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 5th annual KoreaFest 2021.
We will be ‘celebrating unity through Korean culture’ and hope you will be joining us for KoreaFest 2021.
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’.
“ As we started planning Virtual KoreaFest 2021, we were faced with new challenges and obstacles. We are thrilled to bring you the 5th annual KoreaFest through a virtual format. I am so blessed to be working with so many talented and committed individuals. We have an amazing team working on the content and are hopeful that a one day live event will be possible along with the virtual events. More information will be announced as they become official. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.”
Founder of Kpop For Peace
Mya, Founder of K-Pop For Peace, Inc, is from Greenville, NC. At an early age, Mya has
always dreamed of making a difference in the world by providing some form of support.
Mya spent years involved in her community through volunteer work, including being one of
the first Volunteer leaders for Vidant Medical Hospital. Upon graduating high school, Mya
attended UNC-G where she truly was able to start blossoming into the leader she wanted to
be. Through becoming a member of Alpha Phi Omega and obtaining a bachelor's degree in Public Health, Mya developed a love for cultural competency and appreciation for the
various diversities that make up the human population.
In 2018, she was reintroduced into the world of K-Pop, through the Korean boy band
BTS.After learning more about K-Pop and the Korean culture itself, Mya attended her first
KoreaFest. Attending KoreaFest was an euphoric experience for Mya and created what was
then considered a small flame for wanting to do something to show her appreciation for a
community that has helped her and thousands of others in their time of need. Mya saw the
beauty of K-Pop but also the underlying issues. In November 2019, during a time where
she relied heavily on K-Pop to keep her uplifted, occurrences happened in the K-Pop
community that painted the industry in a negative perspective by individuals inside and out
of the K-Pop realm. Blinded by their dislike, the industry was portrayed as toxic, filled with
harsh words and endless doxxing that led to fandom wars. But as well as seeing the harsh
treatment being shown, Mya experienced the harsh negatives outside of K-Pop as a Black
woman who loved Korean culture. Despite the circumstances, Mya recognized, like many
others, that the ugly stereotype hid the beauty of the Korean culture and it’s idols such as
the love and support, the creative beauty, and the power of helping those in need around the
world. Mya wanted to be the change that was needed to show those inside and outside the
K-Pop world what a powerful and positive effect the industry had, and to bring peace to
those affected by various situations. The small flame that was embedded from KoreaFest
soon began to grow. Mya started with a dream and it was crafted into what you see today:
K-Pop For Peace, Inc; an nonprofit whose mission is to spread positivity and raise
awareness of issues affecting the world, with a primary focus on South Korea and the US.
In the earlier part of 2020, Mya was able to meet with the phenomenal Heoak Lee. After
meeting over well-seasoned steak and asparagus, Mya and Mrs. Lee formed a business
partnership that soon blossomed into one of familial love and support. Mya speaks fondly of
“When I first met Mrs. Lee, I was nervous because this was a woman who I idolized but
she welcomed me with open arms. As a Black woman who loved K-Pop, I wasn’t able to
have a lot of support outside of my team. I had been faced with discouraging words, with
some being so harsh and threatening, that I felt like no one would understand me. But as
Mrs. Lee shared her journey with me through her calm nature, I felt refreshed. After our
meeting, I had to take a moment to cry; they were tears of happiness and disbelief. Mrs. Lee
was able to see me and my brand for what we truly are. She took me under her wing and
guided me towards success and even helped me establish a solid presence in NC. She is a
phenomenal woman and through her, I’ve been able to meet other individuals who I have
also grown to love and respect. I went to the meeting simply wanting a booth at KoreaFest
2020 and ended up with something more: a family, who brings nothing but laughter,
support and guidance. The InWave Family are business oriented women who are successful
and ambitious, but remain humble and strive for continuous growth for the communities
they serve. And I am forever honored to be a part of this journey, as a board member and as
a part of this familial unit.”
When it comes to her brand K-Pop For Peace, Mya strives hard to ensure the organization
reflects what it truly means by holding events each month. During the latter part of the
year, the organization addressed the social injustice facing the Black community and took a
solidified stance. This was a big representation of how K4P stands for those of all
demographics and shows that they are not an organization who will just stand by and wear
rose filter glasses. Like other Korean based organizations, K4P continuously exemplifies
what their idols have taught them and what they themselves have set for the ideal standard
of being the change. K4P promotes openly and honestly because the team recognizes that
their platform is needed in our society and to remain silent on issues affecting our people,
would be the biggest injustice. Mya, who is not shy about her mental health journey, wants
to ensure that her brand provides the same support and encouragement that K-Pop
provided her during times of mental unrest.
Outside of K-Pop For Peace, Mya is involved in her community through various K-Pop
groups and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Mya also serves as an advisor for
the local chapter of Alpha Phi Omega. Mya continues to make changes in the K-Pop world
by mentoring younger stans, providing them with love and guidance as they grow into the
leaders of tomorrow. Mya has had the chance to spread knowledge of her brand through
global podcasts, public speaking events and through fellow business partners. Mya has also
been involved in the “My KPop Life” docu-vlog series, where she addressed her life as a
Black K-Pop stan during a period of social injustice. While pursuing her Master’s degree in
Social Work, Mya is studying Korean in hopes to apply for teaching programs in South
Korea in the future. As a part of her self-care regimen, Mya created K-Pop inspired jewelry
for her side business, DaeguDreaming Shop. Mya’s favorite hobbies include painting,
drawing, singing, dancing and reading. Mya keeps an “open door policy” through her
brand’s social media page for anyone who needs a listening ear and shows support for the
things they care about.
To learn more about Mya, her team and their brand K-Pop For Peace, Inc, check them out
on social media! Kpop For Peace Linktree
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.
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.
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 Orlando, FL when she was 10 years old. In 2008 before graduating from her dual enrollment fashion program at Orlando Tech, she and her family moved to North Carolina. She became a certified seamstress in 2008 and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Fashion Marketing and Management. 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."
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.
Andrea Vargas Moreno
Kpop Dance Contest
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
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.
Jasmine Vaughan moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from Omaha, Nebraska
in 2007. In 2009, Jasmine’s introduction to the Korean culture was through
variety shows. From that moment on, Jasmine knew that Korean culture would
be a part of her life forever. She began learning the language and taught
herself the alphabet, joined a few clubs that specialized with Korean language
and conversation and took Korean classes. As the years passed, her love for
Korean language, culture, food and people grew. Jasmine began learning
Korean dance as another way for her to connect with the culture.
Jasmine attended the first KoreaFest in 2017 and was overwhelmed with joy to
see that there were people just like her who have an unending love and
appreciation for the Korean culture. After this experience, Jasmine made sure
to attend the following KoreaFest of 2018 and 2019. In 2019, Jasmine started
a YouTube channel called ‘JazzyNoona’ to show her appreciation and share
how it has affected her life in a positive way. Jasmine also attended KoreaFest
2020 as a volunteer and met others who were associated with the event, as
well as the Executive Director. She was recruited by the social media
management team for her knowledge on content and her enthusiasm to help
"After being introduced to the Korean language, culture, food, and people, I
saw my life changing in a direction that felt right. Having attended KoreaFest, I
have been able to connect with many people and make friends with similar
interests. KoreaFest has been a wonderful thing to experience and I am
excited for the years to come!"