Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at the Smithsonian

April 28, 2015
News Release

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The Smithsonian invites the public to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May through a series of vibrant performances, lectures, family activities and exhibitions at various museums around the Institution. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated.

Feature Event

The Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month will be “Korea Day: A Family Festival” hosted by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Sunday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The whole family can explore the richness of Korean culture through hands-on activities, an animated film, gallery conversations, cooking demonstrations, a cookbook signing, a kite-making demonstration and dance performances.

Lecture

Visitors to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center can enjoy a talk on contemporary craft teapots and sample fragrant teas from the nearby teahouse Teaism, Saturday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m.

Performance

The Anacostia Community Museum will host pianist Hey Rim Jeon, Saturday, May 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. Jeon will present an overview of the state of jazz in South Korea followed by a performance by her trio. Information and registration are available at www.anacostia.si.edu or 202-633-4844.

Films

The National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York City will screen two short animated films throughout the month: Pele Searches for a Home (2011, 20 minutes) and Why Māui Snared the Sun (2011, 20 minutes), Monday, April 27 through Sunday, May 31, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.

Family Activities

The Anacostia Community Museum will host children’s book author Sana Hoda Sood who will discuss her book Diwali: A Cultural Adventure, an introduction to the Hindu Festival of Lights, Sunday, May 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. Following a reading of the book, children can participate in a henna-ink workshop with artist Shweta Lengade. Information and registration are available at www.anacostia.si.edu or 202-633-4844.

The National Museum of the American Indian will host its annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival’s theme follows the epic journey of Pele and Hi’iaka as they search across the Pacific Ocean for a place they can call home. The program includes hula, traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music, food demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages.

The National Portrait Gallery will present three Portrait Story Days that feature hands-on activities for young visitors and their families based on a story about Asian Pacific Americans: Hawaiian surfing pioneer Duke Kahanamoku (Saturday, May 16, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 17, from 2 to 5 p.m.), the first Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong (Saturday, May 23, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 24, from 2 to 5 p.m.) and artist Isamu Noguchi (Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 31, from 2 to 5 p.m.).

The whole family is invited to join artist Sushmita Mazumdar for a “make a book” workshop at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, and Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants will get a guided tour of the museum and create handmade books to tell their own travel stories. Information and registration are available at www.asia.si.edu/events.

Exhibitions

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s exhibition “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” explores the heritage, daily experience and contributions of Indian Americans to the U.S. The exhibition is open at the National Museum of Natural History daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., until Aug. 16.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum presents “The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi,” a selection of 70 works by Yasuo Kuniyoshi, one of the most esteemed painters in the New York art world of the 1920s. The exhibition is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Music Releases

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings will release a group of playlists for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Japanese Music from Smithsonian Folkways, Songs from Polynesia, Music of Indonesia, Music of Hawai’i and Sounds of Asia. Information and the playlists are available at www.folkways.si.edu.

Educational Resources

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is launching this year’s Heritage Month theme #APAEverywhere and is making available two multicultural learning guides based on exhibitions: I Want the Wide American Earth Learning Guide consists of seven units, including Asian American activism, immigration and taking roots; Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation Learning Guide consists of nine modules that explore Indian American history, culture and contemporary issues. Information about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month offerings is available at www.smithsonianapa.org/apaeverywhere.

All programs are subject to change. For more information about the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programs, visit www.SmithsonianEducation.org/Heritage or email heritagemonths@si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call 202-633-1000.

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SI-188-2015