BEIJING, China – American Airlines is proud to be one of only two corporate sponsors of the 2011 Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, an event that attracts world-class international performers and artists to Beijing. Held annually for the last 10 years, this year’s festival runs from this week until the end of May, and spotlights how expressions of culture transcend beyond arts and entertainment, embracing friendship, education, and cultural diversity.
“Bringing the people and cultures of the world together is what air travel is all about,” said Gerard Arpey, American’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Like air travel, the arts lift our spirits, broaden our horizon and give us a fresh perspective on the world around us.
“I would like to congratulate and thank the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for making Meet in Beijing the biggest such festival in Asia,” Arpey added. “We know this year’s festival will be another great success.”
“Meet in Beijing Arts Festival is an influential art event which promotes cultural exchange and is also a bridge of friendship linking the Chinese people with peoples all over the world,” said Ms. Shaohua Zhao, Deputy Minister of Culture. “This year, we are extremely pleased to welcome American Airlines as a partner and corporate sponsor of the festival, recognizing their ongoing commitment of promoting friendship and bridging world cultures.”
The festival is held in conjunction with the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Beijing Municipality Government. The opening April 27 featured a gala concert at Beijing’s Poly Theater with the stars of the Peking Opera performing with Australia’s National Opera Company. A wide range of musical and dance performances, from classical to rock, is scheduled through May and will appeal to audiences of all ages. The festival comes to a close May 25-27, when it features the prestigious National Ballet of China’s Red Detachment of Women. Thursday, May 26, is dedicated as American Airlines Night and the festival will showcase the Chinese ballet’s outstanding contribution in the world of dance.
Every year, American sponsors activities in China and the United States which support Chinese organizations, groups and people. From Chinese New Year parades in New York and Chicago, to aiding cultural institutions and fine arts societies, American and its employees lend resources and time to provide a bridge between the Chinese and American cultures.
In China, American was the official airline sponsor of the USA Pavilion that welcomed more than 32,000 people per day over the 184-day exposition at the record-breaking World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. American also brought together 25 top choreographers and dancers from China and the United States for performances that closed the 2010 Shanghai International Music Festival.
American began its operations to and from China five years ago, with daily service between Chicago and Shanghai in 2006. It added Chicago to Beijing in 2010, and in April 2011, became the first U.S. carrier to offer nonstop daily service between Los Angeles and Shanghai for a total of 21 weekly flights between the United States and China.