Inside Texas Tech: A Taste of American and Korean Arts and Culture

Mar 23, 2018

The Sowoon Arts and Heritage is ready to again provide Lubbock a taste of American and Korean arts and culture. The theme of the Sixth Annual International Arts and Culture Symposium on April 14 is “East and West, Music and Dance.”

Sowoon’s founder and president Kyungah Nam says the group’s mission is to create opportunities for all people, especially those in the Lubbock community, to experience diverse arts and cultural heritage. It brings scholars together to deepen the understanding of arts and culture.

“If we can bring a really unique program here, maybe we can see the other side of the globe,” she says.

The symposium is co-sponsored by Sowoon, the Museum of Texas Tech and the university’s Office of International Affairs. Humanities Texas has been a supporter of the symposium since its inception.

“Humanities Texas, Dr. Eric Lupfer he told us that he’s so excited because our program is so unique and he’s never seen our program here in the United States. Sowoon Heritage is non-profit, as well as an educational organization. We provide our programs to the public,” she explains.

The April 14 program begins at 1 p.m. with jazz music by two Texas Tech faculty members, Stephen Jones on saxophone and Ben Haugland on piano. Then, from Korea, will come Dr. Eun Ha Park, a dancer and percussionist.

She has been a trailblazer in the world of traditional Korean music, both as a woman and an innovator. She is an expert dancer and percussionist, an educator and a performer.

Following Park’s performance, there will be a modern dance presentation with Tanya Calamoneri and Texas Tech dance students. Traditional Buddhist music will then be performed by Monk Inmook. Following that, there will be a panel discussion with performers and audience members.

After an intermission, all participants will perform and improvise. These improvisations will be followed by a reception for the performers and the audience.

Nam says the symposium is a way of coming together. “It seems like an exchange, but at the same time, it’s united. We hope the audience can feel the differences and similarities of western and eastern music and dance,” she says. “We are so excited.”

Through music, dance and art, a conversation can begin, Nam says. “This cultural heritage is really, really good to understand, so we can communicate with people from different cultures.”

Previously, Sowoon has brought a Korean tea ceremony, Irish and Korean music, Korean coming of age and wedding ceremonies lectures about various religions and high-caliber dance and jazz performances.

Three supplemental workshops are scheduled in conjunction with the symposium. At 7 p.m. April 7, there will be the Grease-Sing Along movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. On April 12 at 9:30 a.m., there will be a K-12 cultural program at Texas Tech’s International Cultural Center. At 5:30 that day there will be an hour-long Korean Buddhist meditation at the cultural center. For more information, call 806-853-7257. “Cultural heritage is really important for living,” Nam says.