BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Starting with an opening reception March 28, Indiana University Bloomington will commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a diverse slate of programs and activities taking place on campus and in the local community.
The annual celebration has taken place at IU Bloomington since 1999 and has evolved into an event involving several campus partners, most prominently the Asian Culture Center, an Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs program. This year's theme is "Belonging."
"The breadth of activities occurring during this year's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration is incredible, and it illustrates the rich cultural traditions of the communities represented," said James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, dean of the University Graduate School and Johnson Professor for Diversity and Leadership.
IU Bloomington's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which takes place in April because the majority of students will be on summer break during the nationally recognized celebration in May, will feature cultural performances, a film series, the Indiana Asian American Conference and interaction with special guests.
The Asian Culture Center is organizing and hosting many of the activities, with co-sponsorship from the Asian American Studies Program, the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council, the Black Faculty and Staff Council, the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Hutton Honors College, the Latino Faculty and Staff Council, the IU Arts and Humanities Council, IU Cinema, the IU Community and Leadership Development Center, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, the Office of International Services, and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.
"We're very grateful to the departments who have stepped up to partner with the Asian Culture Center for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, when we recognize the contributions of Americans of Asian descent and honor the history of Asians in this country," said Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of the Asian Culture Center. "On a campus as large as IU Bloomington, this may sound cliché, but it's very true: It takes a village to really put together meaningful educational events. We really encourage all students and the campus community to be part of the celebration, especially if they've never been to the ACC."
An opening reception will kick off IU Bloomington's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Featuring special guest Popo Fan, a Chinese filmmaker and LGBTQ+ advocate, the event will also include a showcase with paintings, books, digital art and other work by IU students, faculty and staff.
Other events heritage month events include:
- Asia Night, an evening of cultural performances at Bloomington's Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30. The event features IU Bloomington's Chinese Calligraphy Club, Dream Corps, Filipino American Association, Hip Hop ConnXion, HooSher Bhangra, Jhanak, Myanmar Student Association and Samulnori Korean Percussion Ensemble, as well as non-IU affiliated groups 40vers, Indy Hula, Jaywalkerz and Okinawa Yu-Yu-Kai.
- The third annual Indiana Asian American Conference, hosted by IU's Asian American Association and featuring keynote speaker Renee Tajima-Peña, an Academy Award-nominated film director, 10:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at the Global and International Studies Building auditorium.
- The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Film Series at IU Cinema, beginning with a screening of "Spa Night," at which director Andrew Ahn will be present, 7 p.m. Monday, April 3, and continuing with "Painted Nails," 7 p.m. Monday, April 10.
For a complete listing of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month programming at all IU campuses, visit the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs' website.