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Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

Tom Musgrave

Nicholasville Musician is Kentucky Arts Council’s
Featured Artist for May, June

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2017) — Hong Shao, a traditional Chinese musician from Nicholasville, has been selected as the Kentucky Arts Council’s Featured Artist for May and June.

Shao is an adjudicated member of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Teaching Artists Directory and Performing Artists Directory.

Shao of Nicholasville is a professionally trained pipa player and Chinese musician. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education with concentration in the pipa from the Harbin Normal University School of Music in Harbin, China. The pipa, a four-stringed, pear-shaped lute, is considered one of the most intricate traditional Chinese musical instruments.

Since 1993, Shao has actively promoted Chinese culture in Kentucky through music education and performances. She has offered pipa concerts and Tai Ji fan and sword dances, organized music and cultural events, and given workshops and seminars to students, teachers and the general public across Kentucky and several neighboring states.

In education, she founded Lexington’s Chinese Music, Dance, and Arts Program (CMDAP) in 2004. The program has educated hundreds of children about Chinese cultures, performance and visual arts. In addition to being the founder, she also serves as the program director and artistic director, as well as teaching pipa, Chinese martial arts dance, children’s dance and the Chinese musical instrument Gu Zheng. In 2006 Shao cofounded the Pipa Club at Garth Elementary School in Scott County with Garth teacher Kellie Moses and has been volunteering as an instructor in that program, which has taught more than 50 students about Chinese traditional music and culture.

In community and outreach, Hong Shao has continuously been involved with Chinese New Year celebrations for Lexington and other Kentucky communities since 2004, including the CMDAP annual concert titled "Beauty of Jasmine" for the past seven years. She has also organized the annual performances for patients at UK hospital. Students from the CMDAP and the Garth Elementary School Pipa Club have been the major performers in these concerts.

To learn more about Shao, visit the arts council's website. The featured artist’s page includes a story about her work, a video of Shao discussing her work and contact information for Shao.

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The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.