American Museum of Natural History Hosts Cherry Blossoms, Japan Fest March 14-17

The American Museum of Natural History Global Weekends: Cherry Blossoms: Japan Fest is commemorating the first anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster during activities March 14-17 featuring SAORI weaving, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, Okinawan dance, a Taiko drum performance, and a shadow puppet troupe © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The American Museum of Natural History Global Weekends: Cherry Blossoms: Japan Fest is  commemorating the first anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster during activities March 14-17 featuring SAORI weaving, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, Okinawan dance, a Taiko drum performance, and a shadow puppet troupe.

As part of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial celebration of the Consulate General of Japan located in New York, AMNH will include four days of family friendly activities and programs showcasing many of the arts and traditions that reflect the spirit of the Japanese people and their appreciation of nature through live performances, interactive demonstrations, and workshops. Local New York City-based Japanese cultural organizations will be on-site to perform and demonstrate their art. Activities include SAORI weaving and cherry blossom installation simulating the spring ohanami  (viewing of the cherry blossoms) by Loop of the Loop; origami paper models instruction by OrigamiUSA; flower arranging by Judy Hata from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana; a cherry blossoms ink brush painting demonstration by Metro NY Sumi-e Society; and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony by Yoshihiro Terazono, tea master of the Urasenke Chanoyu Center in New York City. In addition, a three-part workshop on traditional outfit making will be offered to registered participants.

On Saturday, March 17, the celebration culminates with a traditional matsuri or folk dance festival. The day begins with a Shinto blessing ceremony by the International Shinto Foundation and welcome remarks from Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York; President Gary Moriwaki, Japanese American Association; and William Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. The program includes a performance by the Okinawan Miyagi Ryu Ryukyu Dance School, Soh Daikodrum group, and, from Japan, a shadow puppet troupe performance of the folktale Princess Kaguya by Silhouette Theater TSUNOBUE. Sushi will also be featured in the Museum’s Food Court or Café on One that day.

 The Presenting Sponsor of the Museum’s cultural public programming is MetLife Foundation.

Cherry Blossoms: Japan Festis made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Support for Global Weekends is made possible, in part, by the Ford Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., and the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt.

Cherry Blossoms: Japan Festisa part of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial, supported by Consulate General of Japan in New York.

Visiting the American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls and galleries for temporary exhibitions, the Rose Center for Earth and Space with the Hayden Planetarium, state-of-the-art research laboratories and five active research divisions that support more than 200scientists in addition to one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere and a permanent collection of more than 32 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the first American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum will begin offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in earth science. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year, and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and growing collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information.

The Museum offers a broad array of programs for adults, children, families, students, educators, and scientists. These range from special exhibitions to symposia, lecture series, workshops, and film festivals. Highlights include Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration (November 19,2011–August12, 2012),which offers a vision of the future of space travel as it boldly explores our next steps in our solar system and beyond; the Hayden Planetarium Space Show, Journey to the Stars, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg; The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter(October 8, 2011–May 28, 2012),an annual exhibition that features up to 500live, free-flying tropical butterflies; Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies(June 25, 2011–June 24, 2012), an exhibition ofstunning large-format photographs captured by high-tech imaging devices used by Museum scientists in their research; and a year-round calendar of engaging and educational public programs that feature dynamic encounters with living cultures and authentic science.

The Museum is open daily, 10 am–5:45 pm. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors and offers access to the Museum’s 45 halls including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is $19 (adults) suggested, $14.50 (students/seniors)suggested, $10.50 (children) suggested. All prices are subject to change.

The Museum offers discounted combination ticket prices that include suggestedgeneral admission plus special exhibitions, IMAX films, and Space Shows.

o Museum Plus One includes one special exhibition, IMAX film, or Space Show: $25(adults), $19 (students/seniors), $14.50 (children)

o Museum Supersaver includes all special exhibitions, IMAX film, and Space Show: $33(adults), $25.50 (students/seniors), $20.50 (children)

Visitors who wish to pay less than the suggested Museum admission and also purchase a ticket to attend a special exhibition, IMAX film, or Space Show may do so on-site at the Museum. To the amount they wish to pay for general admission, they should add $22 (adults), $18 (students/seniors), or $12 (children) for a Space Show, special exhibition, or IMAX film.

 For additional information, the public can call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at amnh.org.

Prepare for your Museum visit by downloading the new American Museum of Natural History Explorer App, a groundbreaking enhanced navigation tool available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or atwww.iTunes.com/appstore/.The Explorer pinpoints your location within the Museum and offers turn-by-turn directions and customized tours, a fossil treasure hunt, and social media links for posting to Facebook and Twitter.

Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhistory, or visit twitter.com/AMNH to follow us on Twitter.

See also:

NYC’s American Museum of Natural History sends you Beyond Planet Earth and slideshow

 NASA Astronauts answer questions at AMNH’s Rose Center for Earth and Space and slideshow

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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