Free Events for Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month at San Francisco Public Library


SAN FRANCISCO, April 24, 2023 – May at San Francisco Public Library is jam-packed with free author talks, book clubs, film screenings, crafts, food programs and musical and dance performances celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.

“This year’s theme for AANHPI Heritage Month is ‘Strengthening Community Fabric’, which could not be more fitting, because that’s what San Francisco Public Library is all about,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “I invite everyone to come out and experience the rich diversity of our local community. The more exposure we have to cultures that are different than ours, the more understanding and compassion we have for others. It’s the medicine we all need to combat the rise in racism we are seeing throughout our country.”

The Library offers programming for all ages at its various locations throughout the City. Film features prominently in this year’s AANHPI celebration. On May 13, the Library partners with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), to present a day of free screenings as part of CAAMFest, the world’s largest showcase of Asian American and Asian film. There is also a commemoration of the legalization of acupuncture in California coupled with a screening of Acupuncture Fever—the Road to Legalization in California on May 7 and a showing of the searing documentary on the brutal regime of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., 11,103, followed by a forum on May 27.

Featured authors include Christina Vo discussing her new memoir The Veil Between Two Worlds: A Memoir of Silence, Loss, and Finding Home on May 4. On May 20, author Kiều Chinh shares her life, journey and memoir, Kieu Chinh: An Artist in Exile. We’ve also got dance performances: Hulu by Ha’a Kea o Kinohi on May 18 and Indian dance with Guru Shradha Ensemble on May 13 and SF KalaKendra on May 13 and 20. Music enthusiasts will enjoy Taiko with artist Kristy Oshiro on May 11, 13 and 31; soul, jazz, blues and improvisation with Filipina American led music collective, Free Press Music, on May 13 and 27 and a number of Chinese musical offerings. For food lovers and small business supporters, the Library is proud partner with Pistahan Parade and Festival to support Chow Fun!, a week-long event featuring an Asian dine-around, cooking demos, culinary events, cultural performances and raffle prizes. Don’t miss the kickoff event at the Excelsior Branch Library on May 13. Lastly, the Library collaborates with the venerated Kearny Street Workshop to present Dreaming People’s History: The Asian American Radical Imagination, an exhibition of past and present Asian American arts and activism on view April 29–August 6, 2023.  

See below for the lineup of events. All events are free and open to the public. For more listings visit:   


Deanne Liu of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) 
APEN's Oakland Political Coordinator, Liu, speaks on environmental justice issues in California. May 2, 5 p.m., Virtual Event  

Artist Jessica So Ren Tang 
Experience the artwork of Jessica So Ren Tang, Bay Area embroidery artist who references Asian patterns and objects from her childhood. May 2, 7 p.m., Virtual Event 

Ayurveda with Amaya Wellness 
Learn about the Indian traditional medicine system, Ayurveda, which is the sister science of Yoga. We discuss fundamental concepts and consider how to cultivate wellness and balance in our lives.  Space limited. Reservations required: (415) 355-2880 or Virtual Library. May 3, 6 p.m., Presidio Branch, 3150 Sacramento Street 

The Convergence of Writing, Womanhood, and Family History  
A partnership with Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN). A conversation with Christina Vo and Lan P. Duong, celebrating Vo’s new memoir. Moderated by Dr. Isabelle Pelaud. May 4, 6 p.m., Manny’s, 3092 16th St., San Francisco  

Artistry, Craftsmanship, Utility: The Japanese Pre-modern Writing Instrument  
Robert De Maria discusses the yatate, the Japanese pre-modern portable writing instrument or kit in wide use in Japan from about the late thirteenth century to the early twentieth century. May 6, 1 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Room, Lower Level 

Minecraft Tour of San Francisco's Chinatown  
Learn about the rich history and modern–day issues of San Francisco’s Chinatown on this youth-led tour of Chinatown recreated in Minecraft. Presented by the Chinatown Community Development Center. May 7, 12 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Learning Studio, 5th Floor or Virtual Library 

Chinese Guqin and Poetry 古琴演奏及詩歌朗誦  
Local musician Coral Liang and her students perform Guqin together with poetry. May 13, 12 p.m., Ocean View Branch, 345 Randolph Street  

Guru Shradha Ensemble 
Enjoy the Odissi dance, the oldest surviving classical form of Indian dance from the Eastern India state of Odisha. May 13, 1 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue  

Seeking the Divine: Deities of Asian Religions  
In this Asian Art Museum Docent talk hear about the fascinating journey as we explore how ideal beauty is interpreted in different Asian cultures and transformed by altering the forms of the body. May 16, 6:30 p.m., Virtual Event  

Author Kiều Chinh, Hanoi to Hollywood: A Remarkable Journey  
A partnership with Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN). Celebrated author and actress Kiều Chinh discuss her life, journey and memoir, Kieu Chinh: An Artist in Exile. Moderated by Dr. Isabelle Pelaud. May 20, 3 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level 

REALSOUL Zine Storytelling 
Katie Quan, founder of REALSOUL, will lead us in a hands-on activity of storytelling through zines. May 21, 1 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Room, Lower Level 

Workshop: Decoden Mirror  
Decorate a compact mirror with whimsical 3D charms in the Japanese style of “decoden”. May 24, 4 p.m., Presidio Branch, 3150 Sacramento Street  

Nature Boost: Uprooting Chinatown  
Our partners at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy explore the history of Chinese in the Bay Area. May 31, 7 p.m., Virtual Event 

Classical Tea Ceremony and Tasting  
The Dasen American Academy presents a classical tea ceremony followed by a discussion of the historical and cultural significance of the practice. 
May 6, 2:30 p.m., Anza Branch, 550 37th Avenue  
May 20, 2:30 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch, 201 Leland Avenue
June 6, 2:30 p.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey Street  

Chinatown Walking Tour  
In this guided walking tour, you will learn about the history of Chinatown, hidden alleys, temples and local food which all contribute to the vibrancy of SF's Chinatown. May 10, 10 a.m. and May 24, 10 a.m., Chinatown Branch, 1135 Powell Street  

Filipino Weaving with Rachel Lozada 
Learn about Ilocano traditional weaving led by a local weaver and learn about the socio-cultural and historical significance to the Filipino American community. 
May 19, 2 p.m., Glen Park Branch, 2825 Diamond Street 
May 27, 2 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way


Kathak Dance with SF KalaKendra
Learn about Kathak dance, one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance. Participate and learn a few moves from this centuries-old North Indian art form. 
May 13, 2 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way
May 20, 11 a.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval Street
May 20, 2 p.m., Portola Branch, 380 Bacon Street

San Francisco Guzheng Music Society
Listen to the music of guzheng, an ancient Chinese stringed instrument dating back 2500 years.  
May 6, 3:15 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch, 1801 Green Street
May 13, 3:15 p.m., Sunset Branch, 1305 18th Avenue

Japanese Taiko Drumming with Kristy Oshiro
Feel the thunderous sounds of taiko drums as Kristy Oshiro combines Japanese language, culture and history into an exciting experience.   
May 11, 12 p.m., Eureka Valley Branch, 1 Jose Sarria Court
May 13, 11 a.m., Ingleside Branch, 1298 Ocean Avenue
May 13, 1 p.m., Merced Branch, 155 Winston Drive
May 31, 3:45 p.m., Chinatown Branch, 1135 Powell Street

Free Press Music
Travel around the world musically with a Filipina American led music collective with roots in soul, jazz, blues and improvisation.   
May 13, 2 p.m., Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission Street
May 27, 2 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch, 500 Cortland Avenue 

Halau Ha’a Kea o Kinohi
Learn about native Hawaiian culture with Halau Ha'a Kea o Kinohi and enjoy a hula performance with a cultural presentation about the meaning and history of the native Hawaiian dance form.
May 18, 3:45 p.m., Chinatown Branch, 1135 Powell Street

Chow Fun! Kickoff 
Celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month and Small Business Week in the Excelsior! From Saturday, May 13–Saturday, May 20, Chow Fun! features an Asian dine-around, cooking demos, culinary events, cultural performances and raffle prizes. For more information about the full week of events visit May 13, 11 a.m., Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission Street

Cultural Mask Making
Learn about reclaiming identities and stories through mask making. Build strength and work towards empowerment through culture and history. For ages 8 and older. Space limited. Reservations required: (415) 355-5648. May 20, 1 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue  

Authors Eunice and Sabrina Moyle with Live Drawing
Meet Sabrina and Eunice Moyle as they read from their children's books and live draw pictures inspired by the books. Listen as they discuss their childhood growing up in Asia and the impact their AAPI heritage has had on their creative process, and the messages of positivity, resilience and inclusion of their best-selling children's books. For ages 6 and older. Space limited. Reservations required: (415) 355-2858. May 20, 2 p.m., Glen Park, 2825 Diamond Street  


Blue Bayou
A Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.  R, 119 mins., 2022. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 3, 4 p.m., Ocean View Branch, 345 Randolph Street

On the Beach at Night Alone
Kim Minhee (The Handmaiden, Claire's Camera) plays Younghee, an actress reeling in the aftermath of an affair with a married film director. Younghee visits Hamburg then returns to Korea, but as she meets with friends and has her fair share to drink, increasingly startling confessions emerge. Directed by internationally acclaimed Hong Sang-soo. Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92%. NR, 100 min., 2017. Closed captions (CC) in English.May 4, 4:30 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

Commemoration: Acupuncture Legalization in California
紀念:針灸熱 —— 加州針灸立法史
The library hosts a viewing of the film, Acupuncture Fever—the Road to Legalization in California, the first English documentary on the legalization of acupuncture in California. Afterwards, American Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture will provide free consultations to the public. May 7, 1:30 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

Chinatown Rising Screening and Filmmaker Discussion
A special screening of Chinatown Rising, followed by a discussion with Joshua Chuck, producer and director. Chinatown Rising is a documentary film about the Asian-American Movement from the perspective of the young residents on the front lines of their historic neighborhood in transition. NR, 85 mins., 2021. May 11, 5:30 p.m., Ortega Branch, 3223 Ortega Street

CAAMFest 2023 Double Feature: Screening and Filmmaker Discussion
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents a day of screenings, followed by a filmmaker discussion and Q&A. May 13, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level

11 a.m.: Screening - Community Care: Documentary Features, Shorts Program
Angel Dose, directed by Sami Khan
Each night after his shift Tarik, a South Asian American nurse, races against time to deliver expiring vaccines across Philadelphia.

Kapwa Texas, directed by Pj Raval
Three young Filipino women wrestle with the ramifications of the COVID-19 Pandemic and racial tensions.2 p.m.: Screening - Documentary Feature

Unconditional, directed by Richard Lui
Unconditional is a film about three families setting off on journeys of self-discovery, taking on the most emotional topics of our day—physical and mental health. Not just the polar extremes portrayed in the media, it comes in hundreds of shades and in places we do not notice. We, with our loved ones, form a beautiful but complex social system and we are balancing individual mental health in a collective setting all the time. Filmed over seven years, Unconditional bravely explores a long arc of mental health that challenges over 50 million families each year. It chronicles three families (including filmmaker Richard Lui’s) in their journey of caregiving as they grapple with difficult realities and hidden wounds.

Set on computer screens and smartphones, Searching is a thriller about a father looking for his missing teenage daughter. Directed by Aneesh Chaganty; starring John Cho and Michelle La.  PG-13, 102 mins., 2018. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 13, 2 p.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey Street

Tokyo Godfathers
Join fellow teens to watch this animated film by Japanese director Satoshi Kon and enjoy Japanese snacks in honor of Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  For ages 13-18. PG-13, 92 mins., 2004.  Japanese with Closed captions (CC) in English. May 14, 2 p.m., Park Branch, 1833 Page Street

Plus One
Presented by the Glen Park Branch as part of its 2nd Floor Flix movie club for grownups, Plus One is the story of Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine) who agree to be each other's plus one at every wedding they've been invited to. NR, 99 mins., 2019. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 17, 6 p.m., Glen Park Branch, 2825 Diamond Street

A documentary exploring international design, visual culture and identity through the lens of modern Chinese typography. Recommended for all who are interested in learning more about Chinese characters and fonts. NR, 56 min., 2016. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 17, 6 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

First Floor Film Club: San Francisco Discusses Chan Is Missing
At the First Floor Film Club, participants are asked to watch Chan Is Missing (NR, 80 mins., 1982) and come prepared to discuss the film's representation of San Francisco. DVDs of the film can be requested at the Main Library’s Information Desk or screened for free with a library card via Kanopy, the Library’s video streaming service. May 18, 6 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Mary Louise Strong Conference Room, 1st Floor

Turning Red
Mei Lee, a confident, nerdy 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! PG, 110 mins., 2022. Closed captions (CC) in English.
May 18, 3:30 p.m., Ocean View Branch, 345 Randolph Street
May 20, 2 p.m., Bayview Branch, 5075 3rd Street

Center Stage: Ruan Lingyu
International superstar Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love) embodies tragic screen siren Ruan Lingyu (1910-1935), known as the "Greta Garbo of China," in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan. Kwan and Cheung paint a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the ill-fated actress, deftly blending lush period drama, archival footage and metatextual documentary sequences of Cheung reflecting on Ruan’s legacy. Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92%. NR, 154 min., 1991. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 18, 4 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

Crazy Rich Asians
Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. PG-13, 120 minutes, 2018 Closed captions (CC) in English. May 20, 3 p.m., Park Branch, 1833 Page Street

Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart
In San Francisco, a Chinese immigrant, who is a widow, faces the New Year with apprehension after it was foretold that it would be the year she would die. All of the things she wants to do before she dies come into focus, including seeing her daughter married and visiting China one last time. Directed by Wayne Wang (Chan Is Missing). Rotten Tomatoes rating of 88%. NR, 86 min., 1985. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 24, 5:30 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

Picture Bride
Drama based on historical events, about a young Japanese woman who agrees to an arranged marriage in turn-of-the-century Hawaii, but finds that it's not the paradise she thought it would be. Stars Yûki Kudô and Akira Takayama, and with the great Kurosawa actor Toshiro Mifune. Rotten Tomatoes rating of 82%. PG-13, 90 min., 1994. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 25, 4:30 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

Screening and Q&A: 11,103
A 2022 documentary featuring survivor stories of state-sponsored violence during the Martial Law years of the dictator, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Thousands were jailed, tortured, raped and killed while communities were massacred in the crossfire between state forces, Maoist rebels and Muslim separatists. In 2013, the Philippine government passed a landmark law that officially recognized these atrocities and mandated compensation for the victims, funded by the illegally-acquired wealth of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos hidden in their Swiss Bank accounts. 11,103 victims were given compensation as a result of the law.  86 min. Language: English, Tagalog  Subtitles: English, Tagalog. May 27, 2 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level

Forever, Chinatown
A documentary about octogenarian self-taught artist Frank Wong who has spent the past several decades recreating his fading memories by building romantic, extraordinarily detailed miniature models of the San Francisco Chinatown rooms of his youth. This film takes the journey of one individual and maps it to a rapidly changing urban neighborhood from the 1940s to mid-2010s. NR, 31 min., 2016. Closed captions (CC) in English. May 31, 6 p.m. Richmond Branch, 351 9th Avenue

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四月 24, 2023