Dover Elementary School, East Dover, VT: Mon/Tues/Fri, December 13, 14 and 17, 2010: 1-2:30pm. Cai Xi conducts a three-session Chinese culture residency including each student making their own Chinese calligraphy book.

January-mid March, 2011: For teachers and anyone else visiting classrooms that are participating in this project, please take some photos of student activity and collect completed student artwork to send to me to further update the blog. Each piece of artwork should have the student’s name, grade and school attached on the back so that work can be returned. The word art should eventually be combined with samples of student poetry related to the meanings of Chinese words.

Oak Grove Elementary School, Brattleboro, VT: Friday, January 21, 2011, 1-3pm. Book Arts Specialist Susan Bonthron of Otter Pond Bindery gives a workshop for students to make fold-out cards that will hold their color-decorated calligraphy and accompanying poem. The card will close with a colored satin ribbon and will be decorated on the outside of the card with images of all student art.

Twin Valley High School, Wilmington, VT: Monday, January 24, 2011, 8-9:30am. Book Arts Specialist Susan Bonthron of Otter Pond Bindery gives a workshop for students to create a “Chinese Scroll” using ribbons, silk book cloth and wooden dowels to suspend their collection of four calligraphy word/art pieces.

Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) presents the annual Lunar New Year Festival of China, Korea and Vietnam. At the River Garden, 157 Main St., downtown Brattleboro, VT: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 1-4pm.
This year’s Celebration features a display of current student word art, as well as a poetry slam inspired by the Chinese characters. Other activities include the Potluck starting at 1pm. Other activities include t’ai chi, kung fu, and other martial arts, acupuncture presentation, Korean rope tug, Chinese calisthenics, calligraphy mural, songs, and crafts. 3 pm: Enter the Vietnamese dragon, thanks to Marlboro College students and staff, for the annual dance-parade. The event is free for all ages with donations to ACCVT always appreciated.

Whitingham Elementary School, Whitingham, VT: Tuesday, February 8, 1:00-2:00pm. Learning about the movement within Chinese characters and calligraphy through martial arts movement. Demonstration workshop with group practice for Whitingham’s elementary school students. Kung Fu with Damon Honeycutt, Dance with Molly Gawler, and T’ai Chi with Cai Xi Silver. An extension activity of the Chinese Word Art Book Project funded through a Vermont Arts Endowment grant from Vermont Community Foundation, this event aims to expand and deepen student understanding of Chinese language and culture.

March 2011:
The Arts Council of Windham County presents the annual Student Art Month Exhibition at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., downtown Brattleboro, including a selection of Chinese word-art from this project. Thanks to Marie Procter for coordinating this event.

Mid March: Selection committee convenes. The committee chooses word art paired with student writing samples for publication. As of mid January, more selection committee members are needed; contact Cai to participate or inquire further: caixiart[at]

  • Twin Valley High School, Wilmington, VT: Wed. April 6, 8:00-9:25am.
  • Whitingham Middle School, Whitingham, VT: Wed. April 6, 10:00-10:50am.
  • The Grammar School in Putney, VT: Wed. April 6, 1:00-2:00pm.

Visiting poet and educator Steven Ratiner gives workshops for students in creating their own poetry through interaction with poetry from China’s Tang Dynasty. In each of three schools, Ratiner will give a workshop on reading aloud and discussing as a group ancient texts so that the poems evoke connections between the personal and imaginative experience of Vermont participants and that of the poets of China 1200 to 1400 years ago. The workshops are open to the public by making arrangements in advance with Cai. More information on Steven Ratiner is on the Residencies page.

March 29: Video Workshop: Animating Chinese Characters with Flash presented by Le Xi. Venue: Windham Regional Career Center, Center for Digital Art, Flash Animation Course, Cotton Mill Hill. More information on Le Xi is on the Residencies page and at his website. Thank you to Michel Moyse for the arrangements.

By early May: Translation for student writing. The resulting product will have English and Chinese text for selected student poetry.

May 30, 2011: WORD ART: Student Artwork and Poetry Inspired By Chinese Characters has been published and is available online at the printer’s website: Copies of the published book of student work are scheduled to be back from the printer as of the second week of June and available online now for purchase at cost (the cost of the printing and shipping.) The plan is for a grant-funded distribution of the publication to participating school libraries and local community libraries with the public option to purchase additional copies online.

June 1-12: Exhibition of student work. Now that the student word art and poetry has been published, there is an exhibition of student work at C X Silver Gallery. Reception: Saturday June 4th, 5-7pm. Gallery hours are: Weekdays, 9am to 1pm, Saturday and Sunday 4-8pm, and by appointment, (802) 257-7898 ext. 2.

June: The Chinese Word Art Book Project is being featured on Brattleboro Community Television in an interview with Roland Boyden. Thank you to Roland for making this possible!

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