Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Celebration

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 26, 2019

Media Contact: Jaime Wong
(415) 557-4295;

Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Celebration

SAN FRANCISCO, CASan Francisco Public Library is excited to partner with the APA Heritage Foundation to present more than 100 programs celebrating Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage during the month of May, including author talks, art performances, exhibits from artists of APIA heritage, crafts, delicious food and creative programs for all ages. View the program guide here (PDF).

Our Heritage Month celebration seeks to bring in audiences, old and new, to explore and enjoy the history and culture of many people who have made their home in San Francisco. The City has long been a destination for immigrants from Asia. Our Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon communities are vibrant and dynamic. Our communities also include people from the Philippines, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, Singapore and Thailand, among others.

Prominent authors and scholars will appear at the Main Library as well as library branches throughout the month. On May 1, activist Helen Zia will speak about her nonfiction book Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution. Filipino-Egyptian artist and journalist Malaka Gharib will launch her book I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir at the SFMOMA Public Knowledge Branch on May 11. Food ethnographer June Jo Lee will share about the food truck movement and her award-winning children’s book, Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, on May 15.

Other highlights include a workshop on how to conduct research in historical archives such as the 1885 San Francisco Chinatown map. Or view performances of traditional Filipino dance by Parangal Dance Company. The Library’s May/June On the Same Page selection is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, chosen to encourage San Franciscans to read and discuss the same book. Among a group of carefully curated films, First Person Plural, an Emmy Award-nominated documentary by Deann Borshay Liem, will be screened in partnership with the Center for Asian American Media’s annual CAAMFest.

The Library is a dynamic repository for knowledge and represents unity and community building. We invite everyone to enjoy our programs and those by our partners, including the APA Heritage Foundation and CAAMFest. All Library programs are sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

View the full program guide here (PDF)

Program highlights:

Special Events

APIAs Waking Up! Jump into Action: Commemorating 50 Years of Asian American Studies– April 28, 12 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Room

Evening of South Asian-American Poetry – April 30, 5:30 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Rooms

Celebrating APIA Month with Dance and Music – May 5, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Tibetan Arts and Healing series – May 5, 12, 19, 26, 1:30 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch Library

Merced Branch Open House– May 8, 5 p.m., Merced Branch Library

All About the Koto – May 11, 3 p.m., Ingleside Branch Library

Family Legacies for Chinese Americans – May 11, 1 p.m., Main Library, 5thFloor Computer Training Center

The Language of Flowers in Asian Art – May 11, 3 p.m., Glen Park Branch Library

Rahiti Polynesian Dance Company – May 25, 2 p.m., Western Addition Branch Library

Author Events

Between the Great Divide: A Journey into Pakistan-Administered KashmirMay1, 6 p.m., Main Library, 5th Floor Learning Studio (Adults)

Helen Zia in Conversation with Sherry Hu – May 1, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium (Adults)

Wild Geese SorrowMay 5, 1 p.m., North Beach Branch Library (Adults)

Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American “Oriental”May 11, 2 p.m., Main Library, Skylight Gallery (Adults)

My So-Called Filipino Egyptian Life – May 11, 3 p.m., SFMOMA Public Knowledge Branch (Teens + Adults)

Useful Phrases for Immigrants: StoriesMay 14, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Rooms; May 18, 3:30 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library

Meet the Author: June Jo Lee discusses Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix– May 15, 2:30 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch Library (Youth + Family)

Cooking Together: A Vegetarian Co-op CookbookMay 18, 2 p.m., Ortega Branch Library (Adults)

The Gateway to the Pacific: Japanese Americans and the Remaking of San Francisco – May 22, 6:30 p.m., Western Addition Branch Library; May 25, 11 a.m., Main Library, Chinese Center


Cherry Blossom Paper Craft – May 4, 11:30 a.m., Mission Branch Library (Youth)

Kumihimo Craft with Esther Kwan – May 11, 2 p.m., Presidio Branch Library (Youth +Family)

Keepsake Boxes with the Museum of Craft and Design – May 11, 1 p.m., Excelsior Branch Library (Youth + Family)

Mandala Painting – May 16, 4 p.m., Bernal Heights Library (Ages 13-18)

Henna Hands-On Workshop – May 17, 3:30 p.m., North Beach Branch Library (Ages10-18)

Origami Floral Jewelry Making with Shinta Arifin – May 18, 2:00 p.m., Marina BranchLibrary (Adults)

Asian Lantern Craft –May 22, 3 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch Library (Youth)

3D Chinese Paper Cutting – May 24, 3:30 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library (Ages8-18)

Diwali Paper Lanterns – May 25, 2 p.m., Mission Branch Library (Adults)


Lo Mai Chi: Sticky Rice Ball – May 2, 3 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library (Ages 8 and up)

Cooking Time – May 6, 3 p.m., Sunset Branch Library (Ages 5-12)

Asian Snack Trials – May 8, 4 p.m., Bayview Branch Library (Ages 10-18)

Novel Noshing – May 16, 3 p.m., Anza Branch Library (Teens)

Sweets Edition Snack Trials – May 17, 4 p.m., Parkside Branch Library (Ages 8 andup)

Cooking Back to Our Roots – May 19, 2 p.m., Anza Branch Library (Adults)

Learn to Make Kimchi – May 22, 6:30 p.m., Noe Valley Branch Library (Adults)


Better Luck TomorrowMay 1, 6 p.m., North Beach Branch Library

MoanaMay 7, 4 p.m., Excelsior Branch Library

Flower Drum SongMay 7, 2 p.m., Presidio Branch Library

The Navigators: Pathfinders of the PacificMay 10, 4:30 p.m.,Visitacion Valley Branch Library

Hunt for the WilderpeopleMay 17, 3 p.m., Potrero Branch Library

First Person PluralMay 18, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Crazy Rich AsiansMultiple screenings

Music, Movement & Performance

Asian Pop Karaoke – May 4, 2 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library (Youth + Family)

Hula with Halau Ha’a Kea o Kinohi – May 4, 12 p.m., Merced Branch Library; May 11, 11 a.m., Marina Branch Library; May 18, 12 p.m, Ocean View Branch Library; May 18, 3 p.m., Mission Bay Branch Library

Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company – May 4, 3 p.m., West Portal Branch Library; May 26, 3 p.m., Excelsior Branch Library

Filipino Dance with Parangal Dance Company – May 11, 2 p.m., Glen Park Branch Library; May 11, 4 p.m., Parkside Branch Library; May 18, 2 p.m., Main Library, Children’s Center; May 18, 4:30 p.m., Richmond Branch Library

Kathak Dance Performance – May 12, 1:15 p.m., North Beach Branch Library (Adults)
Asia FantAsia with Eth-Noh-Tec – May 18, 2:30 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library (Youth + Family)


Thread that Connects– May 4 through August 1, Main Library, International Center

Related event: Artist talk with Kimiko Kogure, Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m., Main Library, International Center

Light in NanjingMay 18 through July 18, Main Library, Library Café Display Case, Lower Level

About San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

April 26, 2019