Smithsonian Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
The Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May with a series of lectures, performances and films at museums around the Institution. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated.
The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Family Day Celebration will take place Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first floor of the National Museum of American History. This day of activities will center on “Sweet and Sour,” a display at the museum that traces evolution of Chinese food in the United States and the long history of Chinese immigration. Visitors can watch the film Killing of the Chinese Cookie and join a discussion with director Derek Shimoda. Children and their families can work with artist Sushmita Mazumdar to create a storybook illustrating a personal story from their own kitchen. Teens from the Hirshhorn’s ARTLAB+ video production program will interview the children and record their stories, producing videos for the families and for posting on www.SmithsonianEducation.org/Heritage.
The global indigenous art scene has experienced dynamic growth and change in the first decade of the 21st century. On Friday, May 20, the National Museum of the American Indian will present the panel discussion “Where Art Worlds Meet: A Conversation with Indigenous Hawaiian, Native American and Aboriginal Contemporary Artists.” The panel, which will be moderated by Kathleen Ash-Milby the museum’s curator of contemporary art, will feature artists Puni Kukahiko, Alan Michelson, Carl F.K. Pao and Gina Matchitt. The panel will take place at 4 p.m. in rooms 4018 and 4019.
Throughout May, the National Museum of the American Indian will screen the film Kaho’olawe every day except Wednesdays at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Rasmuson Theater. This documentary (57 minutes, 1997) chronicles efforts by Native Hawaiians to recover the sacred island of Kaho’olawe, which was being used as a military bombing range.
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Dinner and a Movie Series will feature Papa Mau: The Wayfinder, Friday, May 20. Papa Mau: The Wayfinder (57 minutes, 2010) will introduce the audience to master navigator Mau Piailug of the island of Satawal in Micronesia, where a group of young Hawaiians traveled to revive the traditional Polynesian arts of canoe-building and celestial navigation. The event is free, but reservations are required and can be made online at http://bit.ly/e0UdeN. Food can be purchased in the Mitsitam Café beginning at 5 p.m. and the movie will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Rasmuson Theater.
Bring the Kids
The National Museum of Natural History will present “Asian American Arts and Crafts Day” Friday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the museum’s rotunda. The annual event, now in its 25th year, will feature Thai umbrella painting and fruit carving, Japanese doll making, Mongolian watercolor painting and mask making, Filipino weaving, Chinese dough-figure making, Indian rangoli design, Korean calligraphy and Indonesian banana-leaf folding.
The National Museum of the American Indian’s “Celebrate Hawaii Festival” will take place in the museum’s Potomac Atrium May 21 and 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This annual festival is a celebration of Native Hawaiian arts and culture. Visitors can watch films, learn about the origins of the hula and take part in a Hawaiian cooking demonstration.
The National Postal Museum’s Heritage Month Celebration will take place Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day will feature activities inspired by U.S. postage stamps. Visitors can create a modern sculpture in the style of Isamu Noguchi, learn the story of top surfer Duke Kahanamoku and design stamps based on the work of Lunar New Year stamp artist Kam Mak. All activities will take place in the museum’s atrium.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s daily tour will feature a work by or about an Asian Pacific American artist. The tours will take place May 1 to 31 at 12:30 and 2 p.m. Tour attendees should meet in the museum’s F Street lobby.
The Renwick Gallery will offer a highlights tour May 1 to 31 at noon on weekdays and
1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The tour will feature a work by or about an Asian Pacific American artist. Tour attendees should meet in the museum’s lobby.
The National Museum of American History’s exhibition “Sweet & Sour” is on display on the museum’s first floor. The exhibition is ongoing; the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On May 19, the National Museum of the American Indian will open the exhibition “This IS Hawai’i.” The exhibition will feature new and experimental works of art that explore what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21st century. The exhibition will be open through July 4. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
All programs are subject to change. For more information about the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programs, visit: www.SmithsonianEducation.org/Heritage or email email@example.com. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000 or (202) 633-5285 (TTY).
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