Overview of our fundraiser
15 members (ages 5-19) and 2 instructors of our Chang-mi Korean Dance & Drum have been invited to perform in Gwang-ju, South Korea. We have been asked to travel there to help the city celebrate the opening of the ChoongHyun Babies’ Home Memorial (March 30-31, 2012).
For all of us this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. We’ll have the chance to perform with a professional dance company in front of officials from Gwang-ju city and the South Korean government, as well as representatives from other countries. More than that, we, as Korean adoptees and children of Korean adoptees, will be able to show the people of South Korean how we have integrated a piece of our and our parents’ traditional culture into our lives in Minnesota.
More about Korean adoptions in Minnesota
We and some of our parents are Korean adoptees, and we are part of a long history between South Korea and Minnesota. According to the book HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans In Minnesota: “From the first official accounts in 1953 until the present, an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 children have been sent from South Korea to Minnesota for the purpose of adoption.”
We understand how this history impacts our cultural, social, and personal lives. This is one of the main reasons why the invitation to perform in Gwang-ju, South Korea is so exciting.
More about our group Chang-mi Korean Dance & Drum
Chang-mi Korean Dance & Drum is a St. Paul, MN based company that was founded in 1984. It’s primary focus is to promote pride by teaching Korean cultural heritage to Korean adoptees and children of Korean adoptees. Our head instructor Brooke Newmaster is herself a Korean adoptee. In addition to Chang-mi Dance & Drum, Brooke offers cooking classes, toddler-parent drum play group, kids & teens culture clubs and much more at the Korean Heritage House. She, like us, believes in the importance of helping Korean adoptees and the children of Korea adoptees integrate Korea’s rich culture into their lives.
When Brooke began taking Chang-mi Korean dance when she was six years old, it was her only time she could be with other Korean kids and see her Korean-American teacher and role model, Ji-won Han. Brooke imagined that she would one day be able to meet her birth mother and dance the fan dance for her. She thought that even though they wouldn't be able to speak to each other in the same language, that by being able to do these Korean dances, she could show that she had not forgot her. Although Brooke has yet to meet her, she keeps hope in her heart that her birth mother will see her dance one day.
More about the ChoongHyun Babies’ Home Memorial
ChoongHyun Babies’ Home Memorial is located in what was once a Korean War Orphanage. The purpose of the memorial, which includes a guest house, is to give adoptees a place where they can learn Korean history, culture, and language. It will also assist adoptees who wish to seek out their birth families.
More about our fundraiser
The money will help the 17 Chang-mi members afford to travel and perform. The funds will help us to cover a portion of the airfare, in country transportation, and lodging.
Many of the families have been saving money to go back to Korea within the next few years. This invitation was a surprise and is an opportunity the students and families don’t want to pass up. $10,000 divided among the members will make this trip possible! Any additional support will allow the group to purchase matching costumes.
Thank you so much for your consideration, and please let us know in the comments section if you have any questions.
Chang-mi Korean Dance & Drum
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