Society diversity

Asia Society Texas Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month

HOUSTON, May 31, 2022 – Asia Society Texas celebrated the 30th anniversary of Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAH Month) with a strong lineup of live programming, broad community outreach, and volunteer opportunities throughout throughout the month of May.

Designated APAH Month in 1992, the month of May was chosen by Congress in commemoration of the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1859 made possible by thousands of Chinese workers. The month has since been dedicated to honoring America’s Asia-Pacific heritage.

For this year’s celebrations, Asia Society Texas (ASTX) presented its second annual 31 Ways to Celebrate APAH Month calendar. Built around ASTX’s live programs, the schedule also included staff recommendations and a curated selection of on-demand activities, interviews and performances.

Marking the end of Ramadan, the Center Eid celebration welcomed over 3,500 guests to celebrate the diversity of Houston’s Muslim community through live entertainment, activities, shopping and halal food.

Welcoming notable Asian and Asian American authors to the Center for talks and book signings has been a special treat for the month. Huma Abedinlongtime aide to Hillary Clinton, spoke about her career and her faith as shared in her memoir Both/and: a life in several worlds, in a special convergence of ASTX’s Female Leadership Series and Muslim Series. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month and the ASTX hosted Dr. Jenny T. Wang for the Houston launch of her new book Permission to Go Home: Reclaiming Sanity as Asian Americans. As part of Houston Public Libraryfrom the Teen Books Alive series, National Book Award-winning author Malinda Lo shared her journey as one of the few female Asian authors to write fantasy for YA. Finally, a sold-out crowd greeted the indie rockstar michelle zauner (Japanese Breakfast), who spoke with another author Bryan Washington on his writing process and best-selling memoir Crying in H Mart.

Film screenings included the continuation of the ASTX Kung Fu Movie Nights series, starring the grand master and Once upon a time in Chinaas well as the documentary Not your model minoritypresented in partnership with the Asian American Bar Association of Houston and followed by panel discussions with leading figures from the AAPI and local legal communities.

Students with ID received free entry to the exhibition Making a Home: Artists and Immigration throughout the month. In addition to expanded art tour dates for the general public, various K-12 groups and the Houston YMCA Chapter participated in docent-led tours.

In the virtual space, participants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Geico and Pattern Energy joined live At Home in Asiatown Tours to learn more about the history and small businesses of the Asian district of Bellaire Boulevard and participate in an activity led by artists. A virtual workshop in partnership with AARP explored the diverse flowers of Asia.

In addition, ASTX staff and volunteers organized activities and participated in various community events, including:

Finally, in an episode on the theme of the APAH month Houston Public Media “Town Square with Ernie Manouse,” Longtime ASTX supporter and Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA) program manager Dr Anne Chao and Director of Communications and Public Engagement Stephanie Todd-Wong discussed the history of Asians and Asian Americans in Houston and answered questions from callers.

About Asia Society Texas

Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diversity of perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating Asia’s vibrant diversity, inspiring empathy, and fostering a deeper understanding of our interconnected world. Covering the fields of arts, business, culture, education and politics, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community – trusting in the power of art, dialogue and ideas to fight prejudice and build a more inclusive society.