Folk and Traditional Arts

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Iny Asian Dance Theater AKA Minnesota Sunshine Dance
Start Date
March 2012
End Date
March 2013
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Cultural Heritage

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The variety and number of folk and traditional arts activities in which Minnesotans can participate increases. The number of Minnesotans who participate in folk and traditional arts activities increases. The number of Minnesotans who teach or learn folk and traditional art forms increases.

Measurable Outcome(s)

OUTCOME. Iny Asian Dance Theater successfully hosted the Folk Arts project – “Preservation of Hmong Dance.” We have successfully reached our Vision of the Preservation project, that is - Bringing the Hmong Traditional Dances to Life: Sharing Hmong cultures and talents to build a better community. EVALUATION METHOD. Our Project is a great success, with more than 123 dancers participating at Hmong Dance training, eight community performances and a final Hmong Dance Drama – “Longing for Qeej,” where 500+ audiences cheered non-stop at Central High School Auditorium, St Paul. After the Central High Performances, we hosted feedback session right away with all dancers, parents and invited audience to join us for evaluation. We have also utilized the social media (blog) to collect feedback from the audience. TARETED GROUP - Hmong Americans. MATCHES INTENDED PARTICIPANTS. We have successfully matched our project participants. Led by the Iny Asian Dance Theater’s Artistic Director, Iny Mai Vang Xiong, our Project has successfully included following activities: a) Weekly FREE Hmong Dance Lessons for 123 youth in different levels; b) Researching the Hmong Dances with a pilot website to publicize the information with photos; b) Hosting a Hmong Dance Symposium at August 16, 2012 at Concordia College to discuss the transformation of Hmong Dances; c) Master Classes with the award-winning Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County Song and Dance Troupe from China, to learn the traditional music and dance from Li and Miao (Hmong) ethnicities in October, 2012, and performed the opening dance for their show at University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Hall, with the Qeej dance (Traditional Hmong Bamboo music instrument); e) Presenting through eight community performances at local Schools, New Year Celebrations and Festivals (ex. May 20th, 2012 Pan Asian Arts Festival; and f) Presenting a Final Hmong Dance Drama – Longing for Qeej, at December 19, 2012 at Central High School. 2: INTERPRETATION - To truly honor the Hmong traditional dance arts, we have ample opportunities throughout the training and performances for the participants and audience to learn about the cultural origins of Hmong dance. The Hmong Dance Symposium invited three scholars: Guohua Jin (Artistic Director of Canadian Asian Folk Dance Studio); Pei Shen (Executive Director of East Cultural Center); and Kaiwen You (Artistic Director of the China Dance School and Theatre in San Francisco), to present and host discussion with audience with the topic - Hmong Dance Transformation from China to United States. Additionally, we have publicized Dr. Nengher Vang’s paper, “History of Hmong Dance,” in the Program Booklet to enhance community understanding and awareness of Hmong traditional dances. BARRIERS. For many centuries, the Hmong language was firmly an oral type of communication. There was no alphabet system, no written texts, and no cultural activation to need a literacy system. Cultural aspects and learning was passed on to the next generation from memory and oral wisdom. In the early 1950s, a group of French American missionary-linguists developed a method of writing Hmong words that used the same letters as the English language. Within ten years, it became very popular, and remains to this day the most widely used writing system for the Hmong people. Due to the newly developed language, many Hmong dances have neither a systemic way to document the arts, nor any research to valid its authenticity. STRATEGIES OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS. Our project has utilized following strategies: a) Outreaching to Hmong 18 Clan Council for support and cultural relevancy; b) Posting training and performance information at Hmong Village and Hmong Stores; c) Offering free classes.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Linda Hashimoto van Dooijeweert, Ange Hwang, Kia Moua,Iny Mai Vang Xiong, Mee Xiong
Project Overview
Folk and Traditional Arts
Project Details
Iny Asian Dance Theater researches, documents, preserves, and presents Hmong traditional dances, with folk artists Dao Lan and Mai Vang, through dance manuscripts; master classes; video/audio recording; web presentation with educational materials; and per
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Iny Asian Dance Theater AKA Minnesota Sunshine Dance
Street Address
1865 Major Dr
Golden Valley
Zip Code
(651) 855-8820
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Judson Bemis Jr., Actor, arts administrator, founder and principal of Clere Consulting. Secretary, Minnesota State Arts Board., Ardell Brede, Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002., Peggy Burnet, Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board., Michael Charron, Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board., Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies., John Gunyou, City manager, Minnetonka., Benjamin Klipfel, Executive Director, Alexandria Area Arts Association, Inc. Director and arts educator.,Ellen McInnis, Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board., Pamela Perri, Executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota., Margaret Rapp, Former educator, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. Officer at-large, Minnesota State Arts Board., Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Jewell Arcoren: Program director, First Nations Composer Initiative.; Kristina Clark: Director of programs and exhibits, American Swedish Institute. Member of committee for the 2012 American Association of Museums conference in Minneapolis. Singer in Flickorna Fem.; Ruth Friedlander: Artist and educator.; Eva Maria Kish: Managing director and choreographer, Ethnic Dance Theatre. Concert Artistic Director, Carpathian Folk Festival (Minnesota Hungarians). Board of Directors, Minnesota Hungarians.; Phyllis May-Machunda: Cofounder and director of Training Our Campuses Against Racism. Facilitator, Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity. Folklorist, scholar, and educator.; Gwen Westerman Wasicuna: Professor of English and humanities, Minnesota State University Mankato. Poet and fiber artist.
Conflict of Interest Disclosed