Cost: Free, No Reservations or Tickets Required

ChinaFest: Year of the Metal Rat

Sat, Feb 6, 2020 | 10 am–4:30 pm

VMFA, Museum-wide

Join VMFA in a celebration of the Lunar New Year and ChinaFest: Year of the Metal Rat! Explore Chinese art and culture through art-making activities, demonstrations, and performances. Create your own lion dance-inspired mask and create a Tao Tie-inspired paper vessel. Watch the dynamic Lion Dance, beautiful performances by Yu Dance Arts, and so much more!


Performances & Presentations

Yu Dance Arts

11:05–11:30 am | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L
1:35–2 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L
3–3:15 pm | Atrium, Level 1

Directed by Yu Xiao, Yu Dance Arts is a Richmond-based youth dance troupe that creates and performs intercultural dances combining Chinese traditional dance with Western modern aesthetics.

Wushu Club at VCU

Noon–12:20 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L
2:10–2:30 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L

Wushu Club at VCU is a sports club that centers around Wushu, a modern Chinese performance martial arts that combines aspects of gymnastics, martial arts, and choreography. The club works to share the Chinese culture of Wushu to others.

Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu

11:30 am–noon| Atrium, Level 1
1:40–2:10 pm | Atrium, Level 1

Watch and practice graceful warrior moves with Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu. This art was made popular in the 1950s by Grand Master Yip Man, whose best-known student is movie legend Bruce Lee!

Lion Dance at VCU

10:30–11 am | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L
Noon–12:30 pm | Atrium, Level 1
2:35–3:05 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater, Level L

Enjoy the dynamic performances of RYSE Lion Dance at VCU. This traditional troupe practices the Fut San style of lion dance, which originated in ancient southern China.

Demonstrations & Workshops

Chinese New Year Traditions & Storytelling with Students from the University of Richmond

10:30–11 am and 12:45–1:15 pm | Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library, Level 1

Join students from the University of Richmond to learn about Chinese New Year traditions and the origin of the zodiacs. Relax and read a book, or participate in storytelling led by students from the University of Richmond.

Year of the Rat Masks with George Mason University Confucius Institute

10:30 am–3:30 pm | Marble Hall, Level 2

Create a mask to celebrate the Year of the Rat, with instructors from the George Mason University Confucius Institute.

Calligraphy with the College of William & Mary Confucius Institute

Noon–4 pm | Conference Room 1, Level L

Join the Confucius Institute at the College of William & Mary, as they practice the beautiful art of writing Chinese characters.

Language Workshops with Collegiate School

Noon–2 pm| Cochrane Court, Level 2

Collegiate Upper School students are excited to facilitate an exciting language-learning activity! Stop by and learn basic Chinese characters and get a taste of Chinese culture. Activities will include matching Chinese words to their English translations, writing Chinese characters, traditional Chinese games, and more. All ages are welcome and no previous language experience is required.

Art Activities


Make an Ancient Metal Mirror
Studio 1, WestRock Art Education Center, Level 1

Zodiac Sumi-e Painting
Studio 2, WestRock Art Education Center, Level 1

Create a Lion Dance-inspired Mask or Puppet
Marble Hall, Level 2

Construct a Torn Tissue Paper Lantern with 1708 Gallery
Marble Hall, Level 2

Make a Tangram Rat
Marble Hall, Level 2

Build a Tao Tie-Inspired Paper Vessel
Marble Hall, Level 2

Community Activities


Community Dragon
Atrium, Level 1

Work alongside the community to build a collaborative paper dragon! Write a wish on a paper ring and add it to the body of the dragon.

Community Voting Survey & Prize Table
Atrium, Level 1

Stop by to vote for your favorite art activity of the day and receive a fun prize to take home.

Play & Construct!
Marble Hall, Level 2

Use oversized tangram shapes to create patterns and designs or experiment with Chinese instruments. Use blocks to construct Chinese architectural monuments.

Strike a Pose Photo Station
Marble Hall, Level 2

Grab a prop and take a selfie! #VMFAFamilyDay

Early Childhood Classroom, WestRock Art Education Center, Level 1

Enjoy family-friendly Chinese films as you relax in our Early Childhood Classroom!

Paper Lantern Wishes
Start Space, WestRock Art Education Center, Level 1

Write a wish on a paper lantern!

Gallery Hunt & Audio Tours
Start Space, WestRock Art Education Center, Level 1

Pick up a gallery map in our Start Space and explore the VMFA Galleries. Make sure to stop by the Interactive Gallery exhibition, Rhythm of Art, which explores the relationship of art and music, on view through February 18.

Explore More at VMFA!

Special Exhibition: Edward Hopper and the American Hotel
Level L

This ticketed exhibition is on view in our Level L special exhibition space through February 23. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Services desk on Level 1.

VMFA’s Best Café
Atrium, Level 1
Stop by VMFA’s Best Café to pick up a tasty treat or delicious dish! Food will be served until 3:30 pm in the Best Café.

Atrium, Level 1
Explore beautifully crafted items in our VMFA shop.

Become a Member at VMFA
Not a member? Join during Family Day and receive a $20 discount on Family Membership, or enter your name for a chance to win a $15 gift card to the Best Café!


Join us for our upcoming Family Day events listed below.

Celebrate African and African American Art: Egypt
Sat, June 6, 2020
11 am-3 pm

Celebrate the Art of Latin America: The Andes
Sat, Sep 12, 2020
11 am-3 pm

Generously Sponsored by: