Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Launches Inaugural Celebration

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Hiroshima (from left): Dan Kuramoto, Kimo Cornwell, June Kuramoto, Dean Cortez, Danny Yamamoto

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, a migratory museum that shares Asian Pacific American (APA) history, art, and culture through innovative community-focused experiences, announced its inaugural annual event, The Party.

Helene An

Featuring special performances by hip-hop and R&B phenom Jay Park and iconic jazz band Hiroshima, The Party takes place Saturday, May 18, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at City Market Social House, 1145 S. San Pedro St. in Los Angeles. The VIP reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be hosted by actor Harry Shum Jr. After-party reception is from 10:30 to 11 p.m Tickets are available via http://Smithsonianapa.org.

“The Party will celebrate the indelible contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to the American experience,” said Lisa Sasaki, the director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “From music to technology, sports to entertainment, these modern history-makers inspire Americans of every ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic background by demolishing barriers and challenging time-worn stereotypes with their talents, perseverance, and ingenuity.”

Jay Park and Vivek Ranadive

Spanning categories including Culinary Arts, Music, and Sports, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will first recognize the contributions of the following:

• Pioneer Award in Culinary Arts to Helene An, the chef known as “the mother of fusion cuisine,” and her family.

• Legend Award in Music to Hiroshima, the Grammy-nominated and first Asian American R&B jazz band.

• The Game Changer Award in Music to Jay Park, the multi-platinum global hip-hop and R&B artist, choreographer, entrepreneur, and songwriter.

• The Titan Award in Sports to Vivek Ranadive, the founder of TIBCO and owner of the Sacramento Kings.

Additional honorees and special guests will be announced.

As part of this celebration, The Party will mark the launch of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Keystone Initiative, which is designed to rally support for the first permanent Asian Pacific American Gallery within the Smithsonian.

“For over 200 years, Asian Pacific Americans have been an integral part of America’s cultural fabric,” said Rep. Doris O. Matsui, Smithsonian regent and a member of the Center’s Advisory Board. “It is time for our struggles to be recognized and our diverse contributions honored within the respected halls of America’s Smithsonian Institution.”

The Presenting Platinum Sponsor of The Party is legal powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The Gold Sponsor is SeAH Holdings.

About Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center

From its establishment in 1997 as an initiative critical to the mission of the Smithsonian until today, the vision for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has been to enrich the American story with the voices of Asian Pacific Americans.

Asian Pacific America is the story of a vibrant, diverse, and resilient set of communities that have been part of the American experience for more than 200 years. It is the story of two continents and a constellation of islands joined by the migration, exchange, and competition of people and ideas. Yet, across museums and galleries in the nation’s capital and around the country, most people find only fragments of America’s rich Asian Pacific heritage.

There are more than 17 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States. In less than 50 years, nearly one of every ten people in America will trace his or her heritage to Asia and the Pacific — a region that covers more than one-third of the Earth — including the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Pacific.

This region is also home to nearly half of the world’s population, natural life, nations, economies, major faiths and languages.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center believes that our understanding of America and America’s standing in the world is richer, more compelling, and more powerful when it includes the Asian Pacific American story. The center serves as a dynamic national resource for discovering why the Asian Pacific American experience matters every day, everywhere, and all of the time.

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