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Giant Magnet attracts Chinese troupes for final year of fest

Giant Magnet
Shaanxi Folk Art Theatre is one of three Chinese companies appearing at the 2011 Giant Magnet festival.

The final Giant Magnet Children’s Festival is underway in Seattle. It’s the 25th year of the event which aims to introduce young audiences to the world - it's people, customs and cultures.  

The Seattle Times reports the rich traditions of Chinese theater will be featured in the festival’s final hurrah.

Last month, Giant Magnet’s board of directors made the surprise announcement that the nonprofit organization would close down after this year. 

"It's a huge resource for this community on all sorts of levels. The people currently involved have made a case that the festival isn't viable. But that doesn't mean the city should totally abandon it. I would hope it rises like a phoenix in another form," said Andrea Wagner, the arts consultant and former Giant Magnet executive director.

Through a special partnership with China’s Ministry of Culture, the Festival will showcase three extraordinary companies from China that provide an intimate look at a range of cultural heritages and art forms. The Festival will also feature authentic world music from Ecuador and India, storytelling from Tasmania and exceptional companies from the USA.

The festival runs through Saturday at Seattle Center, and then May 16th at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma.

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