Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association (KTPAA) was founded in 1986 as the Korean Traditional Arts Community. With growing community support, the association adopted its name, Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association (KTPAA), and the organization was formally recognized by the State of New York as a non-profit organization in 1993. In 2010, KTPAA officially changed the name to The New York Korean Performing Arts Center, Inc.
NYKPAC is a home for the company, has rehearsal space for the artists, outreach programs for local audiences, and a school that offers music and dance classes to students of all ages. The organization serves a vital role in New York City through the teaching of traditional arts to members of the Korean community, and through performances for both Korean and general audiences. In addition, NYKPAC has played an instrumental role in instilling Korean cultural pride to second generation Korean Americans and in fostering intercultural dialogue with the American society at large. Since 1998, NYKPAC has received annual grants from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In 2013, NYKPAC was awarded a grant from New York State on the Arts for the Korean Music and Dance Education for Children.
Sounds of Korea is part of the New York Korean Performing Arts Center (NYKPAC), consisting of a dance troupe, an instrumental chamber ensemble and a percussion ensemble. Korean performance art spans a wide range of styles and settings, from classical court music and theatrical masked dance, to popular story-telling songs, drama, popular narrative vocal arts, solo instrumental folk genres, as well as the percussion music and dances of farmers. Their artistic emphasis is on the subtle grace and beauty found in Korean traditional dances in which the dancers with powerful, yet delicate, gestures and movements reveal a unique aesthetic beauty.
The dance troupe was founded and developed by President & Artistic Director, Sue Yeon Park at the organization’s inception in 1993, and has maintained an active performance schedule over the years. Under the direction of artistic director Sue Yeon Park, the organization has performed and hosted performances of nearly all of these forms at major concert venues in the U.S., including the Metropolitan Museum, Merkin Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, National Museums and national festival stages, introducing Korean music and dance to a wide array of audiences of diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition, Sounds of Korea performance troupe participates in community outreach programs, as well as cultural exhibitions.
Its members consist of professionals and individuals from the Korean community who are dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and appreciation of Korea’s artistic heritage and history. Sounds of Korea consists of professional performers of traditional Korean instruments and all the instrumentalists in this group are of the highest caliber, holding academic degrees in music and dance from South Korea.