Founded in 1991 as a 501(c)3 corporation, the mission of Chinese Performing Arts of America (CPAA) is to introduce Chinese culture as an integral part of the American society through the performing arts; to promote multiculturalism through collaborations with arts organizations from other communities; and to promote global cultural exchange through international cultural events.
Originally founded 23 years ago as a performing ensemble focused on the Chinese cultural arts, CPAA has evolved into a mid-sized multi-functioned organization with three core program components:
1) Producing, presenting, and touring performances by CPAA’s company of professional performing artists throughout a year long season of 14+ arts events in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area sharing and interpreting Chinese culture with over 20,000 audience members. These performances are located at CPAA’s home facility – the 14,000 square foot International Performing Arts Center in West San Jose, at the Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Jose (CPASJ) and other venues outside the downtown such as Mexican Heritage Plaza, and regionally at De Anza College, Central Park in Fremont, and the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco. Each year the highlight is the commissioning and presentation of new works such 2014’s The Chinese Emperor and the Nightingale (that premiered at the Spring Festival Silicon Valley Gala at CPASJ) that bring together music, dance, and theater arts into CPAA’s own genre of multi-media drama.
2) A Chinese cultural arts learning program – the CPAA Academy – which provides classes to 400 children and adults each week in Chinese traditional and contemporary performing arts as well as performance opportunities for children and youth such as competitions and festivals.
In addition to the weekly classes and a summer camp program, CPAA organizes these performance opportunities for students:
- CPAA dance group, children’s choir and chamber orchestra. These three ensembles provide free performances in venues such as senior centers, schools, and churches enriching cultural life in the community, providing valuable performing experience for the children and youth as well as instilling a sense of public service.
- Silicon Valley International Arts Competition. Launched in 2005, SVIAC promotes international cultural exchange and excellence in performance for youth performers. A perennial success, SVIAC enjoys an audience of more than 1,200 each year.
3) International Performing Arts Center (IPAC) formerly known as the CPAA Arts Center – Renamed in the 2013-14 program year, IPAC is an arts incubator program for 20+ organizations from diverse ethnic backgrounds that utilizes CPAA’s 14,000 square foot facility’s eight small and four large studios and 350 seat capacity auditorium to provide classes and activities to 2,000 children and adults each week. Launched initially as the CPAA Arts Center, the Center was renamed the International Performing Arts Center to reflect its role as a center for many cultural and artistic communities. As such, IPAC has successfully met a growing demand for studio and performance space by San Jose community-based dance and cultural arts organizations and individual artists such as Indian dance companies Abhinaya Dance under Mythili Kumar, Xpression under Srividya Eashwar, and Lakkaraju Dance under Jyothi Lakkaraju and varied forms from yoga, Korean Dance, kathak, Shaolin Kung Fu, flamenco, and others.