Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program Launches New Web Site and Indian American Initiative

June 19, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program held a reception in the Smithsonian Castle Library Thursday, June 11, to announce the launch of its Web site redesign and other initiatives.

Ricky Leung, the Asian Pacific American Program’s multimedia specialist, gave a presentation on the program’s efforts to use Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to meet this goal. The program’s other projects include “BookDragon,” a book review blog and “HomeSpun,” a Web site dedicated to an Indian American Heritage Project.

“A cleaner design and more dynamic layout of the new Web site will allow us to provide changing entry portals to a multitude of information about our programs, events, collections and traveling exhibitions,” Leung said. “The structure and design of our new presence is based on design and architectural trends among major news and museum Web sites, presenting users with a choice of informational pathways.”

The Verizon Foundation funded Leung’s work. Patrick Gaston, the Verizon Foundation’s president, spoke about the foundation’s sponsorship of the Asian Pacific American Program’s multimedia work and about its initiative, which provides free educational resources to teachers and students.

Guests also heard a presentation on the Asian Pacific American Program’s other initiatives, including the traveling exhibition “Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon,” which will be on display in the Eden Center in Falls Church, Va., from June 20 through Aug. 30, and a 2010 Folklife Festival program that will feature Asian Pacific American culture and heritage in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program was established in 1997 to provide vision, leadership and support for all Asian Pacific American activities at the Smithsonian Institution, while serving as a liaison to these communities. Today the program works to better reflect the Asian Pacific American experience in Smithsonian exhibitions, programs, and research. Franklin Odo is the director of the program. For more information, visit

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Gina Inocencio

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