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41st Annual Houston International Festival Spotlights The Silk Road: Journey Across Asia


BY Alex Wang [ March 28, 2011 at 14:04:27 ]

41st Annual Houston International Festival
Spotlights The Silk Road: Journey Across Asia

WHAT:

The 2011 Houston International Festival (iFest) follows the route of Marco Polo with a focus on China , India and other cultures of the Silk Road . iFest brings the unique flavors, sights and sounds of the many cultures to downtown Houston for two weekends in the Spring.

The 41st annual event features diverse and celebrated music and dance groups from around the world, as well as international food and markets in multiple cultural zones.

WHEN:

April 30 – May 1 and May 7 - 8, 2011
(Saturdays: Noon – 10 pm and Sundays: Noon – 8 pm)

WHERE:

Downtown Houston – Including City Hall, Upper and Lower Tranquility Park , Bagby Street and Upper and Lower Sam Houston Parks

INTERNATIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE

Incredible line up of national, regional and local musicians and performance groups entertain throughout the day on multiple stages. 2011 highlights include: The Golden Dragon Acrobats from China along with the Best of Bollywood.

2011 Music Lineup:

Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jonny Lang,
Lucinda Williams, Keb’ Mo’,
Robert Cray Band, Joe Ely Reunion Band,
Robert Randolph & The Family Band,
Jimmie Vaughan, Buckwheat Zydeco,
Rootz Underground, Red Baraat,
Rahim Alhaj & Little Earth Orchestra,
Atash, Mayapuris, Riyaaz Qawwali,
Kora Konnection, Cedric Watson,
Glen David Andrews, Soul Rebels,
Honey Island Swamp Band, J. Paul Jr.,
Step Rideau, Lil Brian & The Travelers,
Los Skarnales, Kyle Turner,
Jud Johnson Band, Emory Quinn,
Mike Stinson, The Blaggards,
Karina Nistal, Norma Zenteno,
Rainel Pino Salsa Orchestra,
Chango Man, Buxton, Space City Gamelan,
Free Radicals, Moodafaruka,
Golden Dragon Acrobats, Bollywood Dancers,
Bhangra Djs and Reggae Djs

In addition, iFest will host a special Friday night concert featuring Kronos Quartet, Homayun Sakhi, and the Houston Grand Opera (April 29)

EDUCATION

The Houston International Festival’s 24th consecutive Education Program, presented in partnership with HISD, features a Teacher’s Curriculum Guide, underwritten by Chevron and produced by the Houston International Festival. The guide is distributed to 1471 campuses in 54 schools districts in 7 counties including HISD, Harris, Galveston and Fort Bend Counties .

In addition to the guide, iFest will host a free continuing education workshop for teachers to learn tips on how to effectively integrate the Curriculum Guide into lesson plans.

The Chevron Silk Road Living Museum

The centerpiece of the 2011 festival features a variety of educational and cultural exhibits covering the history of the Silk Road .

The Chevron Silk Road Living Museum is located in Upper Sam Houston Park . Highlights include:

· Great Wall of China: The journey begins with a 100-foot-long winding reproduction of the Great Wall of China . Guests walk along the wall and view a range of information about the history of Chinese dynasties, cultural information and a photography exhibit about China . Climb a staircase to the top of one of the towers and look out over the festival grounds. Inside the two 12-foot-tall towers, see Chinese opera masks and other cultural items.

Additional cultural exhibits include:

· Chinese Silk exhibit: Explore the history of silk production, or sericulture, with displays of silkworms and their cocoons. Also included will be various types of silk on display and demonstrations of hand weaving by the Houston Handweavers Association. Demonstrations of traditional silk embroidery are also planned.

· Chinese Calligraphy exhibit: Written information about the history of calligraphy in China featuring live demonstrations of calligraphy and the opportunity for the public to have their name written in Chinese. Traditional Chinese paper cutting designs will also be demonstrated.

· Chinese Teahouse: Traditional Chinese tea ceremony

· Gateway of India: A reproduction of the famous structure in Mumbai, which incorporates Islamic architecture with Hindu iconography, will house a variety of information on the history of India and its importance on the Silk Road , with a particular focus on the maritime routes.

· India Zone: Arts and cultural exhibits representing the distinct areas of the northern, southern, eastern and western regions of India presented by local Indian community. The local Hare Krishna temple will present exhibits on traditional ayurvedic medicine, traditional dress and a spice exhibit housed in an Indian village setting.

· Trojan Horse: The journey continues to a reproduction of the famous Trojan Horse from the ancient city of Troy , which was located in Turkey , an important stop along the Silk Road . Visitors can climb into the horse and look through windows in the structure. A variety of arts and cultural exhibits on the history of Turkey and its importance along the eastern end of the Silk Road will be presented by the local Turkish community.

· Arts and Culture of the Silk Road: Exhibit featuring information on the artistic, musical, religious, architectural and other cultural aspects of the Silk Road countries.

· Venetian Bridge and Gondola: The journey along the Silk Road ends with a stop in Venice , the Western end of trade route where silks and other exotic items made their way to the rest of Europe and western goods made their way back through Central Asia to China . Stand atop a Venetian-style bridge or climb into a reproduction of an elaborate gondola and imagine they are floating down the Grand Canal .

INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

An outdoor international art gallery and shopping experience offering numerous arts markets and international craft demonstrations featuring works from more than 500 artists from all over the globe.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR

Sample cuisines from cultures around the world at one of the many food booths located throughout the festival site.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Opening Ceremony
Friday, April 29, 2011
11 a.m.
Center Stage at Houston ’s City Hall

The Mayor’s Gala
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Hotel ZaZa

A fundraising gala dinner hosted by Mayor Annise Parker of the City of Houston . Visiting dignitaries and members of Houston ’s consular Corps are honored guests of the Mayor’s Gala. Proceeds benefit the Festival’s year-round arts, education and outreach programs.

FESTIVAL ADMISSION
* $12 Advanced Discount (now through April 26)
* $18 Regular (after April 26)
* $3 Children ages 3-12
* FREE Children 12 & under FREE on Sunday, May 8 (courtesy of ConocoPhillips).

All proceeds benefit the Festival arts and education programs. For more information, call 713-654-8808 or access the Festival’s official website at www.ifest.org.

TRANSPORTATION

Call METROLine at 713-635-4000 for information on routes, schedules and all METRO services.

MORE INFO/TICKETS

713-654-8808 or visit www.ifest.org

Contact:

Wendy Slaton
Houston International Festival
4203 Montrose Blvd. Ste. 200
Houston, TX 77006
281-814-6384
www.ifest.org


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