DIA Highlights Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Lineup of Events

The virtual offerings include dance performances, cooking lessons, puppet shows, and more
Catch a performance from Revolution Chinese Yoyo on May 6. // Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Observed throughout May, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to recognize the history, traditions, culture, and contributions of our country’s Asian and Pacific Islander community. This year, the Detroit Institute of Arts is celebrating the heritage month with a lineup of nearly 20 virtual events that spotlight artistry from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and more.

Events kick off on May 1 with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Opening Performance. During the event, choreographer and professional dancer Joori Jung will perform A Journey with Minari, a dance inspired by the Oscar-nominated drama that tells a story about a Korean-American family and stars metro Detroit native Steven Yeun. Michigan Sen. Stephanie Chang, Rep. Padma Kuppa, and DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons will also speak.

During the month, the museum will also host performances by Revolution Chinese Yoyo, a yoyo/diabolo team from the University of Michigan on May 6, and Taiwan-based shadow puppet troupe Yung Shing Le on May 7. The latter will perform an excerpt from the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - ArtLab J
Detroit’s ArtLab J opens the tea culture discussion on May 27 with a contemporary dance performance. // Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

On May 15, Chef Tommy Nguyen will hold a class on pho and cà phê đá, an iced Vietnamese drink made with coffee and sweetened condensed milk. And on May 27, the museum will host a conversation moderated by Katharine P. Burnette, the founding director of Global Tea Initiative, about tea culture and practices in China, Japan, and Korea. The discussion will open with a performance by Detroit-based dance company ArtLab J that was created in collaboration with Korean-Detroit artist Mike Han.

The DIA’s celebration of the heritage month concludes on May 29 with a closing performance called Find It…Every Dream, which will feature music from the Sakura Japanese Instrumental Group, dancing by the Sunshine Teen Chinese Dance Group and the Mathangi Dance Co., and more. The event is produced by Sharon Dow, who works with the National Association of Asian American Professionals Detroit and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

The entire lineup is available on the DIA’s website. Unless otherwise noted, events can be accessed at no cost. Most events will be available to watch on the museum’s YouTube page starting on their respective dates, and select events will also stream live on the DIA’s Facebook page.

For more information, visit dia.org/APAHM2021.