APCC to Celebrate National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Korea Day to open May’s events

By Lynn Castle, Asia Pacific Cultural Center

Photo Courtesy of Asia Pacific Cultural Center

Across the country, people will be celebrating May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The month is dedicated to honoring and celebrating the Asia Pacific culture, traditions and history, and recognizing the many contributions made by the Asia Pacific people. The South Sound area is home to Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC), a nonprofit organization with a mission to bridge communities and generations through art, culture, education and business. Located in Tacoma, APCC will be celebrating the 2021 Heritage month in a variety of ways.


Kicking off the celebrations on May 1 will be Korea Day, filled with the people, culture and traditions of the beautiful country of Korea. Family friendly events will be broadcast on APCC’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels from 11am to 2pm, including how to make delicious Korean Five Color Bibimbap from Ester Hicks; a Korean Hanji Workshop led by APCC Board president and founder, Patsy Surh O’Connell; and the viewing of unique paintings by artist Whang Uerok.


Throughout the month of May, Asia Pacific Cultural Center will be bringing several activities to the community through their virtual Facebook Live programming. With the goal of keeping its community connected to their culture and educating others about the artistry, history, business protocols and social practices of this vast group of 47 nations across Asia and the South Pacific, APCC hosts a large number of engaging events year-round, but especially during May.


A few of the presentations planned for May on APCC’s Facebook Live include an Indonesian cooking demonstration, a partnership with Joint Base Lewis-McChord to celebrate API Heritage in the Military, and various presentations from Taiwan, Northern Mariana, Hawaii, Vietnam, Samoa, China and Guam. Dates and times for the presentations can be found at APCC96.org.


The executive director of Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Faaluaina Pritchard, is passionate about the organization. According to Pritchard, “APCC serves as an interactive cultural crossroads between local and international communities. We are more than just art as entertainment, but many people do love the entertainment aspect of all that we do.”

That love of APCC entertainment was evident during their recent virtual presentation of the 23rd Annual New Year Celebration featuring the Marshall Islands. Typically held at the Tacoma Dome with 10,000 persons in attendance, the 2021 celebration was presented over six days on Facebook Live and their YouTube channel. More than 47,000 people viewed the daily 90-minute presentations from around the world and across the country.


“While we look forward to the day when we can be together in person to celebrate the New Year, we certainly learned that extending our reach around the world had special meaning, too,” Pritchard said recently. Plans are underway to ensure the 2022 event featuring China will be presented live, as well as have a digital component.


The local government and business communities also view APCC’s mission vital, as evidenced by their sponsorship and support. Notable partners include the City of Tacoma Arts Commission, Arts of Washington, Catholic Community Services, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. Business partners include MultiCare, Chateau St. Michelle winery, Alaska Airlines, Columbia Bank, Group Health Foundation, Pierce College, Molina Healthcare and Tacoma Community College, to name a few.


Asia Pacific Culture Center was founded in 1996 through the vision of three generations of Americans with Asian and Pacific Island heritage. More information about these events and the Asia Pacific Cultural Center can be found on their website at AsiaPacificCulturalCenter.org, and many wonderful videos of past performances and presentations can be found on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/AsiaPacificCulturalCenter.



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