SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6, 2015—Bay Area residents and visitors of all ages are invited to welcome the Year of the Ram at the Asian Art Museum’s annual Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, Feb. 8. Festivities include traditional and modern music performances, as well as dances presented by students from the Chinese American International School, and China Dance School and Theatre. Students will also perform a playful version of the lion dance, which is believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a bright beginning to the year. In the afternoon students from West Portal Elementary School’s Chinese Performing Arts Program will teach visitors how to walk on stilts, dance with ribbons and do martial arts. To round out the day’s activities, children’s book author Oliver Chin will read stories about Chinese zodiac animals and their characteristics. The Asian Art Museum will also host festivities at Westfield San Francisco Centre, where the celebration continues.
Lunar New Year is the most celebrated holiday of the year in many parts of Asia. The exact date of the Lunar New Year changes each year according to the lunar and solar calendar, ensuring that it can remain in January or February. In 2015, Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) takes place on Thursday, Feb. 19.
A complete schedule of activities is listed below. Programs are subject to change. For updates, please visit www.asianart.org or call 415.581.3500. More information about Lunar New Year traditions is available on the museum’s website.
Sunday, Feb. 8, 10:30 AM–4 PM
Museum-wide, free with museum admission
10:30–11 AM, meet at the information desk
Promoting visual and verbal literacy for families with kids ages 3–6, the stART tour uses stories infused with playful actions to access the museum collection and introduce Lunar New Year and Asian cultures to early learners.
11 AM–3 PM, North Court
Through hands-on activities and interpretive materials, learn about Lunar New Year and art in the museum’s collection.
Chinese American International School Performance
Noon–12:45 PM, Samsung Hall
Enjoy a traditional Chinese musical concert while joining a playful student-arranged version of the lion dance, which is believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a bright beginning to the year.
China Dance School and Theatre Performance
1–1:45 PM, Samsung Hall
Students from San Francisco’s China Dance School and Theatre perform a variety of dances, from the Mongolian chopsticks dance to the Han umbrella dance and traditional Tajik dance, in traditional and contemporary styles.
Lunar New Year Stories
2–2:45 PM, meet at the information desk
Hear storytellers share tales about Lunar New Year.
West Portal Elementary School Interactive Demonstration
2:30–3:30 PM, North Court
Learn to walk on stilts, dance with ribbons and practice kung fu in these fun interactive demonstrations conducted by students from West Portal Elementary School’s Chinese Performing Arts Program.
Animals of Chinese Zodiac with Oliver Chin
3–3:45 PM, Resource Center
Enjoy charming stories about animals of the Chinese zodiac with readings by author Oliver Chin. Each story highlights the symbolic spirit of the zodiac animal featured, including the ram.
Lunar New Year Animal Hunt Gallery Guide
10–5 PM, pick one up at the information desk
Learn about Lunar New Year and search the museum for zodiac animals. Pick up the gallery guide in South Court and begin the adventure on the third floor. Designed for kids ages 6 and older.
10–5 PM, pick one up at the information desk
Learn more about elements of art while searching the Asian Art Museum collection with an Elements of Art Explorer Pack. Designed for kids ages 5 and older, the packs use props and playthings to introduce line, shape, color and texture to young visitors.
Lunar New Year Display at Westfield San Francisco Centre
Monday, Jan. 26–Sunday, March 8
865 Market St., Level 2, near Bloomingdale’s, free
Determine your zodiac sign and learn each sign’s characteristics using a colorful and informative display about animals of the Chinese zodiac, presented by the Asian Art Museum.
Family Fun Day at the Asian Art Museum
First and third Sundays, Feb. 1 and 15
10:30 AM–2:30 PM (10:30–11 AM stART Tour for kids ages 3–6; 11 AM–2 PM art making and self-guided activities)
North Court, 200 Larkin St., free with museum admission
Explore art and ideas through immersive storytelling, fun gallery activities, creative art making and more during the museum’s Family Fun Day. Discover and play as a family!
Themes and projects change regularly. In February, learn about Lunar New Year symbols for hope and prosperity with sustainable art projects inspired by flowers and plants.
“Under the Dome” at Westfield San Francisco Centre
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2–5 PM
865 Market St., Level 4, under the dome, free
Rejoice in the Year of the Ram with family activities at Westfield San Francisco Centre. Join Martin Yan and Tony Wu of M.Y. China restaurant in a noodle-pulling demonstration. Then stop by the Asian Art Museum’s booth and make a button of the zodiac ram.
Take home a part of the Lunar New Year celebration. The museum store will feature Lunar New Year–themed merchandise, including red envelopes, books about the Chinese zodiac for kids, and gift items from China and Japan.
Support for the Asian Art Museum’s Public Programs is provided by The Charles D. and Frances K. Field Fund, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, The Sato Foundation, The Joseph & Mercedes McMicking Foundation, Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation, Dodge & Cox, and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation.
The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.
Information: 415.581.3500 or www.asianart.org
Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM, with extended spring and summer evening hours on Thursdays until 9 PM. Closed Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
General Admission: FREE for museum members, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youths (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. General admission on Thursdays after 5 PM is $5 for all visitors (except those under 12, SFUSD students, and museum members, who are always admitted FREE). General admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month). A surcharge may apply for admission to special exhibitions.
Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access: 415.581.3598; TDD: 415.861.2035.