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Rong Huang and Zhihao Dong Join Hands to Create UCI Spring Festival Gala: An Innovative Journey of Cross-Cultural Exchange

As the festive atmosphere of the Spring Festival grows stronger, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is set to host a special celebration event tailored for international students far from home.  At this meaningful moment, creative directors Rong Huang and Zhihao Dong will join hands to present a cultural journey that combines visual arts and emotional expression, allowing every audience member to experience the unique charm and deep emotions of Chinese culture amidst laughter and joy.

On February 2, 2024, a unique Spring Festival Gala was held at the Irvine Barclay Theatre at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The Irvine Barclay Theatre, as the largest and most advanced performing arts center on the UCI campus, provided an excellent venue for this event.  UC Irvine itself, as a world-renowned top university, and its diverse and inclusive campus culture added a special humanistic touch to the gala. The event attracted nearly a thousand students and guests from around the world, with a scale and lineup that can be regarded as a major Spring Festival event in the southwestern United States. The lineup of the gala was star-studded, with special guests including the rising internet singer Sunkis and the popular hip-hop group “Zhihuo Bang” among young people. Sunkis became an overnight sensation with the song “Your Answer,” which quickly surpassed 100 million clicks online. “Zhihuo Bang,” on the other hand, has touched the hearts of countless listeners with its unique musical style and positive lyrics. The addition of these two-star guests undoubtedly added a dazzling star aura and youthful energy to the gala, while also attracting a large number of fans to support the event. The gala’s success was inseparable from the meticulous planning of the two talented creative directors, Rong Huang and Zhihao Dong.

As one of the creative directors of this Spring Festival Gala, Rong Huang made invaluable contributions to the event’s success with his unique background and innovative thinking in cultural arts and business marketing. Having previously worked in marketing and planning for American retail giants, Rong Huang deeply understands the importance of creativity for the success of any business or cultural event. Rong Huang cleverly integrated his rich experience in business marketing into the gala’s planning. During the gala, Rong Huang employed internet thinking and new media methods to carry out a series of online and offline interactive activities, greatly enhancing the participation and influence of the international student community. The gala venue even featured immersive experience zones and creative check-in points, perfectly combining traditional culture with fashion trends, and attracting numerous young students to experience and share.

It is precisely due to Rong Huang’s outstanding abilities in cultural planning and business innovation that this Spring Festival Gala was able to achieve such tremendous success. The gala not only brought an audio-visual feast to the international students but also became an important platform to showcase the charm of Chinese culture and promote the connection between the Chinese and American people. Through the power of creativity, Rong Huang endowed the traditional festival with new connotations and vitality and also wrote a vivid chapter for the spread of Chinese culture overseas. During his tenure as the creative director, Rong Huang fully utilized his expertise in cross-cultural communication and creative planning. With a keen cultural insight, he carefully designed a series of programs and interactive segments that both highlighted the characteristics of Chinese culture and integrated modern creative elements.

As one of the creative directors of this Spring Festival Gala, Zhihao Dong made significant contributions to the event’s success with his outstanding abilities in cultural promotion and creative planning. As an excellent graduate of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Business, Zhihao Dong not only possesses solid business knowledge and management skills but also has a keen insight and innovative thinking in cultural and artistic fields. During his tenure as creative director, he deeply understands that a successful cultural exchange event needs to inherit the essence of traditional culture while attracting modern audiences, especially young students, in innovative ways. Therefore, when designing the gala’s program, he intentionally incorporated many popular elements such as rap, street dance, and short videos, showcasing the profound heritage of Chinese culture while highlighting its vibrant vitality and contemporary charm.

It is worth mentioning that Zhihao Dong’s exceptional leadership and communication skills demonstrated in his cultural promotion work are also key factors in the event’s success. As a creative director, he not only needs to provide creative inspiration but also coordinate the work of various departments and teams to ensure that the creative ideas are implemented with high quality. From the early stages of program planning and selection to the later stages of rehearsals and publicity, Zhihao Dong has been personally involved and dedicated, demonstrating his outstanding organizational and management abilities. It is under Zhihao Dong’s meticulous planning and guidance that this Spring Festival Gala was able to achieve such impressive results. The gala not only brought a visual and auditory feast to nearly a thousand Chinese and foreign students and guests but also became an important platform for promoting Chinese culture and fostering heart-to-heart communication between China and the United States.

Looking to the future, Rong Huang and Zhihao Dong will continue to serve as creative directors for the “Sino-Western Cultural Integration and Promotion Project,” leveraging their respective companies’ strengths in music production and creative planning to lead this forward-looking initiative to new heights. Rong Huang holds the position of Creative Director at Global Store Supply Inc., which will partner with the project to contribute its expertise in music production and cross-cultural exchange. Rong Huang will further deepen the exchange and integration of Chinese and Western cultures, exploring innovative paths that combine cutting-edge technology with traditional culture to present a more comprehensive and vivid image of Chinese culture to the world. Zhihao Dong serves as Creative Director at Rock Land Depot, LLC, which will also collaborate as a project partner, fully utilizing its outstanding capabilities in creative planning and cultural promotion. Zhihao Dong will focus on identifying and nurturing young talent passionate about bridging Chinese and Western cultures, empowering them to contribute to the cause of fostering mutual understanding and friendship between people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The two companies will work hand in hand to continue providing creative director support for the next edition of the “Sino-Western Cultural Integration and Promotion Project.” Rong Huang and Zhihao Dong will uphold cultural confidence and an all-embracing mindset, driving the project to even greater success with their visionary leadership and innovative ideas.