The Spring Festival this year celebration was stellar! It began with volunteer students from the Japanese program staffing tables with calligraphy, origami, kimonos, computer games, rice balls, and other delicious snacks. One of the pre-show highlights was an APOP performance of language students who sang in a boy band style covers of Japanese pop songs. The audience was invited in the Planetarium for the special show: Evening in the Land of the Rising Sun , which was structured to follow the lunar calendar.
Dr. Aragorn Quinn (from Japanese program) and Dr. Hillary K. Snow (Honors College) used a fun banter to celebrate the seasonality that is prevalent in Japanese culture. In true planetarium style, the celebration concluded with stargazing from the latitude of Sapporo (which is identical to that of Milwaukee) that was led by Dr. Jean Creighton, who also sang Sakura in Japanese while the sky pivoted around the North Star. Sara Weiss also sang beautifully to views of Japan. To top it all off, the three presenters were joined by Miss Ariel Quinn to share mochi ice cream. We wish to acknowledge the students in the Japanese program, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, the UWM Center for International Education, the Language Resource Center, and the US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers Grant.
The Manfred Olson Planetarium looks forward to further collaborations in the future.