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Morrison Center Gives Out Free Tickets for First Cultural Ambassador Event

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Billed as "the preeminent Chinese acrobatic company in the United States," the Golden Dragon Acrobats put on Vegas-style shows that combine traditional Chinese music and dance with remarkable acrobatic feats. The group boasts nearly 40 years of international touring experience, and more than 25 centuries of tradition inform its craft—in the past, according to the Morrison Center, tickets to Boise performances have cost an average of $21 a pop. But on Jan. 6, that same venue handed out hundreds of tickets for free.

The move by the Morrison Center was a first step toward fulfilling its new role as a Cultural Ambassador for the City of Trees, a position awarded by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter last September. The Boise City Department of Arts and History, which manages the program, calls the ambassadors "Boise's honorary representative[s] to the world," saying they are intended to "share Boise's cultural and creative community with other cities across the globe and foster connection to global audiences."

For the next two years, the Morrison Center is one of them, and is already using its awarded funds—an undisclosed but likely hefty chunk of change—to give back.

"We sold out of the 2 p.m. [performance] about a week after announcing, so we decided to add the 7 p.m. performance as well, so that we could have more of the community be a part of it," said Morrison Center Marketing and Outreach Director Virginia Treat.

Both performances were well received by packed auditoriums, and Treat said that Morrison Center Executive Director James Patrick is already scouting out new acts to bring to Boise at free or discounted rates to fulfill its Cultural Ambassador mission.



“From the outset, the Center’s founders wanted the Morrison Center to be Idaho’s premier performing arts center and to be known as the 'People’s Theatre,'" Patrick wrote in a Sept. 22 press release, just after the cultural ambassadorships were awarded. “This designation as Cultural Ambassador is an important stamp of approval and a testament to our founders’ amazing vision and tenacity. As Velma Morrison was known for saying, 'Building the Morrison Center was too right to be wrong.'"

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