By Whitney Hale, Hannah Simoff
The University of Kentucky's Office of China Initiatives and College of Fine Arts were recently awarded a Freeman Foundation grant, which will provide three faculty and 10 UK students with an opportunity to study the arts and culture of Inner Mongolia at Inner Mongolia University (IMU) during the fall semester of 2015.
Dean Michael Tick at UK College of Fine Arts said he is excited to help offer this opportunity to UK students and faculty. "As our world’s cultures are brought together even faster and more forcefully, a global experience has proved an indispensable part of a student’s full college experience. This is the motivation behind our global learning partnership with Inner Mongolia University. We are thrilled to have the support of the Freeman Foundation for our visit to the campus of IMU this fall, where our students and faculty will work collaboratively on a number of projects with IMU’s renowned faculty and highly trained student body."
IMU is one of only three colleges that specialize in preserving the arts of minorities in China.
According to Huajing Maske, executive director of UK's Office of China Initiatives and director of the Confucius Institute, Inner Mongolia is one of the 56 minority groups in China, which is why it is so important to sustain Inner Mongolia’s artistic expression.
Program directors will encourage students to gain appreciation and awareness of the ethnic group. Exact program dates have yet to be scheduled.
This program stems from the success of the “Living Landscapes” partnership among UK's Confucius Institute and College of Fine Arts and the Art College of IMU. The partnership began with a visit by a College of Fine Arts delegation to Inner Mongolia led by the Confucius Institute in 2012. "Living Landscapes" included 51 different fine art programs over a one week period in September 2013, which engaged thousands of participants from UK's campus and the community.
The Freeman Foundation helps make international connections in a world where China is playing an increasing economic and geopolitical role.