatened historic Summit Tunnel here. Our next activation for the 2023-24 season will take place later this year. Special thanks to the Wong Kung Fu Association and Bauss T for their performances, Tres McMichaels and Malka Lasky at Social Impact, 1882 Foundation staff, and Kennedy Center site staff for their support.