May 1 marked the beginning of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month — a time that is dedicated to the history, culture, and achievements of the AAPI community in the United States. As Angelenos, we’re lucky to live in one of the most diverse cities in the country, making Los Angeles one of the best places to celebrate the AAPI community! This week, we’ll be taking a closer look at cultural institutions offering both online & in-person experiences that showcase the rich cultures and histories of the AAPI community in our city. Here are five ways you can celebrate & support Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
Angel City’s Friday Five series is presented by DoorDash.
Allyship + Community Day of Service
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our country has seen an alarming rise in xenophobia toward the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. To combat this, it is vital that we educate ourselves and find meaningful ways to support a community that has a rich history in Los Angeles. Stop AAPI Hate is a reporting center that tracks and responds to incidents of hate against the AAPI community in the United States. In addition to its reporting services, it offers a variety of resources for individuals to get educated and involved. Stop AAPI Hate encourages us to report incidents, share safety tips, donate to local efforts, and be civically engaged in our communities. For more resources, click here.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get involved immediately, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) will be hosting a Community Day of Service this Saturday, May 22 to clean up five of LA’s AAPI neighborhoods. The Angel City team will be at the Koreatown location and will be providing snacks and waters for the entire volunteer crew! For more details and to RSVP, click here.
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Since first opening its doors in 1980, JACCC has evolved into one of the largest ethnic art and cultural centers in the United States. In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, JACCC and LACMA have teamed up to offer a digital culinary class featuring Sonoko Sakai, author of the award-winning cookbook Japanese Home Cooking. The program will include an introduction of Yoshitomo Nara's artworks, which are related to memories of youth, presented by art historian Yeewan Koon. Then, Sakai will teach participants how to make chirashi zushi, a popular dish created to celebrate Japan's Children's Day in May. To RSVP, click here.
Address: 244 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Norton Simon Museum
Located in Pasadena, the Norton Simon Museum features an Asian Sculpture Garden that houses a collection of art from India and Southeast Asia. Located just off of the museum’s lower-level galleries, the small sculpture garden includes the schist Bull with Shivalingam and Other Images, possibly from 16th-century Rajasthan, India, and the granite Buddha Shakyamuni, c. 1100, from Tamil Nadu, India. The museum will be welcoming guests to their galleries and gardens once again on May 20. For information on admission fees & tickets, click here.
Address: 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
Stories and Voices from L.A. Chinatown
Stories and Voices from L.A. Chinatown is the first in the series Archive Alive, a new collaboration between The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Public Library. Archive Alive activates historic photographs, documents, and maps through online exhibitions, site-specific installations and displays, and interviews with community members whose personal reflections and connections truly bring the archives to life! You can explore these materials virtually here, or visit the outdoor exhibition in Chinatown at 942 N Hill Street.
USC Pacific Asia Museum
An integral part of the University of Southern California, the USC Pacific Asia Museum creates inspiring encounters with the art, history, and culture of Pacific Asia. In celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the museum is currently hosting an exhibition titled We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles. The exhibition highlights seven female contemporary artists of diverse Asian Pacific heritages living and working in Los Angeles; their work draws from their lives and family histories. The museum is also offering free virtual events such as StoryTime & Art featuring “Dim Sum for Everyone!”, a Flower Mandala Drawing Workshop, and more! Click here for a full list of events.
Address: 46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
Frequenting our local AAPI businesses is another simple way we can uplift & support the community. Check out our list of Asian American & Pacific Islander cuisines in Los Angeles here!