LocationSan Gabriel , CA United States
In the United States the month of May is dedicated to Asian/Pacific American Heritage (APA), also known as Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI). The nationally recognized celebration has a complicated history beginning with the acknowledgement of Japanese immigrants coming to the U.S. in 1843, according to asianpacificheritage.gov, a collaborative web portal curated by the Library of Congress and other federal entities.
In the San Gabriel Valley, the month is a time to celebrate APA arts, music, and offers a unique opportunity to educate those who are not familiar with variety of culture. This year the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, with support from the Pasadena-based United Charity Foundation, hosts their inaugural Asian Pacific American Festival (APAFEST) from May 7th – 26th. The festival will serve as a venue for activities and performances that explore, teach and bask patrons in the complex and versatile history and culture of Asian Pacific Americans.
Events & Workshops
Highlighted programming includes a Family Day event on May 13th from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM in the Playhouse courtyard made-up of live performances from a number of professional dancers and musicians onstage, bouquet-making workshops from the Chinese Floral Arts Foundation, and several booths from community organizations who support APA, including Alhambra Source. Family Day will be followed by a special concert from Emmy award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Disney, DreamWorks, LA Opera) from 3:30 PM– 5:00 PM. Wang brings a special commissioned concert to the historical venue of the Playhouse main stage.
The three-week celebration partners with community organizations to conduct diverse workshops that concentrate on cultural appreciation and celebration of the arts. These creative workshops range from topics such as Wushu, Tai-Chi, Floral Arts, and also include two writing workshops from the Alhambra Source. Our photo-driven Storytelling Workshops will focus on methods one can take to trace their own immigrant narrative, taking a personal essay approach to documenting history. Join us for both workshops on May 10th and 17th from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM and bring photos to accompany your piece! Visit https://www.apafest.org/ for information on the other workshops organized throughout the festival.
Alhambra Source Lobby Exhibit
In addition to the ample programming provided by the Playhouse, Alhambra Source will be curating a lobby installment, Alhambra Source presents: A Kaleidoscope of Immigrant Narratives. The exhibit will put compelling stories from local residents on the forefront, illustrating the multitude of voices, perspectives, and ethnic backgrounds that make-up the unique and diverse character of the San Gabriel Valley. Visit our rotating miniseries from May 7th – May 26th.
Alhambra Source invites our readers to contribute to this exhibit by submitting a story on this theme for a chance to have it displayed for the public during APAFEST. Possible topics for the entry include the exploration of your own ethnic background, discovering your parent’s roots, or documenting an immigrant journey of someone you know. There are endless possibilities and all are viable. Email [email protected] or [email protected] with your story ideas.
The three-week celebration is due to end with a bang as the closing event includes exhibits and performances created from the Playhouse’s “Stories into Performance” project. The project collected video, audio, and text submissions from individuals from all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond for a chance to have professional actors and directors turn three submissions into short performance pieces that will then be showcased on the main stage of the Playhouse. Interested parties can still submit their stories on the APAFEST website: https://www.apafest.org/how-to-submit-your-story. Catch the closing event on May 26th from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Take a look at this excerpt from the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse press release for more information:
“APA-FEST promises a lively, varied and positive experience for the Asian Pacific American population and others keen to engage in some fun and enlightening cultural experiences. All events are free and take place in and around the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776. Further details, schedules and sign-ups can be accessed at: www.apafest.org or [email protected]”