By Guo Shuhan
November 1, 2010 | China Daily
Shirley Young and the Committee of 100 are using the arts to build bridges between China and the U.S.
Shirley Young's life during the past two decades has been filled with, in her words, "small things,” yet, things big enough to bring about major turning points in some people's life. Hot tickets such as pianist Lang Lang, choreographer Huang Doudou, and new emerging singing star Shen Yang, who won BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2007, were all introduced to the right people and the world by Young. . . .
Though her talent blossomed in business and she once served as corporate vice-president of General Motors Corporation, Young did not give up on her dream. She realized it in 1989, when she co-founded the Committee of 100, an independent non-profit group of prominent Chinese Americans based in New York. Its dual missions are to encourage a stronger relationship between the people of the United States and China, and encourage the full participation of Chinese-Americans in all aspects of American life. . . .
. . . her real passion is the arts.
"Art is really the way to release people's mind and soul. It brings a spiritual value to society," Young says.
With her love of the arts Young has also organized a series of cultural exchanges, and is especially devoted to those that involve children.
"Culture and children are related. Children have no preconceived attitudes, so the opportunity to meet peers from another cultural background can leave a deep impression."
She is very proud of the unique exhibit the Committee of 100 created for the USA Pavilion of the Shanghai Expo: a video wall about the Chinese in the U.S. called We are Family. . . .
"We didn't expect such a large number of participants and people like my son who cannot speak Chinese really care about their Chinese background," Young says.
"It's really moving to see many American adoptive parents help their Chinese children upload photos to strengthen their motherland ties and their pride in being Chinese."