In a ceremony featuring traditional Chinese music, dancers and a man in a giant panda suit, leaders of the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and MTSU signed a pact Friday, Sept. 26, that they hope will lead to future cultural collaborations.
The agreement inked by University Provost Brad Bartel and Discovery Center CEO Tara McDougall will allow MTSU’s Confucius Institute to develop activities and displays about Chinese culture at the children’s museum.
Sept. 26 was Chinese Culture Celebration Day at the center, a free event that marked MTSU’s observance of the 10th anniversary of the global Confucius Institutes.
“We are pleased to strengthen our great relationship with the center and look forward to working with them on future opportunities, both through our Confucius Institute and throughout the university,” Bartel said.
Bartel also unveiled a $10,000 digital cultural exploration station donated to the center by the Hanban headquarters of Confucius Institutes.
It features a 55-inch monitor that patrons may touch to access interactive programs about sites of interest in China, food, music, kung fu, calligraphy, the Chinese zodiac and other topics.
Visitors enjoyed Chinese music and dance, calligraphy demonstrations and Chinese tea tasting at the special event, as well as mini-Chinese classes where they learned basic Chinese phrases and characters.
Since its founding in 2010, MTSU’s Confucius Institute has helped K-12 schools offer Chinese language programs, led students to summer camps in China and taken school administrators to China for educational collaboration and exchange.
The institute also offers noncredit Chinese language programs at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels for children and adults.
For more information about Confucius Institute, visit www.mtsu.edu/cimtsu.
— Andrew Oppmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)