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KNKX highlights regional AAPI Heritage Month events in May

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a rich heritage thousands of years old and have both shaped the history of the United States and had their lives dramatically influenced by moments in its history. AAPI History Month is a time to honor Asian American and Pacific Islanders – their histories, their cultures, and their many contributions to America and the world. It’s also a time to have fun learning together, to have meaningful dialogues, and to examine internal practices and mindsets to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Here are some regional events and resources marking Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

May 2-31: Tacoma Public Library presents Tacoma Asian American History Scavenger Hunts at the Fern Hill, Kobetich, Main, Moore, Mottet, South Tacoma, Swasey, and Wheelock branches. Learn more about Tacoma and Washington Asian America history, find hidden images around the library, and earn a prize if you find them all! Also, check out the Library’s other activities during AAPI Heritage Month.

May 4-6: Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5 acre urban sanctuary. Winding paths and benches invite you to view the garden slowly and mindfully, in all of its detail - stones, water, lanterns, bridges, buildings, plants and animals. Seasonal changes are constant, and every visit refreshingly unique. Visit in each season to appreciate the full beauty of the garden. The slow transformation of spring to summer to autumn connects us with nature and reminds us of the beauty and impermanence of life. Coming up in May: Free First Thursday (May 4 from 5-6:30 p.m.): Oshibana Demonstration by Norimi Kusanagi, SJG Youth Photography Workshop in the Garden No. 1 on May 6 from 12 to 4 p.m., Tea Ceremony: Introduction To Chanoyu on May 6 from 1-3:40 p.m.

May 5-28: Seattle Public Theater presents Hometown Boy, a play about being an outsider and what happens when corrosive secrets find their way into the light, asking the age-old question if you really can go home again - told from the specific perspective of an Asian-American family in the South.

May 6, 11 a.m.-5 pm.: Seattle Center Festál presents Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration in partnership with the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC). The festival marks the beginning of the officially proclaimed and recognized Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) of May in the Greater Seattle area. It aims to preserve and promote the culture, heritage, and contributions of Asian Pacific Islanders (API) and Asian Pacific Americans (APA). In the Seattle Center Armory & Food Event Hall.

May 13, 7 p.m.: Tasveer presents Community Speaks: Frames of Mind at Bellevue Arts Museum. We invite you to join us for an evening of storytelling as our participants gather to present their stories to the community in an inclusive safe, nurturing space. Come and witness the nurturing and empowering journey of the participants as they share their vivid, bold, heartwarming and poignant stories with you. The powerful monologues are captivating in their intensity, their raw messages questioning societal norms, judgments and prejudices. Community Speaks was originally imagined as a forum for South Asians impacted by violence to break the isolation they have experienced by sharing their story. Each year the Community Speaks narratives shed light on the special challenges and opportunities experienced within the South Asian socio-cultural context, whether in native lands or in adopted homelands.

May 13 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. YMCA of Greater Seattle recommends: Asian and Asian American Identity in US-based Performing Arts: A Forum (online). What does it mean to be one of us? Who are we? What are artistic and historical issues of perception and projection of Asianness, on stage and off? Yellow peril, White adjacency, model minority, or just plain foreignness and other issues are perennial subtexts surrounding folks of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in US society. In this launch event for GSAF’s inaugural series of public workshops, we invite mid-career and emerging dance and performing arts professionals of Asian descent for a roundtable and community forum on key issues that affect our lives and practices, individually and collectively. Moderated by Michael Sakamoto.

May 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Come all bonsai-fans and bonsai-curious to be wowed and inspired at Pacific Bonsai Museum’s fourth BonsaiFEST! See hundreds of beautiful bonsai in an enchanting, woodsy setting. BonsaiFEST! weekend, at the height of spring blooms, is a spectacular and refreshing time of year to visit the Museum and delight in community.

May 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Visit the Seattle Chinese Garden for its 2023 Peony Festival. Peonies will be in full bloom, and live performances will be held. Tree peonies will also be available for purchase. Seattle and Chongqing, China became sister cities in 1983. The Seattle Chinese Garden Society was formed in 1989 to lead the effort to build a garden as a symbol of this friendship. Today, the Seattle Chinese Garden flourishes near South Seattle College. The gardens feature four elements – water, stone, plants and architecture. The Seattle Chinese Garden is like a beautiful Chinese landscape painting come to life–with classical Chinese architecture surrounded by water features, stone, and plants. It is the perfect setting in which to learn about and celebrate the best of traditional Chinese culture—music, painting, dance, calligraphy, tea, and the annual cycle of festivals celebrating the seasons, peonies, kites, tea, peonies, kites, the annual cycle of festivals celebrating the seasons, and so much more.

May 20 from noon-5 p.m.: United Festival is a celebration of Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander culture in Washington State, happening in downtown Redmond Park. Our goal is to bring the beauty, diversity, and culture of our communities to our neighbors for a day of celebration. Activities include free henna, Indian dancing, a cultural fashion show, delicious food and boba and more fun for the

May 20, 5-6:45 p.m.: Washington State History Museum presents South Sound Japanese American Day of Remembrance–Never Again: The Story of the Japanese American Incarceration. Join us online to see a performance of Never again: The story of the Japanese American incarceration, presented by Dukesbay Productions. This play features a collection of first-person stories of people who were forced into incarceration camps during World War II. Over the course of several scenes, five actors will bring this powerful history to life. Aya Hashiguchi Clark edited and directed this play. She is a Tacoma-based actor, producer, and co-founder of Dukesbay Productions, and is a descendant of World War II incarceration history. She researched and identified the stories of the individuals featured in this production through Densho, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Remembrance: The Legacy of Executive Order 9066 in Washington State is a permanent exhibit at Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. Explore the intergenerational impacts and legacy of the incarceration of people of Japanese descent during World War II. In this gallery, visitors will experience history through photographs, art, objects, letters, and film. A significant part of this exhibition was sourced by working with individuals and families who were directly impacted by Executive Order 9066, including survivors and their descendants. The Japanese community first set down roots in Washington State during the 1890s. Early immigrants took low-paying jobs in railroads, sawmills, salmon canneries, farms, and as domestic laborers. Within a few decades, however, these Washingtonians had become a vital part of our state with contributions to both culture and commerce.

May 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Seattle Center Festál presents A Glimpse of China - Seattle Chinese Culture & Arts Festival, exploring traditional and contemporary influences of China, covering 5,000 years of history through folk dances, artwork, dance, and more.

May 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Seattle Aquarium presents Asian American Pacific Islander Community Day. Join us as we welcome members of the Asian American Pacific Islander community! Explore the Aquarium’s habitats and enjoy a variety of activities—including talks with language interpretation in Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese, squid dissections and opportunities to learn about our expansion, including the new Ocean Pavilion building currently under construction across Alaskan Way.

The Wing Luke Museum is an art and history museum in Seattle, Washington, United States, which focuses on the culture, art and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. It is located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Established in 1967, the museum is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the United States. Current exhibits include Nobody Lives Here: The People in the Path of Progress, Reorient: Journeys Through Art and Healing, and Resisters: A Legacy of Movement from the Japanese American Incarceration.

STG Presents has compiled a list of resources to help you enjoy AAPI Heritage Month including facts, film and TV, AAPI-owned businesses, shops, restaurants, and activist and support group organizations.

Densho is a Seattle-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans before their memories are extinguished. They offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote equal justice for all. Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy.

Discover the Pacific Northwest sites that are essential to understanding the early Asian Pacific American experience in the United States with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Sites guide, produced in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS). The guide features locations from the 2010 Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West, which was co-sponsored by The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience and the USFS. This is only the beginning of a larger project to recover the stories of Asian Pacific pioneers who migrated and made a life in the U.S. earlier than many people think.

Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (C-ID) is home to history, culture, and tradition. The C-ID offers a wide variety of authentic food spanning across Asia, eclectic retail, and family friendly activities. Located just one mile south of Downtown, Chinatown-International District is easily accessible and conveniently located. Chinatown-ID has been the heart of the most extensive Asian community in Washington State and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its rich cultural history has helped Chinatown-ID thrive as both a residential and commercial space where community members and tourists alike are able to gather and celebrate experiences together. Known as one of Seattle’s best restaurant districts, Chinatown-International District offers over 50 dining options, spanning Asia and beyond. Discover foods from China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, and more. From authentic to fusion, Chinatown-International District has a delicious option for every meal of the day, including several late-night options for post-game snacks.

The recently renovated Seattle Asian Art Museum is located in Volunteer Park. Current exhibits include Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time.

The Panama Hotel is located in the Chinatown-International District, in what was once Nihonmachi (Japantown). The hotel had a history of providing lodging to immigrants from Japan. Its basement was used by the Japanese community as a storeroom for their possessions when they were sent to camps in WWII. The hotel was designed by Sabro Ozasa, the first Asian-American architect to practice in the Puget Sound region. Today, you can tour its bathhouse that served generations of Japanese Americans before World War II.

Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) in Tacoma is a center for cultural exchange providing programs and services that promote the greater awareness, understanding, equity, and inclusion of the Asian and Pacific Islander people. This community includes immigrants, refugees, children and youth, seniors and elders, low-income, and all groups who are a part of the Asia Pacific community. Our founders recognized the need for cross-cultural understanding in their community, and in 1996 they founded APCC to address this need.

ArtsWA celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by featuring all artists of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage who are part of Washington's State Art Collection. This web exhibition celebrates the rich and varied creative expression of these artists via drawings, paintings, cut paper, prints, collage, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. Find out more about exhibits and collections, audio and video resources, and more here. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and its partners share those histories and the continuing culture thriving in parks and communities today. Inspired by something you've learned or found a bit of family history in a national park? Share your experiences on social media using #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque.

Kanopy, the free streaming service available to university students and public library cardholders, has organized an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month film collection. Dozens of titles are highlighted and available for streaming via the Kanopy app which can stream content to your digital device or smart TV.

The Government of Canada has designated May as Asian Heritage Month, marking the legacy of Asian Canadians including those of East Asian descent (e.g., China, Japan, Korea), South Asian descent (e.g., India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asian descent (e.g., Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia), Central Asian descent (e.g., Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan) and West Asia descent (e.g. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey). Here are some resources and events that celebrate Asian Canadians in the arts, culture, and society at large.