Past Events

Historic Marker Unveiling in Portland

Toy Len Goon’s Laundry and Residence – 615 Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine There will also be several members of Mrs. Goon’s extended family there as well as a representative from the Boston Consulate of the Republic of China and perhaps some of Portland’s city council members. We welcome all who might be interested in attending this event. CAFAM & guests will be expected to adhere to the most up-to-date Maine CDC’s COVID guidelines, social distancing, & mask mandates.

BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: A Talk with Dr. Andrea Louie
From Chinese Laundress to Mother of the Year: Bringing the Story of Toy Len Goon Beyond the Model Minority Myth

In 1952, Toy Len Goon, a modest widow and mother of eight, was selected as Maine Mother of the Year, and then for the national title, by the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Foundation. An immigrant from China, she came to the U.S. in 1921 as the wife of Dogan Goon, a WWI veteran and laundryman. After Dogan became disabled and unable to work, passing away in 1941, Toy and her children ran the laundry and household, located at 615 Forest Ave in Portland, ME. However, there is much of Toy Len Goon’s story that was not told by the media coverage celebrating her honor. As one of her grandchildren, cultural anthropologist Dr. Andrea Louie places her story within a fuller context in the hopes of doing justice to Toy Len Goon’s legacy as a mother, and a woman who broke out of a number of traditional roles, while also remaining filial to relatives back in China. About the speaker: Andrea Louie is Professor of Anthropology and founding director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program at Michigan State University. She has conducted research exploring how ideas constructed around “Chineseness” as a racial and cultural identity have been reworked as transnational processes and bring Chinese from different parts of the world into contact with one another. She is the author of Chineseness Across Borders: Re-negotiating Chinese Identities in China and the U.S. (Duke University Press, 2004) and How Chinese Are You? Adopted Chinese Youth and their Families Negotiate Identity and Culture (New York University Press, 2015). She has conducted research with her MSU colleagues on international Chinese students at MSU, funded by a Spencer Foundation Small Grant. With funding from a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Dr. Louie is currently working on a book focusing on her maternal grandmother’s selection as U.S. Mother of the Year in 1952, tentatively titled Chinese American Mothering Across Generations: Toy Len Goon and the Creation and Recirculation of the Model Minority Myth.

Film Festival at Portland Museum of Art

PMA Films and the Chinese American Friendship Association of Maine are proud to present a weekend featuring some of the most celebrated arthouse films from China in a rare chance to see them on a big screen. The movies are Not Rated. Various running times. In Chinese and other languages with subtitles.

“Will China Save the Planet?” by Barbara Finamore

CAFAM will co-host with the Maine World Affairs Council for a talk by Barbara Finamore about her book, “Will China Save the Planet?, on China’s role in combating climate change. More details soon!

Art by Grace Chen, an Award-Winning Artist from Taiwan

Invited by MECA as a guest speaker and visiting artist. Grace Chen’s exhibit is on display from November 1 – 15th, 2019 @ MECA Opening Reception this Friday, November 1st from 5-7pm during First Walk

World of Opera @ USM

The USM School of Music and Confucius Institute welcome a troupe of professional actors and musicians to give a performance of Chinese opera. The program will feature Beijing opera excerpts, including movement and music, traditional Chinese instruments, and lively Chinese folk songs. All performers are trained by China’s foremost institution on Chinese opera art, The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, the partner institution of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Sponsored by the Confucius Institute at USM. Free, open to the public, tickets not required. Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook

CAFAM Annual Summer Picnic in the Park – 2019

CAFAM will be holding its annual summer pot luck picnic on Saturday, June 22nd, at Winslow Park in Freeport. Winslow Park is on the water with a beach and has plenty of room to fly kites and enjoy outdoor play. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and enjoy time with other CAFAM members and friends. CAFAM would love to have new people join us as well. Admission to Winslow Park will be paid by CAFAM, so just let the people at the gate know that you’re there for the pot luck picnic. We will have a sheltered picnic area. Please bring food to share—Chinese food or any kind of picnic food is welcome! We will supply beverages and paper goods.

Slanted: How An Asian American Troublemaker took on the Supreme Court

SPACE and CAFAM presents: A performance by The Slants and a discussion with Simon Tam. Simon is founder and bassist of The Slants, often credited as the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band but he’s probably best known for winning a landmark civil rights case. The US Patent & Trademark office had originally barred the band from registering what it noted was a culturally disparaging name, citing the Lanham Act which prohibits any trademark that could “disparage…or bring… into contempt or disrepute any persons, living or dead.” The band insisted that in naming their group The Slants it was an act of reclaiming a slur, and took their lawsuit against the office’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court. Now debuting a new memoir titled Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court, he’ll speak with the audience in a discussion moderated by Cindy Han of the Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine. The event will also feature music from The Slants, as well as two local high school performers to open the evening, Qifeng (Eric) Ruan and Boyu (Eason) Chen. Simon Tam is an author, musician, activist, and self-proclaimed troublemaker. He approaches activism through the arts and encourages people to challenge their perceptions of how we connect with others we normally don’t get along with. In 2017, he unanimously won a landmark trademark case at the U.S Supreme Court helping to expand civil liberties and freedom of expression for marginalized groups. His work has been highlighted in over 3,000 media features across over 150 countries, including Rolling Stone, TIME, NPR, BBC and the New York Times.

Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., MAINELAND is a multi-layered coming-of-age tale that follows two affluent and cosmopolitan teenagers as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar rural Maine. Part of the enormous wave of “parachute students” from China enrolling in U.S. private schools, bubbly, fun-loving Stella and introspective Harry come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. As Stella and Harry’s fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, they ruminate on their experiences of alienation, culture clash, and personal identity, sharing new understandings and poignant discourses on home and country.

“Try Your Hand” Calligraphy Celebration

Friends of Congress Square Park will host an event to celebrate calligraphy styles and traditions from around the world. Calligraphers from many countries, including China, will demonstrate their skills, inviting people to try the different styles.

CAFAM Lecture Series Welcomes Chinese Contemporary Artist: Haitao Pang

The event is free to the public. Chinese snacks will be provided. This lecture is sponsored by Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine (CAFAM)

Portland Sea Dogs Game – 2011

Sea Dogs vs. New Britain Rock Cats – July 15, 2011. Tickets SOLD OUT!  3 rows behind the home plate! For tickets, send check made out to “CAFAM” to Gary Libby, PO Box 7227, Portland ME 04112. Tickets are $7 each (children and adult)

CAFAM Night at the Sea Dogs – 2010