Overview of the Asian Pacific American (APA) Program
It is two weeks before the start of the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and all of the pieces are starting to fall into place. More than nine hundred members of the local Asian Pacific American (APA) community are slated to appear on the performance, family activities, cooking and discussion stages on the National Mall between June 24 and July 5.
Our eleven-member APA Program team here at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is coordinating with the folks in the Smithsonian’s APA Program office to pull together a program that includes representatives of the Asian American and Pacific Islander American communities here in the D.C. metro area.
The Festival has focused on Asian nations before in the course of its forty-three-year run: Bhutan (2008), India (1985), Indonesia (1991), Japan (1986), Korea (1982), Philippines (1998), Thailand (1994), and Tibet (2000). It also has focused on groups of nations in the “Mekong River” (2007) and “Silk Road” (2002) programs.
However, aside from a focus on the culture of Hawaii in 1989 and a Chinese New Year’s Pantomime in 1967, there has been no focus on Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent at the annual Folklife Festival that graces our National Mall each summer.
Everyone planning to come to the festival between June 24–28 and July 1–5 should take a look at the APA Program video and description on this page to get a better sense of what the festival is about.
We’ll be blogging regularly about the APA Program up to and during the Festival, so check back often. If you have questions or comments, please send them to me at nashpt [AT] si.edu.
Phil Tajitsu Nash is the curator of the 2010 Asian Pacific Americans program.