Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Presents Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People”?
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will host the National Constitution Center’s Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People”? Thursday, June 6, at the National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater. The three-actor, 35-minute performance will take place four times throughout the day at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; it depicts the American experience from a range of diverse perspectives and explores how the phrase “We the People” has been reshaped and redefined throughout the country’s history. After each performance, guests can participate in a 15-minute question-and-answer period with the actors, show director and museum educator. The performance and question-and-answer period are free and open to the public.
The Fighting for Democracy theatrical performance was created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and produced collaboratively with Philadelphia’s premier theater artists, exploring the themes of civil rights and democracy through the perspectives of seven individuals whose lives and communities were forever changed by World War II. Fighting for Democracy reveals how World War II was a pivotal time in developing a broader understanding of the nation and its people.
“We are proud to host this excellent show as part of ‘I Want the Wide American Earth,’ our exhibition about Asian Pacific American history, art and culture currently on view at the National Museum of American History,” said Konrad Ng, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “Fighting for Democracy brings our exhibition to life by showing the breadth of our citizenry and the ways that various communities have contributed to the American story.”
The perspectives featured in the performance include a Jewish American nurse, a Tuskegee Airman, Japanese American internee, a Chinese American Women Air Force Service Pilot, a Navajo code talker, a Filipino American infantryman and a Mexican American medic.
“The road to immigration is rocky indeed,” said Dan Matthews, the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation’s chairman of the board. “Each journey is a personal story, yet when several stories are recanted collectively, those difficulties become stunning. The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation is proud to co-sponsor the Smithsonian Institution’s compelling presentation of just such a collection of experiences.”
Fighting for Democracy is presented by the National Constitution Center in partnership with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, an educational program of the Japanese American National Museum funded in part by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. This performance is co-sponsored by the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.
About the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and public awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II. The foundation raised the private funds to build the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism during World War II. The memorial is not only a monument to the Japanese American experience, but also a reminder that people must not allow anything like this to happen to any minority community again. For more information about the foundation, visit http://njamf.com/.
About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is a hands-on museum, national town hall and civic education headquarters celebrating the U.S. Constitution and the story of “We the People.” Learn more at constitutioncenter.org.
About the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
Established in 1997, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center produces programs and exhibitions about the Asian Pacific American experience and works in partnership with organizations across the Smithsonian and beyond to enrich collections and activities about the Asian Pacific American experience. The center shares the challenges and stories of America’s fastest-growing communities. It connects treasures and scholars with the public, celebrates long-lived traditions and explores contemporary expressions. These stories are vital to a deeper understanding of the nation and a richer appreciation of Asian Pacific cultures.
For information about the center, visit http://apa.si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
# # #