International scene at Wicker Mic in Wicker Park includes Beijing visitors


Amy Miller (l), Tina Liu, Caryn Haung (light blue blouse) and the delegations director (r)

Wicker Mic Fri., Aug. 23. had an international feel to it on the grass in Wicker Park. While performers from other countries have entertained at other Wicker Mic nights, never has there been a group of audience members from Beijing, China.


Postcard of Shanhaiguan

A group of delegates from various departments of the Beijing government have been in Illinois for one month and are staying a second month. Never having been to the United States, "They had no idea what America was like," explained Tina Liu, the program's Coordinator. "They are very impressed."

Explaining that each delegate was from a different governmental office, Caryn Huang said that they have visited with Mayors and City Mangers and attended Council meetings in order to understand how the American cities operate.

Now they are getting out into the communities such as an evening in Wicker Park. Amy Miller's Chicago based family is their host family. "The (Miller) daughters are learning some Chinese," said Huang.


Richard Tilley and Nicholas Thomas Fisher


Matthew Shelton playing the mbira

The Wicker Mic audience applauded their attendance and they returned the show of appreciation. Later their Director graciously gave postcards showing their city. The card describes the scene as "Shanhaiguan, lying in

Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province is adjacent to Yanshan Mountain and Bohai Sea, hence obtaining its name. Built in the Ming Dynasty, the pass is reputed as the 'First Pass under Heaven', with walls standing 14 meters high and lined with stones and bricks. The section east of Shanhaiguan that dips into Bohai Sea is called Laolongtou, which is the east start of the Great Wall."


The mbira

Adding to the international theme an English performer, Nicholas Thomas Fisher, is from a town close to where Wicker Park resident Richard Tilley was born and raised north of London, England.

Rounding out the international experience of the evening was Matthew Shelton, the closing act for the evening. He played the mbira, an African instrument.



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