Celebrate Chinese culture in City of the Arts

Often referred to as the “City of the Arts,” Costa Mesa and its various locales offer a unique festival this month brimming with activities ...


Often referred to as the “City of the Arts,” Costa Mesa and its various locales offer a unique festival this month brimming with activities celebrating the diverse and vibrant Chinese culture.

Costa Mesa is in Orange County, just 25 miles south of Los Angeles and an hour and a half from Palm Springs. It may not be the first destination that comes to mind, but give this some thought: It is the home of the shopping mecca of South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Plus it is just a few miles from beaches, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and a multitude of museums and art galleries.

One-of-a-kind festival

“Ancient Paths, Modern Voices” stands as the first festival presented under a partnership between Carnegie Hall and the Philharmonic Society and the first time Carnegie Hall's festival programming has been offered to audiences outside of New York. The festival couples the old and new traditions of Chinese culture.

Performances include the talented Quanzhou Marionette Troupe spinning ancient tales at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Western symphonic and chamber music influenced by Chinese culture, traditional folk music, as well as film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Art, fashion combine

As part of the festivities, the U.S. premiere of an exhibition featuring the work of Beijing-based fashion photographer Quentin Shih is currently on view through Nov. 7 at adjacent South Coast Plaza. “Christian Dior Presents Photographs by Quentin Shih” comes direct from the exhibition in Beijing last year and features 20 of the original 22 works.

With its ongoing appreciation for art and fashion, South Coast Plaza has a reputation of attracting visitors from around the world with its collection of nearly 300 boutiques and department stores.

Give a standing ovation

The Westin South Coast Plaza, which enviably sits walking distance between the Performing Arts Center and South Coast Plaza, offers special stays for overnight theatergoers and shoppers.

The newly redesigned luxury resort offering two great packages.

The “Standing Ovation Theater Package,” with stays from $149 per night, includes a $25 travel reimbursement, $25 theater ticket reimbursement, plus a $25 dining certificate for each night of stay.

The “Shopping Package” includes a $199 per night stay with the added bonuses of a $100 South Coast Plaza gift certificate, a South Coast Plaza discount coupon book, complimentary access to the shopping resort's VIP Lounge and complimentary valet parking.

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