Korean Cultural Festival unites Korean Americans from Twin Cities and Chicago | By Martha Vickery (Fall 2022)
Korean music, percussion and dance groups from the Twin Cities and Chicago performed in a free festival celebrating Korean culture, held at the rotunda of the Mall of America in Bloomington on Sunday, November 6.
The Korean American Association of Minnesota sponsored the event, which featured several Twin Cities-based performing groups. JangMi Arts performed dance and drumming, and Shinparam Korean Traditional Drum Troupe performed a samulnori-style concert percussion piece. MKDC Kpop dance group also moved to the latest Kpop beats, and Lee’s Champion Taekwondo Academy did a martial arts demonstration.
There was a fashion show created and modeled by the Korean Student Association of University of Minnesota featuring formal hanbok (Korean traditional national costume) as well as some humorous Korean haute couture, such as Korean school uniforms and outfits perfect for midnight trips to the convenience store.
Chicago performing groups include the Korean Performing Art Institute of Chicago (KPAC) led by artistic director Byoung Sug Kim, which showcased traditional and contemporary Korean percussion; and the Chicago Korean Dance Company, which performed several traditional Korean dances.
The Korean American Association of Minnesota (KAAM), a business, cultural and service organization of the Twin Cities Korean American community, collaborated with the Korean Consulate of Chicago, which provided funding for the event. The KAAM website is: www.mnkorea.org
Martha Vickery is a long-time professional journalist and long-time amateur Korea watcher, co-founder of Korean Quarterly, and editor since its founding in 1997. She has raised three now-adult children, two of whom are adopted from Korea, with the help of the Korean American community in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area.