Music Education for Orphans

Hi, my name is Shang Li ’16. Originally from China, I studied in Sydney, Australia and Elgin, Illinois, before attending Lawrence University.  I am currently studying government and history.

Cultural exchange is a pure communication beyond languages and borders. Culture must be preserved and promoted in young people for it to thrive. Since September 2010, I’ve worked with orphans in my hometown of Tianjin, hiring teachers to instruct them in the Chinese arts and fondly watching them learn and grow. I hope to continue providing Chinese opera and percussion lessons and more with your help!

In China, school can be very long and difficult for children. It goes from 7am until 5pm during the weekdays, and even in summer, students have daily homework for each subject to prepare for the next school year. Having a creative outlet encourages confidence in the orphans with and brings a positive energy to the entire community of Tianjin. In the past four years, the children performed locally in Tianjin, at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and in a national Beijing opera competition with some honors awarded! 

In July 2013, I established the first non-governmental organization in Tianjin, LiShang Traditions & Cultural Exchange Center of Tianjin. Now, in addition to providing music education and performance opportunities for these children, my organization exposes them to other artistic aspects of traditional Chinese culture, including brush-painting, flour sculpture, fan-making and more.

Your gifts will help cover the costs of teachers’ salaries, children’s costumes, instruments, and transportation fees for special performances outside their community. Please help support the artistic education for these children and make a gift today!

Goal: $2,000

Raised to Date: $1,490

Needed by: November 21, 2014


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Every project donor will receive an impact report showing the difference their gift made.

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If the project does not reach full funding and the student does not wish to proceed with the project, your donation will go towards another Blue Start Project.

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