InWave’s mission is to ''Celebrate Korean Culture Through Community". We hosted the 1st Korean festival in the state of North Carolina in February of 2017. We were the first non-profit organization to set up everything in English from the inaugural celebration, the monthly events, website, program, and hosting KoreaFest. Our goal is to share the love of all aspects of the Korean culture with everyone in the community. Especially those of you who may feel uncomfortable because you may not be familiar with the language or the culture.
Korean Wave has become a global phenomenon over the last decade. Thanks to all of your support, we have grown steadily and are now embarking on the 6th annual KoreaFest 2022.
We will be ‘celebrating unity through Korean culture’ and hope you will be joining us for KoreaFest 2022.
Come to our events, like our facebook page and Instagram, share with friends. If you would like to contribute through sponsorships or donations, Contact US.
A Big Korean Wave Hello! We would love to meet you.
Founder / Executive Director
Heoak Lee was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States at the young age of nine. While moving away from her friends, school, and extended family, she only had her culture to hold onto. Heoak started taking traditional Korean dance lessons at six years old and it became her life's passion. When she first arrived in the states, she was the only Korean-American in her class, Heoak was surrounded by uncertainty and longed for comfort in the form of familiarity.
After a few years, Heoak was able to continue her dance lessons with a Korean dance company in Northern Virginia. Ever since then, she has honed her skills and even formed her own traditional Korean dance group called 'Imperial Jewel.' Heoak has lived in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1989 and her first involvement in the community was participating at The International Festival of Raleigh. She has represented Korea on the main stage, young people’s matinee, sidewalk cafe, cultural booth and as the Korean ethnic chairperson. She has publicly been involved in spreading Korean culture through The International Festival for 31 years and spreading traditional dance through 'Imperial Jewel' 24 years. She's choreographed and taught all the dances in English, mostly to non Koreans who shared the love for Korean dance.
Her deep rooted passion for sharing Korean culture gave birth to the idea of hosting KoreaFest. After 31 years of representing the Korean community, she has learned to overcome many obstacles and obstructions. She has established herself as the face of the Korean community in the greater Raleigh area and has put Raleigh, NC on the K-Wave map with NC KoreaFest being dubbed ‘K-Con of the South’.
“ Virtual KoreaFest 2021 was definitely a challenge but was made possible through SutchiLee Productions. I am excited to be working with passionate and talented members as we plan the 6th annual KoreaFest 2022 as a live event. More information will be announced as they become official. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.”
I have been involved with KoreaFest since 2018. I don’t think I will ever forget our very first KoreaFest. Even though the venue was very small, the emotions and pride I felt were overwhelming!
As my two daughters, they were born in the U.S., grew up and began to become infatuated with the Korean culture, I decided I would start working to share the Korean culture with others. This is when I met the extremely passionate President Heoak Lee and started happily working on KoreaFest.
As an immigrant of 20+ years, the first KoreaFest resonated emotions that I had never felt before: a feeling of pride in Korea and the determination to continue to do this work for the people who showed up to celebrate all aspects of Korean culture. I will do my best to represent what Korea stands for and will work alongside my amazing fellow InWave members to make even better events going forward. I want to thank Heoak Lee for recognizing my passion and allowing me to continue helping to make KoreaFest the best it can be.
AKA Sherry Baby Cakes
Sherry, also known as Sherry Baby Cakes, moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2016. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she has lived in Washington Heights, Harlem, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Having lived in different environments and experiencing different cultures first hand, Sherry has always sought to connect with others and appreciate the values, differences and similarities that everyone shares. Sherry is a creative artist. She is a published free-lance editor and is currently working on her own trilogy series when time permits. She was a member of the Youth Red Cross for 3 years and an active community member in her school’s Naval ROTC program for 4 years – where she coordinated projects, organized events and competed in various divisions. Over the years, she has participated in competitive choir performances, street dancing, Latin dancing and step-dancing. She is familiar with stage presence and pressure. She is currently on her second term serving as a member of UNC Hospital’s Lab Week Committee. After a life changing injury and illness, Sherry’s journey of healing took many turns. Losing the ability to do some of her favorite activates caused her to look for new creative outlets of expression. Through art therapy, she learned many skills and had great experiences.
Sherry has been a fan of K-Pop for the last 11 years. She had regular encounters with Korean products, food, and people while growing up. She attended Inwave’s 1st official KoreaFest in the spring of 2017. While she attended the 3 rd KoreaFest, she told her family (who joined her) that she felt a sense of renewal and that she “will be a part of this event next year”. True to her word, she kept in touch with InWave’s Executive Director and worked the 4 th annual KoreaFest as a volunteer. After the success of the event and talks about future events, Sherry officially joined Inwave as a board member. “I feel very fortunate to have had so many experiences. Being from a mixed background (her mother is from the Dominican Republic and her father’s family is from Croatia) growing up in New York, I had opportunities to share my culture and learn about others. Attending KoreaFest has been one of the best choices I’ve made. I met so many different people who also appreciate the culture, who are passionate and considerate and truly people that care for one another. Having that support and understanding has allowed all of us to grow. My art therapies have also become a part of my role within InWave. They have allowed me to connect with more people, especially through social media, and the timing could not have been better. I am eternally grateful to Mrs. Lee and the members of the board that have welcomed me with open arms and hearts. Mrs. Lee is a kind and endearing person. I admire her drive and commitment and am glad to say that she is one of my role models. I am looking forward to InWave’s growth and what our future holds.”
Sherry’s art therapies include; Painting (acrylic on canvas), Writing, Music Production, Singing, Rapping, Photography and Directing.
Joanne Lee is a third generation Korean-Japanese American who grew up in Hawai’i and currently resides in Eastern North Carolina. She left a community in which she was in the majority racial group to one where Asians make up two percent of the population. This experience led Joanne to become more curious about how we all experience our own race and ethnicity in relation to others, and compelled to learn more about her own ancestors and cultural history. Serving as an InWave Board Member provides an essential connection in Joanne’s journey to bridge Korean-American cultures. She also offers professional expertise related to her background in community improvement and health, and grants management. Joanne is a taekwondo student, Korean language learner, K-drama enthusiast, and mom to her dog YuNa.
Audreyanne Covarrubias started studying ballet at age 4 and eventually became a professional dancer, a career which took her to perform overseas in Korea where she developed a passion for Korean traditional drumming. Upon returning to the United States Audreyanne has continued to follow her passion for Korean drumming and also began to study Korean traditional dance and has had the opportunity to perform Korean traditional dance and drumming on many stages throughout the West Coast of the United States including performing at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House while participating in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Recently relocated to , North Carolina, Audreyanne is excited to be part of InWave so that she can continue to celebrate Korean Culture through community.
Samantha Ji-Yeon Lee
My name is Samantha Ji-Yeon Lee and I am 13 years old and in 8th grade. Korean culture has been a part of my life since I was born, my father was born in Korea and moved to the United States when he was around my age. I remember him reading stories and talking to me and my brothers in Korean when we were little and even now. I have always loved the food and family traditions and have been involved in Tae Kwon Do since I was 5, but my desire to know more really happened after our visit to Korea in 2018. I am looking forward to going back again!
Since Covid-19 happened and school went virtual I had plenty of time to start really studying the language. I have also always been active in volunteering for KoreaFest since it began and my love for KPop has grown dramatically. One of my favorite things to do is to sit with my mom and watch Korean Dramas, and my little brother and I are always streaming the newest songs.
I am excited to start this new role with InWave and hope to bring in the perspective of my peers and help share the love of Korea that I have with everyone.
MEDIA & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT
THE NEW STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE
SutchiLee Productions LLC is a brand media and management company Co-Founded by PreShus Lee and Andrea Vargas Moreno. We specialize in media management for digital & print media, film, and entertainment.
Co-CEO/Founder of SutchiLee Productions
PreShus Lee is an emerging film director, writer, editor & sound designer based out of Raleigh, NC. She obtained her undergraduate degree from St. Peter's College (now University), where she majored in Communication with a concentration in Fine Arts. After successfully moving up the corporate ladder, she felt an itch to get back to her creativity and decided to enroll at Living Arts College. She graduated in March of 2017, with a Dual Certification in Audio Production & Web Design. Since then, she has been involved in the local RDU filmmaking community working on various television, film, and docu-series projects. In 2019, PreShus made her directorial debut with the short documentary “Chapter 32: From Tragedy to Triumph” which follows her experiences after surviving a heart attack at the age of 32 Since its debut, it has been shown in local, national, and international film festivals. Along with her love of film, PreShus discovered her love of K-Pop and created MyKpop Life, a company made “By the Fans and For the Fans” of K-Pop music. In July of 2020, she became the Co-CEO and Founder of the brand management and media company SutchiLee Productions, LLC which represents “A New Standard of Excellence” while offering services in Digital & Print Media, Film, & Entertainment.
PreShus is also a founding member of Talented 10th Productions, a local film collective in RDU, and a team member for KoreaFest 2021 where she is proud to help "Celebrate Unity Through Korean Culture.
Andrea Vargas Moreno
Co-CEO/Founder of SutchiLee Productions
Andrea Vargas Moreno was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to the US when she was 10 years old. During her High School years Andrea became curious about Korean culture after learning about 2PM in 2009. She immersed herself in the culture and found similarities between her own culture, which she missed. This transformed into comfort as she learned about family traditions, food, and language.
In 2018 Andrea discovered KoreaFest and decided not only to attend but to volunteer and be part of this event. In 2020 Andrea came back to KoreaFest not as a volunteer but as Co-Host of My Kpop Life thanks to the invitation from Heoak Lee to be a part and film the event.
Andrea is Co-CEO and Founder of SutchiLee Productions, LLC, a media and management company and currently Assistant Director for “My Kpop Life” a docs-vlog series that premiered July 2020. She is also a member of Talented 10th Productions, a dance videographer, web designer, producer, art director, stage designer, and overall someone who loves to create.
"I am honored to be a part of this event which has gathered people from all over. KoreaFest became a place to find new friends, new hobbies, and even new careers. It is a place where people are not afraid to be who they are, and become confident in what they can do. I see so much talent being displayed on the stage and you can really feel the happiness from the attendees."
Samantha was raised in Charlotte, NC and attended college in Wilmington, NC. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As a Communication Studies student, Samantha expanded her interest in media relations, branding, and digital marketing. She learned how powerful of an influence media can have on culture. This encouraged her to explore her interest outside of school by working with local businesses to help promote their brand and message. This is when she found a passion for helping brands achieve a strong presence through driving brand awareness and engagement. In Samantha’s role at InWave, her goal is to help shape individual and collective attitudes by learning and informing others of Korean Culture.
Moobek (aka DJ Y.U.P.) is an award-winning DJ, and producer. During his 19 years in the industry, Moobek has appeared alongside, T-Pain, Nate Dogg, A-Trak, Party Favor, Bassjackers, Luminox, and RUSKO.
He has played festivals around the world including The Ultra Music Festival in Korea, The World DJ Festival, The Yeosu Expo, The Paradiso Festival In Seattle, The Pentaport Rock Festival with B.o.B., and The Samsung-sponsored Summer Wave Festival, with artists such as Will.I.Am, Ludacris, and Taio Cruz.
"KoreaFest 2020 was the best Korean Festival that I have ever attended. I enjoyed it a lot and was impressed at the energy, the crowd, feedback, everything! The level of talent the dance contestants had were high. This year I want to help bring some amazing entertainers from Korea."
Christian is an academic, social media guru, event producer, filmmaker & talent manager who has been active in the Asian American community across the U.S. for 17 years. He currently chairs the board of the DC Shorts International Film Festival and is President/ Executive Director of the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, He has produced and directed many award-winning shorts, music videos, commercials, and public service announcements. Christian also loves producing events and helped numerous organizations with a variety of events, including the Korean Festival of Maryland from 2016-2019, NC KoreaFest 2019 and 2020, KORUS Festival of VA from 2006-2015 and Korean Center‘s successful 1st Annual Bay Area Chuseok Festival in 2019.
Christian was an adjunct faculty for the Asian American Studies program at Univ. of Maryland where he taught ethnic studies in film, video, and social media. He studied at the George Washington University Documentary Center and interned at film festivals including Cannes and Sundance. Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Iowa, Ohio & Virginia, Christian now lives in the DC Metro area.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Social Media Manager
Chelsea is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she majored in Communication Media. While at NCState she was the Cultural and Social Chair of the Korean Conversation Club, where she helped to plan their major events such as their Running Man games and MTs.
Chelsea is a huge fan of Korean food and cooks it whenever she can. Some of her favorite dishes to make are Bulgogi, Tteokbokki, Japchae, Hotteok, and Kimchi Jjigae.
Along with being a content creator, Chelsea is also a traditional artist. She loves painting and primarily works with acrylics and watercolors.
Co-founder of American Hallyu Association (AHA!)
I actually fell into kpop back in the mid 2000's by accident after checking out some Korean singers I had seen on one of my favorite Taiwanese shows Yue Bai Fen Bai. From that I found singers such as Rain, BOA, DBSK, etc. and just continued down the rabbit hole.
After getting frustrated with subbing I decided to start learning the language at the Korean School of Greensboro which opened doors of meeting people who were already working at different Korean Festivals and concerts all up and down the east coast. Naturally I tagged along and started meeting more amazing people, artists, and checking out more festivals.
That is how I ended up hearing about NC Koreafest in Raleigh and decided to go check it out. I found out that the year I went was their very first festival. Since then I have returned each year, and this year I have had the honor of being a part of this years festival.