Chou, Wen-Chung, 1923-2019
Center for US-China Arts Exchange records, 1956-2019 bulk 1977-2003
114 Linear Feet (27 manuscript boxes, 67 record cartons, 2 flat boxes, 7 oversize flat boxes, 3 binder album boxes, 6 audiocassette boxes, 2 videocassette boxes, 4 LP record storage boxes)
Collection is arranged in 11 series according to subject and material type.
This collection of records document the institutional history of the Center for US-China Arts Exchange, established in 1978. Under the directorship of professor and renowned composer Chou Wen-chung, the Center is a not-for-profit organization that connected arts professionals from the US and China through a spectrum of curated programs, conferences, and research trips. Bulk dated between 1977 and 2003, materials in this collection consist of correspondence, reports, photographs, printed materials, as well as audiovisual items. The collection serves as important material evidence that help to tell the recent history of cultural communications among individuals and organizations across the Pacific.
The Center for US-China Arts Exchange records document the activities of the Center’s artistic and cultural exchange initiatives and projects primarily between 1977 and 2003. Established in 1978, the Center ran as a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Columbia University under the directorship of professor and renowned composer Chou Wen-chung. Materials in this collection consists of correspondence, reports, photographs, printed materials, as well as audiovisual items. Organized in 11 series by subjects and material type, the collection illustrates multiple editions of delegation trips of musicians, dramatists, dancer and choreographers, writers, and visual artists between the US and China, as well as larger-scale projects such as the Pacific Music Festival and the Ford Minority Art Project/Yunnan Nationalities Cultures Project. The bulk of the collection, including administrative files, correspondences, publicity materials, and photographs, showcases the planning, execution, and documentation of the spectrum of programs. The collection also offers reports and photographs resulted from many research trips to both urban and rural regions of China as well as other parts of East and Southeast Asia. In addition, the audiovisual materials include portfolio cassettes submitted by composers from across the Asiatic region, recordings of conferences, discussion seminars, and interviews, as well as commercial music records.
Biographical / Historical Note
The Center for US-China Arts Exchange (美中藝術交流中心) is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with and headquartered at Columbia University in New York City. Established on October 1, 1978 by composer and Columbia professor Chou Wen-chung chung (Chinese: 周文中, Zhou Wenzhong), the Center was the first organization to focus on the crucial need to connect professional artists and cultural figures from both countries when the United States and China established diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979. For forty years it was the only privately-funded, non-profit organization carrying out systematic exchanges between the two countries solely in the arts. The mission of the Center was to promote mutual interest and understanding in the arts of the United States and China and to promote creativity in both countries. The Center’s geographic reach has since expanded to include the entire Pacific region. The Center relied on contributions of money, materials, and services from foundations, corporations, and individuals to carry out its programs. The Broad of Managers and the Advisory Council, both created in the spring of 1981, oversee the Center’s programs and policies. Under the directorship of Chou Wen-chung, who was Chairman of the Music Division, the Center arranged for the filming of Isaac Stern's trip to China in 1979 and the making of the documentary "From Mao to Mozart". The Center also sponsored Arthur Miller's trip to Beijing to direct the first Chinese-language production of "Death of a Salesman" with the People's Arts Theater. Working in both directions, the Center arranged for the eminent playwright Cao Yu to go on a lecture tour of the U.S. in 1980. Other participating cultural figures included writer Susan Sontag, opera singer Pavarotti, choreographer Alwin Nikolais, sculptor George Segal, designer Ming Cho Lee and director Michael Bennett. Educational psychologist Howard Gardner supervised a three-year program in arts education. The program was truly ground-breaking and had an enormous impact on the development of the arts in China during that era. Concurrently, the Center organized study trips to the US for Chinese arts professionals including art historian Jin Weinuo, conductor Chen Xieyang, composers Chen Gang, Mao Yuan, Yu Runyang and Qu Xiaosong, painters Yuan Yansheng and Chen Yifei, historian Yin Falu and filmmaker Wu Tianming. Moving onto the 1980s, gradually evolved into an organization that geographically extended beyond its original scope and leaned increasingly toward projects that encompassed broader cultural significance, such as Cities East and West: A Comparative Study. Meanwhile, naturally with Director Chou’s mastery in music, the Center continue to lead programs that centered on musical performance and composing: the Taiwan project, the Pacific Music Festival and the Pacific Composers Conference. During the 1990’s the Center developed a multi-year, multi-faceted project in China’s Yunnan Province for the continuation and development of the arts of minority nationalities. A large-scale Leadership Conference on Conservancy and Development was held in 1999 and resulted in the writing of The Yunnan Initiative, a comprehensive policy statement which adopted five principles: Conservation, Inclusion, Education, Tourism and Collaboration. Over the years countless ground-breaking projects were launched in all the fields of the arts, the impact of which continues until the present day.
美中藝術交流中心(Center for US-China Arts Exchange)是一個隸屬於紐約市哥倫比亞大學的非營利性組織。該中心由作曲家、教授周文中與1978年10月1日成立，是1979年1月1日美中建交後第一個致力於兩國專業藝術和文化人士學習交流的組織。四十年來，中心是唯一一個由私人基金資助的非營利組織，專門在兩國之間開展系統的文化藝術交流。該中心的使命是促進中美藝術的理解與互惠，以促進兩國藝術家各自創造力的延展。而後，中心開展的項目的地理範圍擴大到了整個太平洋地區。中心持續依靠基金會、集團和個人以資金、材料和服務等形式的捐贈支持來實施其項目。中心的理事會和顧問委員會均成立於1981年春季，負責監督中心的項目與政策。 在周文中教授的領導下，中心參與籌備美國小提琴家艾薩克·斯特恩1979年的中國之行，並協助製作了紀錄片《從毛澤東到莫扎特》。中心還贊助了阿瑟·米勒的北京之行，其中包括了米勒於人民藝術劇院執導《推銷員之死》的中文版本。 1980年，中心為著名劇作家曹禺安排了在美國的巡迴演講。其他參與過中心項目的文化人士包括作家蘇珊·桑塔格、歌劇演唱家帕瓦羅蒂、編舞師阿爾溫·尼古拉、雕塑家喬治·西格爾、舞美設計師李名覺和戲劇導演邁克爾·貝內特。教育心理學家霍華德·加德納指導了一個為期三年的藝術教育交流項目，該項目的突破性對那個時代中國的藝術發展產生了重大影響。與此同時，中心還組織了多位中國藝術界人士赴美研學，包括藝術史學家金維諾，指揮家陳燮陽，作曲家陳鋼、茅沅、於潤洋、瞿小松，畫家袁運生、陳逸飛，史學家陰法魯和電影導演吳天明。20世紀80年代，中心逐漸擴張其項目所涉及的地理範圍，且越來越傾向於開展包含更廣泛文化意義的項目，一如“東西方城市的比較研究”。由於周文中教授對音樂的精通，中心不斷規劃以音樂和作曲為中心的項目：台灣項目、太平洋音樂節和太平洋作曲家會議。到了20世紀90年代，中心在中國雲南省開展了一個多年多面的文化項目，以探索、延續和發展少數民族的藝術。 1999年舉行了一次大規模的題為保護與發展的領導會議，並促成了以五項原則(保護、包容、教育、旅遊和合作)為基礎的政策聲明《雲南少數民族文化倡議書》的撰寫與發表。多年來，中心在藝術的各個領域都有曾開展數個富有開創性的項目，其卓著影響一直持續到今天。
Access and Use
The following boxes are located off-site: Box #1-121. You will need to request this material from the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at least 5 business days in advance to use the collection. This collection has no restrictions.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The C.V. Starr East Asian Library maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Physical Characteristics / Technical Requirements: Sound recordings
Physical Characteristics / Technical Requirements: Video recordings
Gift of Chou Wen-chung, 2016.
Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library. Office of Public Affairs records; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library. Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs records; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library. Historical subject files; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library. Central Files (Office of the President records); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library. A. Doak Barnett papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); The Center for US-China Arts Exchange records; Box and Folder; C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University Libraries.
Lin, Mohan, 1913-2008
Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005
Stern, Isaac, 1920-2001
Cao, Yu, 1910-1996
Wouk, Herman, 1915-2019
Chou, Wen-Chung, 1923-2019
China. Wen hua bu
Zhongguo zuo jia xie hui
Zhongguo wen xue yi shu jie lian he hui
Shanghai jiao xiang yue tuan
Shanghai yin yue xue yuan
Sichuan yin yue xue yuan
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Beijing ren min yi shu ju yuan
Zhong yang xi ju xue yuan (China)
Zhong yang yue tuan
Music > Chinese influences
Music > Chinese American influences
Music > Southeast Asia
Art > China
Education in art
Music > Asian influences
Music > East Asian influences
Chinese American artists
Chinese American musicians
Chinese American art
Music > China
Folk music > China
Travel > Photographs
Art, East Asian
Art, Asian > Research
Minorities > China > Yunnan Sheng
China > Foreign relations > United States
United States > Foreign relations > China
China > Photographs > 20th century
China > Description and travel > Maps
Xishuangbanna Ziran Baohuqu (China)
Yunnan Sheng (China) > Description and travel
Shanghai (China) > Description and travel
Beijing (China) > Description and travel
Scores (documents for music)
Clippings (Information Artifacts)
Receipts (financial records)
minutes (administrative records)
Video recordings (physical artifacts)
Also Listed Under
Columbia University. Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange,
Multiple languages; English; Chinese