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May 3, 2015: “Building Friendships” FREE USCPFA-MN members event Open house with talks, by 3 speakers about cross-cultural relationship building, interspersed with socializing and light refreshments. RSVP required by 4/27 (sorry no walk-ins) Details here
July 11&12, 2015: JOIN the USCPFA-MN Dragon Boat Team – “Team Friendship” and row a real Dragon Boat at the Phalen Park Dragon Festival. Click here for details. To join team, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ongoing: March 19-May 7, 2015: “Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941)” Exhibition at Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park). 2014 “Jews in China” USCR Article. “Jewish Refugees in Shanghai” Exhibit Booklet. See website for event details Click here for details
May 5, 2015: China Center’s Bob and Kim Griffin “Building U.S.-China Bridges Lecture” featuring author Evan Osnose (“Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China”)
July 16-18, 2015: Sister Cities International Conference in Minneapolis
September 11-13, 2015: USCPFA National Convention in Atlanta
2015 Past Events
April 29, 2015 – USCPFA-MN Welcomes newly-appointed Mr. Jun LIU, Chicago Deputy Consul General
Ralph Beha, Linda Mealey-Lohmann, and Wen Li met with the new Deputy Consul General from Chicago, Mr. Jun LIU, over lunch at Little Szechuan along with Mr. GUO Jinyue, Vice Consul of Political & Press Affairs, and Mr. Han LI, Vice Consul of Political & Press Affairs. Ralph talked about USCPFA-MN’s mission and the the long sister relationships and Linda talked about the two China Garden projects.April 3 – Annual USCPFA-MN Election & Member Dinner at Little Szechuan in Stadium Village
March 19, 2015: “Jewish Refugees in Shanghai” Exhibit Grand Opening
USCPFA-MN members attended the Grand Opening of this amazing exhibit at the Sabes Jewish Community Center. Welcome remarks were made by Consul General Zhao Weiping, Consulate General of the PRC in Chicago (below left), and the Honorable Tony Leung, Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of MN (below right).
March 14-15, 2015: Passage to China – Sponsored by the Chinese Heritage Foundation
USCPFA-MN hosted its annual Chinese New Year banquet to celebrate “40 Years of Friendship with China” – The USCPFA-MN Chapter and National USCPFA were founded in 1974 – forty years ago. In those early years, to fulfill its mission of “developing friendships and understanding between the two countries,” USCPFA was the only way most Americans could travel to China and USCPFA-MN played a key role in establishing the sister relationships between Minnesota and China. Some of those early members were in attendance, including Joyce Hsiao, Ming Tchou, Margaret Wong, and Professor Ted Farmer.
Meet Minneapolis, Bill Deef VP of International Relations, and USCPFA-MN welcomed a 4-member Delegation from Harbin on January 29-31. The dinner guests included USCPFA-MN Board Members Linda Mealey-Lohmann, Ralph Beha, Wen Li, and Christopher Hang, along with Delegation members Mr. WANG Xiaoxi, Secretary, Politics & Law Committee, CPC Harbin Committee; Mr. XIA Qianming, President, Harbin Culture & Tour Group; Mr. MU Hongfeng, Vice Director-General, Harbin Pingfang District Government; Mr. SONG Xiangdong (Robert), Vice Director-General, Harbin Foreign & Overseas Chinese Affairs, along with Jill Griffith, ZHANG Hui (Harbin Women’s short track (3000 m relay) speed skating gold medalist for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics) and Sandy Wang (Harbin PhD Candidate at the U of M).
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges traveled to Harbin China from January 4 to 7 for the 2015 Ice and Snow Festival. Her 6-person delegation also included USCPFA-MN Board Member Ralph Beha, as well as Bill Deef, VP International Relations for Meet Minneapolis, Melvin Tennant of Meet Minneapolis, and 11th Ward City Council member John Quincy. Mayor Hodges met with Harbin Mayor Song during a formal reception and luncheon. The Delegation also attended the Cold Zone Exposition and Forum, visited snow and ice sculptures, and the Russian-influenced St. Sophia Cathedral.
2014 Past Events
October 2014 USCPFA Midwest Region Conference in Kentucky. Details.
CHF has commissioned a new, contemporary opera based on the beloved 18th-century Qing Dynasty Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber,” by Cao Xuequin. It will be produced in the fall of 2016 by the San Francisco Opera. Pictured is Margaret Wong, Advisory Committee Member, giving her opening remarks. China Insight article.
A seven member delegation from Changsha, Hunan, visited their Sister City of St. Paul on September 19 and 20. The delegation was from the Changsha Science and Technology Bureau which administers 16 hi-tech developments centers in the Changsha area. They were hosted by Dr. Jiangbo Yang, University of Minnesota and Mary Warpeha of US-China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota. A whirlwind itinerary included visits with Kathleen Motzenbecker, Director of the Minnesota Trade Office, Louis Jambois, Director of the St. Paul Port Authority, Nancy Homans, Political Affairs in the St. Paul Mayor’s Office, Dr. James McCarthy, Masonic Cancer Center, and Joan Brzezinski, Director of the China Center. A festive autumn dinner was hosted at the home of Dr. Walter and Mary Warpeha. On Saturday morning, the delegation visited Phalen Regional Park to see “Meditation”, a sculpture crafted by Changsha Master Sculptor, Lei Yixin. Continuing on in the park, the group walked through the future site of the St. Paul-Changsha Friendship Garden.
Five musicians of the St. Anthony Brass Quintet, Bill Deef – a representative of Meet Minneapolis, and USCPFA-MN Co-President Mary Warpeha spent a week beginning August 4. Prior to reaching Harbin, they spent two days in Shanghai to rest, rehearse, and see the sights as guests of Holiday International Travel Service in Xian. On August 7, the Harbin Foreign Affairs Office and Cultural Affairs Office welcomed them to Harbin and their whirlwind adventures attending functions and performing at the Harbin Summer Music Festival began. The Saturday performance was in the newly renovated Harbin Concert Hall and the Sunday outdoor performance was at the Flood Control Monument on the banks of the Songhua River in downtown Harbin. The Brass Quintet chose an interesting musical repertoire of Americana for their two performances at the Festival. Selections were from composers John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and others. Repertoire. We thank all who sponsored this project, including generous contributions from many USCPFA-MN Board members, individuals, Meet Minneapolis, and the Harbin Summer Music Festival organizers. Read what MPR Classical had to say.
We celebrated the Minneapolis – Harbin, China sister relationship, along with Minneapolis’ 8 other sister cities at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. Visitors enjoyed our many activities: paper-cutting, writing Chinese characters with a brush, watching a video about Harbin, and eating Chinese candies. A Lion Dance was provided by the Hongde Choy Li Fut Lion Dance & Martial Arts School. The celebration day was part of the larger Minneapolis Summer Aquatennial. Thanks to our many volunteers, Margaret, Walter, Linda, Karlyn, Whitney, Christopher, Sishir, and more.
April 24-25, 2014 USCPFA Washington Seminar
The USCPFA held its 21st Washington Seminar on US-China Relations and celebrates its 40th anniversary of founding on April 24-25, 2014, in D.C. Click here for full report.
April 5-6, 2014 Passage to China
Passage to China, hosted by the Chinese Heritage Foundation, was another great success. We love teaching visitors to our booth how to write Chinese characters with their fingers in rice and telling them about USCPFA-MN events and the two China Garden projects.
USCPFA-MN 2014 Annual Chinese New Year Banquet
USCPFA-MN hosted its annual Chinese New Year Banquet on February 9, 2014, at the Grand Szechuan Restaurant to celebrate the Year of the Horse. The evening’s highlight was the entertainment by the St. Anthony Brass Quintet, which has been invited to perform at the 31st Harbin Summer Music Festival in August 2014. Co-President Walter Graff gave the opening remarks and Board Member Mindy Ratner introduced the musical numbers. The only disappointment of the evening is that the 4-person Harbin delegation was unable to join the event due to a bad weather cancellation of their flight from Canada.
Past Significant Events
and Accomplishments where USCPFA-MN played major role by Barbara Harrison
- Hosting of 1985 USCPFA National Convention; attended by Harrison Salisbury, David Lampton, Governor from Shaanxi, Ambassador Han Xu, Madam Li Xiaolin, others
- Hosting of USCPFA-Midwest Region Conferences (2008 Moon Festival)
- Harbin Ice Sculptors to the St. Paul Winter Carnival
- Large group of Changsha Children to St. Paul
- Kite Festival. Sourced and hosted kite team from Yangjiang City, China
- Local host for Chinese Team to the Special Olympics in Minnesota
- Hosting of new Ambassadors from China to the U.S. to introduce them to Minnesotans
- Sponsor and co-sponsor of business seminars
- Significant orientation work with incoming U of MN students and scholars from 1979 on
- Presentations on China to public school classes (Garnett Kirchner, Fred Ptashne, Effie McKerson, Barbara Harrison, Charles Petersen, others)
- Hosting of Chinese visitors for dinners in homes (Margaret Wong, Barbara Harrison, Jolie Klapmeier, Charles Petersen, Mary Warpeha, Ken and Pat Puffer, others) and restaurants
- Co-sponsorship of USCPFA Washington Seminars from about 1993 to 2005
- Production of chapter newsletters
- Hosting of Chinese Embassy and Chicago Consulate staff for special China-related local events