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BY Alex Wang [ January 21, 2010 at 00:11:01 ]

Funds Raised Will Support the New MFAH Arts of China Gallery
And Ongoing Foundation Initiatives

Houston, TX – Philanthropist and Houston Rockets All Star Yao Ming today announced a major collaboration between his Yao Ming Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The Yao Ming Foundation Gala presented by iTalk Global Communications, Inc., the New Global Telecom Service Provider, will take place on Sunday, March 28, 2010 against the grand backdrop of the MFAH’s Cullinan Hall. Proceeds from the event will provide funds for the permanent MFAH gallery dedicated to the Arts of China along with support for his foundation’s continued efforts toward important programs in China and the United States.

Since he arrived in Houston as the NBA's number-one draft pick in 2002, Yao Ming has become an icon in two distinct cultures and on two continents. As such, he is an important bridge between China and the United States both on and off the basketball court. The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery will open to the public in the summer of 2010 as part of the museum’s expanding suite of galleries dedicated to Asian art. Galleries for the arts of Korea, Indonesia, and India have already opened to critical acclaim. The new gallery, together with education programs designed specifically for it, will introduce Chinese art to new and wider audiences, promoting cultural understanding among the millions of school aged children, youth, and adults who visit the museum each year.

Yao Ming has devoted careful attention to his foundation since its inception in 2008, when he pledged two million dollars to rebuild schools devastated by the 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. The efforts of his foundation have recently been extended to the local Houston community with the MFAH partnership and a grant to the Houston-based charity Collaborative for Children to rebuild four playgrounds in the Houston/Galveston area destroyed by Hurricane Ike. In the future, he plans to lend support to youth-oriented programs and scholarships in China and the United States.

The Gala event will be presented by iTalk Global Communications, Inc., the New Global Telecom Service Provider, which has inspired the theme for the event – Together We Can Make a Difference. Other initial partners joining the effort will include FOX Sports Houston, Houston Magazine, Culture Map and the official hotel partner, Hotel Zaza. The event has been developed jointly between The Yao Ming Foundation, a member of The Giving Back Fund’s family of charities, and MMG Strategic Event Marketing.

The Yao Ming Foundation

The Yao Ming Foundation was established in June of 2008 by international NBA Star Yao Ming in response to the devastating 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China on May 12, 2008. The Yao Ming Foundation has so far committed to rebuilding five schools in the earthquake region. The new earthquake resistant schools will provide top level education for more than 1000 students, many of whom will also board at the schools.

Concurrently The Yao Ming Foundation will continue to support other schools within China. Many of the schools in China, particularly those in rural areas, are in need of substantial renovations, have little to no heat, and are not earthquake resistant.

The Yao Ming Foundation also plans to support non-profit organizations working to rebuild areas in Galveston, Houston, and other areas in Texas affected by Hurricane Ike. Longer–term goals for the Yao Ming Foundation include supporting youth-oriented programs in China and the United States.

MFAH Collections

Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the largest art museum in America south of Chicago, west of Washington, D.C., and east of Los Angeles. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers nearly 60,000 works and embraces the art of antiquity to the present. Featured are the finest artistic examples of the major civilizations of Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa. Italian Renaissance paintings, French Impressionist works, photographs, American and European decorative arts, African and Pre-Columbian gold, American art, and European and American paintings and sculpture from post-1945 are particularly strong holdings. Recent additions to the collections include Rembrandt van Rijn's Portrait of a Young Woman (1633), the Heiting Collection of Photography, a major suite of Gerhard Richter paintings, an array of important works by Jasper Johns, a rare, second-century Hellenistic bronze Head of Poseidon/Antigonos Doson, major canvases by 19th-century painters Gustave Courbet and J.M.W. Turner, distinguished work by the leading 20th- and 21st-century Latin American artists, and The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art.

iTALKBB Global Communications, Inc. (referred to as “The New Global Telecom Service Provider”)

iTalk Global Communications, Inc. is a leader in the international telecommunications industry. We are pioneers in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) revolution. Today, we rank in the Top 5 VoIP companies in North America. Our brand name, iTalkBB, is known to hundreds of thousands of Asians. We dominate in the Chinese communities in the United States and Canada. iTalkBB's residential VoIP service is powered by iTalk Global’s state-of-the-art international network and technology. With this power, iTalkBB provides reliable high-quality local, long distance, and international internet calling at superbly competitive rates.

The Giving Back Fund

The Giving Back Fund (GBF), established in 1997, seeks to cultivate and nurture a new group of philanthropists within the sports and entertainment communities and to help establish role models who will inspire others to give back. GBF provides philanthropic consulting, management and programs to athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and other high net worth individuals aimed at increasing the impact of their philanthropy.

With offices in Boston and Los Angeles, the Giving Back Fund has worked successfully with more than 100 professional athletes, entertainers, and business entrepreneurs, helping them achieve their philanthropic goals. While the Giving Back Fund has developed special expertise in providing philanthropic consulting to athletes and entertainers, its services are available to anyone committed to increasing the impact of their philanthropy.


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