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Chinese New Year Message from CI President James B. Heimowitz

Chinese New Year Message from CI President James B. Heimowitz

Dear Friends of China Institute,

All of us at China Institute (CI) look forward, in optimism and anticipation, to the Year of the Ox and everything that it promises to bring! I want to thank each of you for your ongoing support of the Institute and our mission to educate, inform and delight the people we touch!

2020 simultaneously walloped CI with Covid-19, and with anger directed at China — but China Institute is standing up strong to these dual realities with a re-kindled sense of urgency about our mission. As I think about all we’ve been through this year, I think about how resilience, since our founding in 1926, is a hallmark of the Institute. Regrettably, mistrust and misinformation today still jeopardize the world’s most consequential relationship — and this is why China Institute matters, now more than ever.

At CI, we believe insight into China through its culture, art, history, business and language, builds long-lasting bridges of understanding and I wanted to share with you some of what’s happening at CI:

The School of Chinese Studies responded swiftly and developed a model to sustain high-quality virtual learning. Online learning appeared to be a temporary solution nine months ago; it is now an established component of the School with record adult enrollment for the summer and fall.

The School continues helping the K-12 school system by providing online professional development for Chinese language teachers, and bilingual outreach workshops on Chinese history, art and culture, free for public schools.

CI has produced more than 75 online Public Programs in Chinese art and culture, food, music, design, architecture and business reaching an audience of 5,000 live attendees — plus a major Executive Summit spanning three days that addressed seminal issues vexing the U.S. China business landscape with influential decision makers in business and government.

New programs like Pieces of China, A Taste of China, and The Forbidden City at 600 saw record live signups, and thousands more on YouTube broadcasts afterwards. And, garnering a worldwide audience, the China Beauty Charity Fund created the China Fashion Gala – One World in Beauty, a dazzling digital event benefitting China Institute, followed by an inspirational, international Fashion Competition at CI.

The China Institute Gallery reopens in Spring 2022 with the exhibit Treasures for Buddha: The Legendary Offerings from Nanjing Dabao’en Temple which will be shown for the first time in the U.S.

In collaboration with the Department of Education, school children have gone on virtual Gallery tours – introducing Third Graders to the wonders of Chinese art digitally!

Thanks to a forward-looking capital campaign, CI continues to build for the future with a facility to truly befit the Institute.

Our second floor has been fully renovated and now boasts a magnificent multi-purpose auditorium; more classrooms to meet the needs of our growing school; dedicated space for the Discover China Through Art program…And, the New East China Normal University (ECNU) Center at CI, which will be the only stand-alone center of its kind of a Chinese University in the U.S.

In 2021, we will continue to expand our footprint on the ground floor. This space will feature a culinary center that has already received more than a $1 million in funding.

I am also heartened by the meaningful and substantial support from our local community and from the City including new and ongoing grants from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Borough of Manhattan, District 1 and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

CI also welcomes five new corporate and individual Trustees to the Board: Pin Ni (Wanxiang America Corporation); Kai-yan Lee (Vanke US); Julie Monaco (Citi); and individuals Coco Han and Ruth Jin.

As we gear up for an exciting year, I hope you will find time to join me for two special Lunar New Year events: The 2021 Blue Cloud Gala on February 17 and our annual Chinese New Year Family Festival this Saturday!

From all of us at CI, I wish you a very healthy, happy, and prosperous Year of the Ox!

James B. Heimowitz


China Institute