CAAM – Chinese American Association of Minnesota

Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM) is the oldest and largest Chinese American community organization in Minnesota. Founded in 1951 with the owner of Nankin Cafe, Walter James, CAAM is a non-profit and non-partisan organization with a mission to promote Chinese cultural heritage and enhance the quality of life of Chinese Americans in Minnesota.

1967 marked the first time that professional, business, ministry and student components of Chinese Americans in Minnesota worked together under one organization. During the same period a Chinese Language School was organized. In the fall of 1967, the new CAAM non-profit organization held the first formal membership meeting at David Fong’s restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Nankin Restaurant Postcard -1960
Founding Members – 1967 – Dick Chen, David Lo, Wei Ming Lu, Fred Hsiao, Jie Chang Soong, Shao Hsiung Huang

CAAM achieves its mission through a variety of programs and services, including:

CAAM Stanley and Marvel Chong Scholarship

Stanley Chong

Stanley Chong was a notable figure in Minnesota, particularly within the Chinese American community. Born on February 14, 1912, in Yakima, Washington, Chong grew up working on his father’s hops farm. He moved to Minneapolis in 1934 to further his education and ended up making a significant impact on the local Chinese American community​.

The Chong’s, Stanley and wife Marvel, founded International House of Foods, a wholesale supplier for local Asian restaurants, and later became a pioneering force in the Chinese food mail-order business in the United States. His contributions extended beyond business; he played a critical role in the cultural and social spheres as well. With his friend, Walter James of Nankin Café, Chong helped organize a social and cultural association that evolved into the Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM) in the early 1960s.

In recognition of his lifelong dedication to promoting Chinese culture and community engagement, the Stanley and Marvel Chong Memorial Foundation was established following his death on October 24, 2006. The foundation mainly supports scholarships for senior high school students of Chinese descent who are going to college. This reflects Chong’s belief in the importance of cultural heritage and cross-community relationships​.

Community Service Programs

CAAM provides a variety of community service programs that support Chinese Americans in Minnesota, such as after-school programs, English language classes, scholarships for College and much more.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater (CAAM CDT)

The Heart of Dance, The Soul of Chinese

For over 30 years, CAAM Chinese Dance Theater has celebrated Chinese cultural heritage and enriched a diverse regional community through the universal language of dance.

Our professional award-winning Chinese dance artists and choreographers, as well as our enthusiastic dance community of all ages, delight audiences in the Midwest and beyond with the best original Chinese dance performances. Whether on professional stages, community events, festivals, street fairs, or even an NBA game, we reach an average of 20,000 people each year.

We train dancers year-round of all ages, levels, and backgrounds. Our main studio is centrally located in the Midway area of St. Paul, and we have the largest faculty and most established program in the Midwest. Through our summer camps, after school programs, workshops, and residencies, we connect with individuals and groups of all backgrounds in the Twin Cities and beyond.  Learn More

CAAM Twin Cities Chinese Language School

Twin Cities Chinese Language School has been teaching Chinese language and culture to students in the Twin Cities area since 1976. Located at Hubbs Center in St. Paul, the school has been continuously enhancing and expanding its curriculum. Our school strives to provide excellent Chinese language education for our students to achieve proficiency and to learn the essence of Chinese culture and arts. In addition, our curriculum and activities are designed to cultivate strong moral characters out of all students, so they can become good world citizens.

All of our teachers are native Mandarin Chinese speakers and are enthusiastic and experienced in Chinese teaching. They regularly attend workshops to exchange experience with teachers from other Chinese language schools around the country. They are dedicated to create a positive and authentic learning experience for each student.  Get Started

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