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Programs and events

Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World

Programs and events


Tang-era drum (detail). Courtesy: American Museum of Natural History, Division of Anthropology.  

These special programs and events were presented as part of the Travelling the Silk Road exhibition in Canberra:

Friends exhibition preview

Friday 30 March 6–8pm, Friends Lounge, National Museum 

Enjoy an exclusive Friends preview of Travelling the Silk Road.

Cost: $10 Friends, $20 guests 
Bookings essential on (02) 6208 5048 or email


Teacher preview: Teaching the Silk Road

Tuesday 3 April, 4.30–6.30pm, Bunyip/Biami Room, National Museum

Join us to hear about the Travelling the Silk Road exhibition and learning approaches to teaching the Silk Road. Also find out about education programs on offer to support your students’ exploration of this exhibition.

RSVP essential by Monday 26 March.
Phone (02) 6208 5345 or email


Image of a cylindrical drum, illustrated at the side with a central red-robed human figure on horseback.

Music from the Silk Road concert

Sunday 13 May 2012, 7.30–9.30pm, The Hall, National Museum

Join Australian and international performers for a musical voyage from Europe to China along the Silk Road, as part of the Canberra International Music Festival. Feature artists include the Song Company, Wallfisch Band and Songul Karahasanoglu.

Tickets $65, concession $59
Bookings essential. Book online at Canberra Ticketing or by phone on (02) 6275 2700.

View more information about the concert

Image: Tang-era drum. Courtesy: American Museum of Natural History, Division of Anthropology. 


The Tulip: festival finale performance

Sunday 20 May 2012, 7.30–9.30pm, The Hall, National Museum

The finale to the 2012 Canberra International Music Festival, The Tulip will feature performances by the New Zealand String Quartet, Michael Askill and the DRUMatiX percussion group, as well as the only Australian performance by Turkish world music superstar Omar Faruk Tekbilek.

Costs apply. Bookings essential.
Book online at Canberra Ticketing or by phone on (02) 6275 2700.

View more information about the performance

Visit the Canberra International Music Festival website for more information.


Night market festival

Friday 15 June, 6.30–9.30pm, National Museum

Indulge in the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of the Silk Road. Enjoy food and craft market stalls, artist demonstrations, music, dance and astronomy.

This free event includes entry to Travelling the Silk Road.

View more information about the Night market festival


Travelling the Silk Road: public conversation

Friday 22 June, 12.15–1.30pm, Visions Theatre, National Museum

Join Ken Parry, ancient history scholar and Silk Road expert, in conversation with Joyce Morgan, co-author of Journeys on the Silk Road, as they discuss travelling the Silk Road from the time of Genghis Khan to today.

Bookings essential on (02) 6208 5021 or email
NOTE: This event is now booked out.
Visions Theatre

View more information about this event

Silk Road school holiday programs

Explore the sights, sounds and stories of the Silk Road in the programs listed below.



Silk Road festival

Sunday 15 April 2012, 10.30am – 2.30pm, National Museum

Take an imaginary journey from Asia to the Middle East as we celebrate the launch of our exhibition, Travelling the Silk Road. Enjoy demonstrations by artisans, cultural performances, exhibition tours and art and craft. Ideal for families with children aged 5 to 12.

View more information about the festival

Free (includes entry to Travelling the Silk Road exhibition).


Canberra Glassworks logo and tile

Silk Road glass tile-making workshop

Daily 11–15 and 18–22 April
10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12 noon, 12.30pm and 1pm
Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston

Inspired by the colours and patterns used by glass artisans of the Silk Road, create your own glass tile in this 20-minute workshop with the artists at the Canberra Glassworks.

Suitable for children 8 and over.

Cost: $40
Price includes a free family ticket to the Travelling the Silk Road exhibition.

Bookings essential.
Call Canberra Glassworks on (02) 6260 7005.
Additional postage charges may apply.


Discovery space: Discovery Road

Weekdays 16–27 April, 10am – 1 pm, The Hall, National Museum. Free.

Embark on your own voyage of discovery, with activities inspired by the Museum's latest exhibition, Travelling the Silk Road. Suitable for children aged 5 to 12.

Inspired by Travelling the Silk Road exhibition, journey through our 'Discovery Road' to make and trade your own silk inspired accessory, Turfan hat, collage camel and Arabic-style tile.

  • Xi’an – City of Peace. Traders on the Silk Road loved the beautiful soft silk made from silk worms. Make and decorate your own Chinese silk inspired accessory.
  • Turfan – Oasis in the Desert. What did the travellers of the Silk Road wear? Style your own Turfan-style hat.
  • Samarakand – City of Merchants. Travellers used camels to carry their goods and chattels over the Silk Road, where paper was made and traded. Create your own paper collage camel.
  • Baghdad – City of Scholars. Inspired by the stunning tiled and patterned mosques of the Middle East, design your own Arabic-style tile.

If you can't come along to the discovery space in person, check out our images online or make your own at home.


Paper-making workshop: journey journal


Tuesday 17 April and Thursday 26 April, 2.15–4.30pm, National Museum (BOOKED OUT)

Artist Nicolette Benjamin Black will show you how to use natural fibres to make the kind of paper traded along the Silk Road. Then create your own journal to take on your next journey. Workshops for children aged 8 to 14.

Cost: $20, $10 Friends
Meet at the Information Desk
Bookings and prepayment essential on (02) 6208 5021 or

Image: Journal made by Nicolette Benjamin Black.
View some of the images of the paper-making workshop on Flickr