President of Korean Cultural Center of Chicago
It is a great honor and pleasure for me to introduce the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago (KCCoC).
The KCCoC was established with heartfelt devotion by its founding members and supporters in 2011. Since then, it has grown steadily with the support of the community and the tireless efforts of its dedicated board members, donors, and staff.
The mission of the KCCoC is to promote Korean culture by organizing and providing a space for programs, events, classes, art exhibits, and social activities. KCCOC also strongly encourages cross-cultural understanding and empowerment of all people.
Its facilities include a library with more than 10,000 Korean books, a museum with genuine Korean artifacts, a first-rate gallery, and two sizable performance halls, along with other class spaces.
Currently, the KCCoC provides more than 80 classes and programs related to Korean culture, including art, traditional and contemporary dance, literature, sports and many other cultural activities. The KCCoC has more than 80,000 visits a year.
With main-stream America’s increasing recognition of and interest in Korean pop music, movies, television, literature and food (for example, BTS, Parasite, Squid Game, and Pachinko), KCCoC’s utility and activities have been growing rapidly, maximizing its current capacity.
Therefore, since the KCCoC urgently requires expansion of its performance hall, the BISCO Charitable Foundation has provided a large donation for the renovation. With the generous matching donations and contributions of many board members and donors, the KCCoC is now undergoing a major renovation process with an expected Spring 2023 completion. Recognizing the importance of Korean culture and the KCCoC’s efforts, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal grant body for cultural activities, granted a matching fund for that endeavor. Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF) also provided a generous grant for this worthy cause. We are deeply grateful to the board members, staff, individual donors, corporations, and the U.S. and Korean governments for supporting the KCCoC.
We envision the KCCoC as a place to learn, experience and enjoy Korean culture and most of all, as ‘a place of joy’ for this and future generations.