Next week, the University of Kentucky will officially open its Global Model Confucius Institute. The dedication ceremony will take place 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center ground floor. UK leaders and presidents of Shanghai University, Jilin University and Beijing Language and Culture University will be present to officially dedicate the newly renovated space, which has been designed to be a welcoming and functional base for UK's Confucius Institute.
There are fewer than 10 Global Model Confucius Institutes among the 514 Confucius Institutes in 134 countries today. The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) is the youngest institute awarded this prestigious title after being in operation for just five years. This is not only a great honor, but most importantly it is a recognition of what the UK Confucius Institute has achieved and how the institute’s programming and work can be inspirational and exemplary for other Confucius Institutes in the world.
“For the UK Confucius Institute, the Global Model CI status not only brought the UK institute funding to renovate a brand new space for the CI, but it also will bring more funding in the future to do bigger projects and programs that make a higher impact on campus and in the Commonwealth,” said Huajing Maske, director of the Confucius Institute and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives.
Following UK’s Global Confucius Institute ribbon cutting, a celebratory performance of Inner Mongolian Dances and Music will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
During the same week, the UK Confucius Institute will also inaugurate the Shanghai University Education Week at UK where university presidents and deans from multiple Chinese higher education institutions will participate in a forum discussing “Opportunities and Challenges of Higher Education in the 21st Century” and Shanghai University faculty and deans will engage in discussions on research collaborations in their various colleges and departments.
In addition, artisans of the Miao ethnicity will conduct masterclasses for UK College of Fine Arts students and present an art exhibition featuring Miao embroidery and bamboo sculpture, which has been UNESCO-designated Intangible Culture Heritage. The exhibition will be on display in the new Confucius Institute space and in the UK School of Art and Visual Studies Bolivar Art Gallery located at 236 Bolivar St. The free public exhibition will run Sept. 25-27.
On Sept. 26, there will be an open house at the new Confucius Institute space in the Little Fine Arts Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday for UK students, faculty and staff. The esteemed UK Confucius Institute was awarded $1.7 million by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) for the university to renovate the ground floor space in the Little Fine Arts Library. Formerly unremarkable rooms and storage areas have been transformed into striking, modern and functional spaces for UK's Model Confucius Institute.
Associate Provost for Internationalization Sue Roberts said, "The beautiful new home for the Confucius Institute is centrally-located and very visible, so it can easily be a wonderful gathering place for students, faculty and staff to learn more about China and Chinese language and culture. It will also be an efficient base for the Confucius Institute Director Huajing Maske and her staff, where they can further develop their many positive engagements with the university and the community."
Since it was founded in 2010, the UK Confucius Institute has served as a conduit for UK’s China initiatives. It provides leadership and support for Chinese language and culture programs in Kentucky’s K-12 classrooms, and it functions as a hub for Chinese culture by providing authentic Chinese cultural programs that educate and enhance understanding of China for audiences all across the Commonwealth. To keep up with the UK Confucius Institute and for news of future events, join the institute's listserv and follow UKCI on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat (@UKConfucius).