By CAPA JRC Reporter Claire Yu
During the coronavirus outbreak, everyone, adults and children alike, wants to contribute to the community. Fortunately, the Cathay School, also known as the Washington Cathay Future Center, has a platform just for that!
WCFC hosted a virtual talent show called Cathay’s Connected World 2020 from April 1 to April 30 to spread hope during COVID-19. Anyone from ages 2-18 and their families could participate by submitting a video of themselves showcasing talent in their choice of art form.
At the end of each video, viewers are encouraged to donate through the Cathay Future GoFundMe page. All of the proceeds will go towards the largest charity institution worldwide, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support scientific organizations in finding a cure to the virus. “I thought we could...guide kids to pay attention to social charity, [which] is a good thing,” said Avery Wan, principal of WCFC.
The Cathay School initially invited special guests, including Ms. Lei Gu and her guzheng students, Ms. Leslie Smile Hoyles and her violin students, and the Young Artists Music Society to take part in the talent show and spread the word to more children. Over 50 videos with over 55 performers have been featured, with the youngest participant being only two and a half years old! Wan estimates that by the end of the talent show, there may be up to 80 to 100 participants in total. The diverse performances range from solos to quintets, from classical Western music to traditional Chinese music, and even from wushu to drawing. To watch the talent show videos, please visit the WCFC YouTube Channel.
According to Wan, many kids practiced daily to put on their best show for the audience. Some even filmed multiple videos demonstrating their different artistic abilities. “I think [what is] most interesting is listening to why the performers selected the songs that they did,” said Melissa Eisen, WCFC program manager.
The final goal is a total of 5,000 dollars in donations. As of May 1st, the Cathay School has already raised more than 4,600 dollars!
Wan and Eisen believe the reactions from the community have been positive. “There have been many kind and encouraging messages posted on social media,” Wan said gratefully. Eisen explained that each participant has become “almost like an athlete that people cheer for.”
Regarding future plans, Wan says that some parents have suggested holding a group performance with every participant from the talent show after the pandemic ends to commemorate “our contributions to the community during this difficult time”. They are still in the midst of preparations.
Wan is extremely thankful for every single performer, parent, volunteer, and supporter involved with Cathay’s Connected World 2020. “I think everyone can find their own position and their own role in this charity event, and then we can build a more just and peaceful world.”
This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 19 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.