Join us for Our Next Big Event in 2015uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkJOIN US in celebrating the “Year of the Ram” at the annual USCPFA-MN Chinese New Year Banquet, Sunday, February 8, 2015, at Peking Garden Restaurant, 1488 University Avenue.  Details.


Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will travel to Harbin China in January for the 2015 Ice and Snow Festival.  Her 6-person delegation will also include USCPFA-MN Board Member Ralph Beha, as well as Bill Deef, VP International Relations for Meet Minneapolis.uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork


China Talk Series will continue in 2015….stay tuned



2014 Past Events

October 2014 USCPFA Midwest Region Conference in Kentucky.  Details.

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkOctober 2014 Chinese Heritage Foundation celebrates 10th Anniversary

Margaret-CHF 10 Anniv

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.

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkSeptember 2014 Changsha Delegation Visits MN

2014-9 Changsha Deletation

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.

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkAugust 4-11, 2014 Harbin Music Exchange

Brass Quintet image

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.

Read Trip Report Here

Read China Insight Article-October 2014

SABQ photo

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkJuly 20, 2014 Minneapolis Sister City Day

2014 Sister City Day  2014 Sister City Day-2

Lion Dance 1  Lion Dance Performers

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.uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

 April 24-25, 2014 USCPFA Washington Seminar

2014 Washingnton Seminar020140425784822575358

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.uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

April 5-6, 2014 Passage to China

Passage-Writing Charac

Linda & Mary-Passage  Linda & Weiming

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-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

USCPFA-MN Annual Chinese New Year Banquet

SABQ at banquet Co-President Walter Graff Mindy Ratner introduces SABQ-2 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. uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

2013 Past Events

China Talk Series – Talk #7

IMG_20131107_191655c2 November 7, 2013, Panel Discussion “Teaching Chinese Language and Culture: ‘Stuffing the Duck’ or a New Approach?” led by two MN Chapter members- Margaret Wong, one of the first Chinese language teachers in MN who has been teaching Chinese for more than 35 years and founded the National Chinese Language Teachers Association, and Neil Bray, who taught in Shanghai for 4 years before returning to Minnesota where he teaches Chinese to middle school students and Chairs the Language Department at St. Paul Academy.  They were joined by Chinese language students from Breck, St. Paul Academy, and Macalester.  The panelists talked about their experiences – successes and challenges – as teachers and learners of Chinese.


October 18-20, 2013 USCPFA National Convention:  “China and the United States: Weaving Friendship through History and the Arts”

Mary Warpeha, Wen Li, Barbara Harrison, Annie Rollins, and Charles Petersen from the MN Chapter attended the National Convention in Richmond, Virginia, on October 18-20, 2013.   Annie Rollins, Puppet and Theatre Creator, gave a presentation on Chinese Shadow Puppetry.  Congratulations to MN Chapter member Wen Li, who is the new National Treasurer.  Congratulations to MN Chapter member Charles Petersen who was awarded the Koji Ariyoshi Award.


China Talk Series – Talk #6

DSC04836     DSC04826 October 3, 2013.  View “Autumn Gem” – A documentary film about Qiu Jin, China’s First Feminist; followed by a discussion about this radical women’s rights activist, led by Xin YANG, Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Culture, Macalester College.DSC04827uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

September 21, 2013 Moon Festival Slideshow

Celebrating 25 Years of St. Paul-Changsha Sister-City Relationship.  “Mooncakes and Music” by St. Anthony Brass Quintet at Phalen Park.



September 2013 – USCPFA Yellow Mountain Tour

Yellow Mtn Tour ImageLed by Minnesota Chapter Vice President Linda Mealey-Lohmann to Yellow Mountain (including neighboring villages, and Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou).  Watch Video.  Click here for itinerary



July 23, 2013 Consul General Zhao Weiping visits Minnesota

DSC02290c Consul General Zhao and his delegation made their first trip to Minnesota.  USCPFA-MN hosted CG Zhao and Consul Wang Ruibin for dinner at the Teahouse to discuss past and future projects for collaboration.


July 14, 2013 USCPFA-MN Celebrates Minneapolis Sister-City Celebration

DSCN0151 Sister City group 2013-7-14

Sister City group 2013-7-14

 USCPFA-MN highlighted the Minneapolis-Harbin, China, sister-city relationship by showing a DVD of Harbin, demonstrating how to make jiaozi (dumplings), and entertaining visitors with Chinese song and dance.  Thanks to Weiming Lu for the photos.


July 13, 2013 – Phalen Park Dragon Festival

USCPFA-MN sponsored “Team Friendship” to row one of the magnificent dragon boats. There were lots of smiles and cheering for the team as they competed in the various heats.  USCPFA-MN’s booth informed visitors about the St. Paul-Changsha sister-city 25-year relationship.  Click for more photos.


DSC02141 DSC02233 DSC02255 uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

China Talk Series – Talk #5

An WeiMay 13, 2013, An Wei, long-time friend of USCPFA-MN, on “Promoting Grassroots Democracy.”  Click here for talk details.  Click here for “Promoting Grassroots Democracy” article by An Wei. An Wei speech 2 An Wei speech

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushworkApril 2013 USCPFA-MN welcomes Beijing Longquan Monastery Buddhist Monks

USCPFA-MN Board members Mary Warpeha and Linda Mealey-Lohmann accompanied Venerable Xianqi and Venerable Xianwei for a tour of St. John’s Abbey and an interfaith dialogue with St. John’s Benedictine Monk Brother Aaron, which included the opportunity to participate in several prayer services and view the hand-written and illuminated St. John’s Bible. St John's Abbey1 St John's Abbey2uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

April 2013 USCPFA-MN participates in Passage to China

USCPFA-MN sponsored an interactive cultural activity at the fourth annual Passage to China event Mall of America, hosted by the Chinese Heritage Foundation.  Activities included learning to write Chinese characters and identifying photos from MN’s 3 key sisters” in China – Shaanxi Province, Harbin, and Changsha.

Co-President Mary Warpeha stamps passports

Co-President Mary Warpeha stamps passports

Writing Characters in rice

Writing Characters in rice

Kit Spangler, Co-Chair of Harbin Committee, engages in a lively conversation in Chinese Kit Spangler, Co-Chair of Harbin Committee, engages in a lively conversation in Chinese Board members Yue-him Tam and Linda Mealey-Lohmann Board Members Yue-him Tam and Linda Mealey-Lohmann tell visitors about the two China Garden projects. Neil Bray, Chair of Changsha Committee teaches Chinese brush calligraphy

Neil Bray, Chair of Changsha Committee, teaches Chinese brush calligraphy

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork DSC01292 Co-sponsored Grant supporting Annie Rollins and her Chinese Shadow Puppet Research.  Annie recently performed, “There’s Nothing to Tell” on March 15-17 and 22-24 at the Heart of the Beast Theatre.  Click here for details. uscpfa-red-bar-med

USCPFA-MN Chinese New Year Banquet welcomed 115 attendees to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Snake on February 17, 2013 at Little Szechuan Restaurant.  Margaret Wong served as Emcee; Sister-City Chairs Neil Bray, Amy Xu, and Kit Spangler talked about upcoming events; Linda Mealey-Lohmann talked about progress with the two China Garden projects.  The highlight of the evening was the Chinese New Year Lion Dance by the Hong De Choy Li Fut Lion Dancers.

Board Member Margaret Wong serves as a lively Emcee. DSC08533c DSC08575c  DSC08554c DSC08535   DSC08536c Bob Schmitt, Website Designer, with Treasurer Wen Li (left bottom photo) and Membership Chair Glynis Hinschberger with her daughter (right bottom photo). uscpfa-red-bar-med

Minnesota Receives Award from Shaanxi Province for 30 years of friendship work.

TradeOffice-ChinaLtGovAward-031213_Award_jp4461  TradeOffice-ChinaLtGovAward-031213_Group_jp4472 On March 12, USCPFA-MN made a presentation to Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon of the award given to the State of Minnesota at the Friendship Forum of the China Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in Chengdu.  This award had been accepted for Minnesota by Mary Warpeha in Chengdu during the International Friendship Cities Forum in September 2012.  USCPFA-MN Board members Walter Graff, Joyce Hsiao, Mary Warpeha, and Amy Xu in attendance.


USCPFA-MN Co-sponsors 2012-2013 China Talk Series with Macalester College History Department and Macalester Chinese Culture Club

Kit Spangler photo2April 9, 2013 – Board Member Kit Spangler, Director of Marketing and Sales, Ten Square International, on “Counting Calories: China, the United States, and World Food Security.”  Click here for details

China Talk-Spangler1DSC08952

Jaime Monson photo March 5, 2013 – Jamie Monson, Professor of History, Macalester College on “Reaching Out: Chinese in Africa, African’s in China”

Ted Farmer photoFebruary 5, 2013   USCPFA-MN Board Member Edward L. Farmer, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Minnesota, on “Reaching Out: China’s Growing Global Role.”

Yue-him TamNovember 18, 2012  USCPFA-MN Board Member Professor Yue-him Tam, Professor of History, Macalester College, on “Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute and the American Connection.”


CHF-CNYevent2013finalUSCPFA-MN Board Member Margaret Wong played key role in organizing the January 20 Chinese Heritage Foundation Chinese New Year Bazaar

uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork2012 Past Events

USCPFA-MN Hosts Banquet for MIA Terracotta Warrior Scholars

  In November 2012, USCPFA-MN hosted 12 International Scholars for a banquet following a 2-day symposium at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in connection with its Terracotta Warriors Exhibition.


Chicago Chinese Consulate in MN

  The Chicago Consulate attending the MIA Opening Director’s Circle Party Friday night October 26, 2012.     From left: Ralph Gao Jingyi, Vice Consul; Shuying Wang, Deputy Consul General; Jamie Van Nostrand, MIA, Manager of Donor Relations; Jingyi Gao, Vice Consul; Liu Yang, Curator of the MIA Asian collection (Photographer – Mary Warpeha)


USCPFA-MN Founder Pat Puffer is Honored by CHF

In October 2012, Pat Puffer was honored by the Chinese Heritage Foundation for her many years of work with the Chinese community.  Pat and Ken (deceased) Puffer were founding members of USCPFA-MN.  Click here to read USCPFA-MN Board Member Margaret Wong’s words of thanks.  Here she is pictured with USCPFA-MN members at the event.  From Left: James Puffer, Weiming & Caroline Lu, Joan Brzenski, Joyce Hsiao, Ming Tchou, Pat Puffer (seated) Magaret Wong, Walter Graff, Mary Warpeha, Linda Mealey-Lohmann. uscpfa-red-bar-med

Harbin TV Crew Creates Documentary of Minneapolis-Harbin Sister Relationship

Weiming Lu and Linda Mealey-Lohmann being interviewed about the Minneapolis-Harbin China Garden project (left).  TV crew filming at Yinghua Academy Chinese Immersion School (right). In September 2012, USCPFA-MN and Meet Minneapolis welcomed a Harbin TV Crew Delegation who were in town to film Minneapolis, as part of their documentary on all of Harbin’s Sister-Cities. uscpfa-red-bar-med

Harbin Mayor Song Xibin Visits Minneapolis

In July 2012, newly appointed Harbin mayor, Song Xibin, visited Minneapolis as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the sister relationship. Photo (from the right) Mpls City Council Chair Barbara Johnson, Mayor R T Rybak, Mayor Song Xibin   USCPFA-MN hosts gathering for Harbin Mayor Song at Warpeha home


Minneapolis Sister City Celebration Recognizes 20-year Minneapolis-Harbin Anniversary

In July 2012, USCPFA-MN participated in the Minneapolis Sister City Celebration at Nicollet Island Pavilion as part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial festivities.  Mayor R.T. Rybak opened the official program with a recognition of the 20-year anniversary of the Minneapolis-Harbin relationship.  Harbin music performances by Yuemei Zhang, Ningsheng Huang, Yajin Wang, Sasha Szutu, Maggie Zhang, and Riwen Liu.  Photo shows USCPFA-MN members and the Harbin entertainers in local dress.  Mary Warpeha photographer uscpfa-red-bar-med

USCPFA-MN Members participate in Passage to China

In April 2012, USCPFA-MN participated in the annual Passage to China at the Mall of America.  The USCPFA-MN booth highlighted the 3 key sister relationships, the 2 China Garden projects, and also taught attendees how to write Chinese characters in rice with their fingers. uscpfa-red-bar-med

Changsha Sculptor Lei Yixin in St. Paul

In April 2012, Master Lei Yixin from Changsha gave a lecture about creating the Stone of Hope Memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C., with introduction by USCPFA-MN member Weiming Lu (photo by Linda Mealey-Lohmann)   uscpfa-red-bar-heavywbrushwork

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