It’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which means it’s time to expand our knowledge and celebrate all the diverse cultures that makeup America. Viewing museum exhibits or attending cultural events is a fun and entertaining option. This month, do a little research on local events, historical sites, and museums that are participating in the celebration. You must visit these Asian Pacific American museums.
4 Museums to Visit for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Listed below are just four suggestions to help inspire you this Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)
Located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, this museum is a Smithsonian affiliate that honors the Asian Pacific American community. It’s named after Wing Luke, an extraordinary individual. This World War II vet earned the Bronze Star Medal for his service and later became the Assistant Attorney General for Washington State. In addition, in 1962, Luke was the “first person of color on the Seattle City Council”.
If you’re going to be in the Seattle area, be sure to check out the museum. Besides their Wing Luke and Chinatown District displays, they also have a year-round New Years exhibit for Chinese, Khmer, and Korean New Year celebrations. In addition, there’s the Costumed Spectacle exhibit, which features the Cantonese opera collection. Check out the museum website for more information.
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) is the largest U.S. museum dedicated to Americans of Japanese ancestry. Opened in 1992, the museum “sheds light” on immigration and resettlement.
So, if you live in the Los Angeles area and you want to learn more about this history, check out the Japanese American National Museum. This Thursday the museum will be hosting screenings for the 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. In addition, they also have a Little Tokyo walking tour called Edible Adventures. During the tour, you can visit Japanese sculptures, murals, and yummy establishments. The JANM website has more details.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii)
This museum is named after Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, “the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family.” Her husband, Charles Reed Bishop, established the museum in honor of the princess in 1889. It originally housed Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms. Today, the museum celebrates the “extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawai’i and the Pacific.”
Therefore if you live in Hawaii, or plan on visiting soon you must go check out the museum. They have the Holo Moana exhibit, which celebrates generations of voyaging. Also be sure to check out the Traditions of the Pacific lecture series and the Pacific Hall to learn about the different people and cultures across the Pacific. You can find more information on the museum here.
National Museum of the American Indian (Washington D.C.)
Can’t afford the trip to Hawaii? Consider visiting the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington D.C. In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, they are hosting numerous events on Hawaiian heritage and culture.
Some of the museum events include theatrical Hawaiian storytelling, presentations on oceanic voyages, and story time for kids featuring the book Tutu’s Quilt: Ke Kapa Kuiki a Tutu by James Rumford. Lastly, there’s also the two-day event: the Hawai’i Festival: He Lani Ko Luna (A Sky Above). The festival features demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on activities.
Get more details about the museum at the NMAI website.