MUSE2015

WOMEN Uniting to Save Earth

China

Wednesday, November 7, 2012Two things of great importance happened today:
1. President Barack Obama was elected for four more years.
2. I received this very important email below:

Hello, Ms. Joan Cartwright,

I am Henry Yuan. How have you been? Haven’t contact you for a long time, and hope everything is well with you and your family.

An opportunity aroused on my side and it reminds me of your amazing music and songs. For this, I would like to introduce a little bit about this opportunity, and we would like to explore the possibility of collaboration.

We recently work closely with UNEP on its OzonAction’s Nuwa Campaign. In order to promote international collaboration and social participation to environment issues through leveraging the power of art to address pressing environmental problems, Prof. Yuan designed and created an artistic impression of UNEP OzonAction’s ‘Nuwa Campaign’. According to an ancient Chinese myth, Nuwa is a goddess who smelted a seven-color stone to block a hole in the sky. Using this symbol in mythology, best known for repairing the wall of heaven, Nuwa has taken up a new quest – the modern day challenges of fighting ozone depletion. The key of this art is about social participation, social/women empowerment and innovation. Nuwa will act as a protector and a repairer and help to differentiate our communications from those that tackle other environmental issues and services more specifically. Please also refer to the attached backgrounder for further details about this initiative.

We firmly believed that music and visual art are the most powerful mediums communicate environmental messages to people around the world. For this, we cordially invite you to support this initiative and ask you if we could join in this effort and create a song on this Nuwa Campaign and perform it with another leading Chinese singer Liu Yuanyuan (who performed with Jackie Chan). At this point, we would like to have a live performance at the Pre-Oscar Party in Los Angeles in February 2012. Also, we are now developing the communication strategies with the UNEP office in order to promote this initiative and bring artistic elements to it.

Thank you very much and look forward to having your support and involvement this initiative. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

All the best,
Henry Yuan

In 2006, I lived in Beijing, China, for three weeks, while working with the monumental teacher Li Yang of Crazy English, whom I met in Yancheng, in an auditorium filled with 5,000 Chinese students involved in learning English. At our first meeting, Li Yang determined that I should be one of his Crazy English Camp teachers for the summer. This sounded like a very good idea to me and, since I had a month off between gigs in Shanghai (May-July) and Tianjin (September), I agreed to participate in the camp, near and in Beijing. During the course of this summer, I address thousands of Chinese students from all grade levels, including the first 300 college students chosen to be hosts at the 2008 Olympics!

On a day off from classes, my assistant, Lisa and I walked about four blocks away from our hotel and discovered a beautiful art gallery on a lake. We entered the gallery and were greeted by a young woman who was thrilled to meet an American woman (me). She led us into an art studio, where we were thrilled to meet the artist whose work we’d just seen in the exhibit hall.


Yuan Xikun and I became fast friends, especially after I played the grand piano in the large exhibit space. I was so taken by the artwork and he was very impressed with my playing. It was a perfect match of art and music. He showed me photos of his son, Henry Yuan, who was studying at the time in the United States. Mr. Xikun called Henry on the phone and we talked briefly and, later, Henry and I communicated further, when I returned to the states. Henry tried very hard to get me booked at an event in Los Angeles, but it never happened. Then, I got his email, this morning.

See Joan’s entire post about her stay in Beijing.

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