Media only: Erick Hoffman 202-633-0447 or 202-412-3916; hoffmane@si.edu
Courtney Rothbard (Smithsonian American Art Museum) 202-633-8496, rothbardc@si.edu
Kelly Carnes (John F. Kennedy Center) 202-416-844, kmcarnes@kennedy-center.org
Media website: http://newsdesk.si.edu/

Jan. 23, 2017

The Chinese Year of the Rooster gets into full swing with musicians, dancers and a schedule of programs so full that it takes three Washington cultural organizations to present it: the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—in partnership with the Chinese Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. “Chinese New Year D.C.” will run Jan. 28 through Feb. 6.

The Chinese New Year starts on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th day of the first lunar month of the following year, approximately 23 days later. The first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. The celebration includes dedicating each year to one of 12 animals: dragon, horse, monkey, rat, boar, rabbit, dog, rooster, ox, tiger, snake and goat. This year, on the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on Jan. 28 and is the Year of the Rooster. The lengths and times of lunar New Year celebrations around the globe vary from country to country.


Saturday, Jan. 28
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Chinese New Year Festival
11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Eighth and F streets N.W.
Visitors can help “awaken the lion” and celebrate the 2017 Lunar New Year at Smithsonian American Art Museum. They can enjoy a variety of activities and demonstrations for all ages throughout the day, including traditional paper cutting, bristle dolls, dough sculpting, a display of painting the inside of snuff bottles by Beijing Folk Artists and calligraphy demonstrations with the Confucius Institute at George Washington University. Hands-on activities include mask coloring and New Year card making with the Confucius Institute at George Mason University, an art scavenger hunt, red paper lantern making, coloring sheets and rooster crafts.

Saturday, Feb. 4
Kennedy Center Family Day: Lunar New Year Celebration
10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free
Kennedy Center Roof Terrace Level
The entire family can enjoy fun-filled day of activities and entertainment for all ages. They can learn the arts of paper cutting, Beijing-style applique, calligraphy, sugar and bottle painting, “bristle dolls” and Chinese makeup as well as play dress up and snap pictures at the Chinese costume trunk. There will be performances by Beijing acrobats and Chinese musicians, a lion dance and much more.

Sunday, Feb. 5
Freer and Sackler Galleries Chinese New Year Celebration
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.—free
Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and S. Dillon Ripley Center
The Freer and Sackler galleries’ third annual Chinese New Year celebration features free attractions for all ages highlighting contemporary performers and artists from Beijing, including the Beijing Opera performed by students from the Beijing Opera Art’s College, Chinese acrobatic performances, calligraphy demonstrations, paper cutting, sugar painting and dough figurines, Chinese New Year card crafts, Year of the Rooster mask making and photo-booth fun. Chinese food is available for purchase.

Monday, Feb. 6
Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center: Beijing Symphony Orchestra/Muhai Tang, Conductor
8 p.m.; tickets start at $15
Kennedy Center Concert Hall
The Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration for 2017, ringing in the Year of the Rooster, culminates with one of China’s most internationally acclaimed orchestras. This program features Chinese orchestral works plus a special orchestration of Mahler’s Song of the Earth to include traditional Chinese instruments.

Tickets and information for the Beijing Symphony Orchestra performance are available at 202-467-4600, 800-444-1324 or http://www.kennedy-center.org.


Friday, Feb. 3; 6 p.m.
Beijing Orchestra

Millennium Stage

Saturday, Feb. 4; 6 p.m.
Beijing Acrobats

Millennium Stage

Monday, Feb. 6; 6 p.m.
AnDa Union

Millennium Stage

All programs are presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center is presented by the office of International Programming with the support of the Embassy of China.


The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than four centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Follow the museum on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, iTunes U and ArtBabble. Museum program information (recorded): (202) 633-8490. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. http://americanart.si.edu/pr/


The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., together comprise the nation’s museum of Asian art. It contains one of the most important collections of Asian art in the world, featuring more than 40,000 objects ranging in time from the Neolithic to the present day, with especially fine groupings of Islamic art, Chinese jades, bronzes and paintings and the art of the ancient Near East. The galleries also contain important masterworks from Japan, ancient Egypt, South and Southeast Asia and Korea, as well as the Freer’s noted collection of works by American artist James McNeill Whistler. The Freer, which will be closed during the exhibition, is scheduled to reopen in late 2017. https://asia-archive.si.edu/press


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the leadership of Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract audiences and visitors totaling 3 million people annually; Center-related touring productions, television and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more.

Opening its doors Sept. 8, 1971, the Center presents the greatest performances of music, dance and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas and musical works.

As part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone outreach program, the Center stages more than 400 free performances of music, dance and theater by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every evening at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. The Rubenstein Arts Access Program expands the Center’s efforts to make the arts accessible to children, young adults and to people who have little or limited ability to attend and enjoy the performing arts, enabling audiences to engage in more ways, at more times and in more places than ever before. http://cms.kennedy-center.org/public-relations