SUU Celebrates the Legacy of Helen Foster Snow
With a Series of Cultural Events
Photo credit: Shauna Mendini (far right in sunglasses) with SUU faculty and students in China. Photo: Fang Xiaosu.
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: The profound influence of Utahn Helen Foster Snow in the Chinese social and political landscape of the last century will be commemorated in several events held in late April at Southern Utah University. From a musical and dance performance to an art lecture and a film screening, SUU celebrates not only Snow’s legacy but the university’s growing relationships with several Chinese cultural and educational institutions. These free events will take place on SUU’s campus April 23rd through 26th. All events are open to the public who are encouraged to attend.
The first event in the series will be a screening of the acclaimed documentary, The Hidden Battlefield, on Tuesday, April 23rd, in the Sterling Church Auditorium, located in the Sharwan Smith Center. The screening begins at 11:30am. Directed by Harrison Schaaf, this remarkable film spotlights a remote farming village in the middle of China and the villagers’ seven-year struggle to build a primary school. At the center of the conflict is Mr. An Wei, Vice President, Translation Association of China, who returns to the village, his birthplace, to spearhead the building project. After the screening there will be a Q & A session with An Wei himself.
On Thursday, April 25th, An Wei celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of Cedar City native Helen Foster Snow in a lecture which begins at 11:30am in the Sterling Church Auditorium. His presentation is titled: Helen Foster Snow, a Bridge of Understanding and Friendship.
That evening, SUU’s Art Insights features artist Ms. Huang He (whose name translates into “Yellow River”) who will be donating a portrait of hers depicting Helen Foster Snow which will highlight a memorial wall within Gerald R. Sherratt Library. This event is scheduled for Thursday, April 25th, at 7:00 in the Gilbert Great Hall, on the second floor of Hunter Conference Center.
On Friday, April 26th, faculty members and students from SUU’s College of Performing & Visual Arts join together in a celebration of Helen Foster Snow. Opus Chamber Choir will perform Chinese and American folk music, SUU’s Percussion Ensemble and dancers from the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance perform a Waist Drum Dance, staged by Kay Andersen, Chair, Theatre Arts & Dance. Musical faculty members Dr. Xun Sun, violin, and Dr. Lynn Vartan, marimba, perform a variation from Dr. Keith Bradshaw's compositions from Dream of Helen. The evening will include remarks by Dr. Sun Hua, Professor, Director of Edgar and Helen Snow Studies, Beijing University, Mr. Shu Zhang, President of People's Friendship Society, along with SUU Provost Bradley J. Cook. The performance begins at 7:30pm in the Gilbert Great Hall. Admission is free.
Shauna Mendini, Dean of SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts, was Co-Director of Dream of Helen, a performance piece created with the Hubei Opera and Dance Drama Theatre in summer of 2011. Dean Mendini is pleased that SUU is continuing to celebrate Helen’s memory and the continued collaboration between the university and China. “Helen Foster Snow’s impact on Chinese history in the 1930s continues to be an inspiration. These events not only celebrated Snow but showcase how her legacy deeply affected the lives of the Chinese people. Our guests from China include musicians, visual artists and scholars who have drawn inspiration and insight from the work of this celebrated Cedar City native. In addition I am deeply grateful Provost Bradley J. Cook for his support of all these remarkable events.”
Helen Foster Snow (1907-1997) was a native of Cedar City, Utah, who was an instrumental bridge builder of U.S./China relations. Known as the mother of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives and through her efforts as a writer, she received two Nobel Peace Prize nominations and was the second American to be awarded the title of “Friendship Ambassador,” the highest honor bestowed by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. She is considered a heroine by the Chinese people. Snow’s mother, Hannah Davis Foster, taught at the Branch Normal School now Southern Utah University.
Join SUU’s faculty, staff and students as well as our distinguished guests to celebrate the memory of Helen Foster Snow and SUU’s continued collaboration with China.