Our Mission

ChinaVine is a collaboration between the Cultural Heritage Alliance (CHA) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy (CCACP) at the University of Oregon (UO). At this time the principle collaborators in China are the Folk Art Institute (FAI) at Shandong University of Art and Design (SUAD) in Jinan, and Beijing Normal University in Beijing.

ChinaVine’s mission is to educate English-speaking / reading children, youth, and adults about China’s cultural heritage. This mission is achieved through this interactive website along with a variety of social media platforms. We combined “Vine” with China because of the fluid, ever changing and winding ways of culture. You are invited to join with us in contributing to our mission, interacting with us through the website, and following our interpretation of China’s cultural heritage.

What is folk art?

Folklorists identify folk art as traditional artistic expression that is rooted in community-based practices. Usually passed down from generation to generation, folk art is dynamic as it changes over time and place, but still maintains its cultural roots.

Why preserve folk art?

Many Chinese traditions are centered in rural areas where handmade objects maintain their power and meaning. As China rapidly becomes an economic powerhouse, young people are moving to urban areas to further their education and establish careers. With this migration to the cities, many folk traditions are no longer practiced. Because folk art is associated with China’s national identity and history, it should be celebrated, documented, and preserved.

What does the name “ChinaVine” mean?

Many people ask where the name ChinaVine came from. It is based on a previous partnership project that documented Florida folk artists. This University of Central Florida Web site is: www.folkvine.org. The term “vine” was chosen because it represents culture as fluid and changing. It grows in winding ways and never stays the same.