Indiana University

IU's 2014 observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month kicks off Thursday

  • March 26, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's annual observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month will begin Thursday, March 27, with an opening reception featuring actor and filmmaker Patrick Wang.

Cultural festivals, documentary film screenings and panel discussions are among other highlights for the monthlong series of activities that highlight issues facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The theme for the month is "Movement: Encouraging Dialogue for Change."

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (formerly Asian Pacific American Heritage Month) is celebrated nationally in May to recognize the history and diverse cultures and honor the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The IU Asian Culture Center celebrates during April to accommodate the academic calendar.

In addition to attending the reception, from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Federal Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., Wang will be present for the screening of his film, "In the Family," at 7 p.m. Thursday at IU Cinema.

Wang's film, which depicts the story of a man trying to maintain his fatherly relationship with his deceased partner’s son, is one of three films begin shown that invite audiences to consider the multifaceted vibrancies and complexities of Asian Pacific American people and communities. He is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. Friday at IU Cinema as part of its Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series.

Other films being screened as part of the series include "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," a documentary about a 98-year-old Chinese writer and activist, at 7 p.m. Friday; and "Linsanity: The Movie," a documentary about the astonishing rise of Taiwanese American basketball player Jeremy Lin, at 3 p.m. Saturday. After Friday's screening of "American Revolutionary," a Q&A via Skype is planned with the film producer Caroline Libresco.

The film screenings are free and open to the public, along with all other Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month events.

On April 9, the inaugural Asian Pacific American Inspiration Awards will be presented at a conference on “Intercultural Hospitality.” Hosted by Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council with support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, it will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the IMU. Additional details will be provided in a future release.

"Folding Into Light"

Another highlight for the month is "Folding Into Light," a lecture and workshop by Jiangmei Wu, a faculty member in the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. The event will begin at noon April 17 in the conference room of the IU Art Museum.

Wu is trained in and has practiced design across a wide range of design disciplines. As an artist, she is interested in how folding can be expressed mathematically, physically and aesthetically. As a designer, she is interested in applying the art of folding toward producing functional products for primarily interior spaces through means of sustainable manufacturing, digital fabrication and algorithm-based generative design.

Her latest collection of Folded Light Art has gained attention worldwide and has been published in many design magazines internationally. She is partnering with IU's Research and Technology Corp. in pursuing design patents and design licenses of her Folded Light Art collection.

She is the co-author of "Living Design: The Daoist Way of Building." A hands-on activity in folding paper will take place after Wu’s lecture. Supplies will be provided, and a light lunch will be served. Those interested should send an email to or call 812-856-5361. This event will be limited to 30 participants.

Other events

  • 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 30: "It's a Girl," a documentary and panel discussion, in the auditorium of the Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. The film focuses on how millions of babies are killed, abandoned or selectively aborted in China and India, simply because they are girls. Following the screening, Sara Friedman, associate professor of anthropology and gender studies, Keera Allendorf, assistant professor of sociology and international studies, and Dheepa Sundaram, visiting assistant professor of religious studies and the Dhar India Studies Program, will speak.
  • 7 p.m. April 3: A discussion on Asian American "Exclusion and Citizenship," presented by Raas Royalty and Timmy Global Health, in the IMU Tree Suite. Part of the Smithsonian's traveling poster exhibit will be presented, and snacks will be provided.
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 4: Asian Cultures Around Campus will present "Holi Festival," co-sponsored by Dhar India Studies Program, IU Asian Culture Center and the Indian Student Association. It will take place in the courtyard of Collins Living-Learning Center and will include a color fight near the end of the program, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Holi, one of the most festive holidays in India, is commonly known as a festival of colors; it is a day to dance, eat delicious food, and throw colored powder to symbolize the coming of spring and the bringing of good harvests.
  • 7 to 8 p.m. April 7: "Building Railroads/Cultivating Land, a discussion featuring the Smithsonian poster exhibit," at Union Street Center, co-sponsored by Chinese Calligraphy Club and Kelley  Without Borders.
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 8: "The K-Pop Revolution and the Spread of the Korean Wave," in the State Room West of the IMU. Psy's "Gangnam Style" surprised everyone when it became the biggest YouTube hit ever in 2012. But Korean pop music -- along with the rest of Korean pop culture -- has been on the rise for years, gaining fans in the United States and worldwide. Featured speaker is Mark James Russell, culture editor for the Korea JoongAng Daily who also has written about Korean culture, economics and society for The New York Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal.
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 8: "The State of Hate and Extremism in the U.S.," a Culture of Care Week event featuring Leica Brooks of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in Room 223 of Hodge Hall at the Kelley School of Business.
  • 4 p.m. April 10: "More Than a Number: Reading The Tale of Genji Through a Digital Humanities Approach," in Room 004 of Ballantine Hall.
  • 6 p.m. April 10: "Taste of Asia," the Asian American Association's biggest event of the spring semester, at the IU Auditorium. Highlights include a showcase of cultural and modern Asian American performances from students and local talents in addition to a sampling of Bloomington's finest Asian cuisine.
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 14: Origami workshop for undergraduate students, hosted by the Hutton Honors College. Space is limited; email to reserve a place.
  • 4 to 6 p.m. April 14: Tamil and Bengali New Year celebration, at Dhar India Studies Program, 825 E. Eighth St. Celebration will feature snacks, henna, flowers, music and a cultural program featuring traditional elements of bringing in the New Year. This event is co-sponsored by Asian Cultural Center and the Indian Student Association.
  • 7 p.m. April 16: "Paniolos: When Hawaiians Met Mexican Vaqueros," at La Casa/Latino Cultural Center, 715 E Seventh St., featuring speaker Lavalliere Emerald Kehaulani Leslie Clumb. She has been dancing with Indy Hula of Indianapolis for the past six years and is a direct descendant of King Kamehameha the Great.
  • 10 a.m. to noon April 19: Asianfest at the Bloomington Farmers Market, 401 N. Morton St., co-sponsored by the City of Bloomington's Safe and Civil Program and the Bloomington Farmers Market. Diversity within Asian cultures will be on display through cultural performances, art crafts, and activities such as chopstick challenge, calligraphy, henna and more. Cooking demonstrations also will show traditional Asian dishes are prepared. In case of rain, the event will be indoors at the Showers City Hall Atrium.
  • 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 21: "Kurds and Kurdistan: An Introduction," at the Asian Culture Center, 807 E. 10th St. Bloomington community member Kanyaw Ali will discuss Iraqi Kurdish culture and foods.
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 22: ACC’s Student Recognition Banquet, in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. By invitation only.
  • 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 26: Indonesian Cultural Night, "Back to Childhood Memories," in Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose Ave.

The sponsors and participating organizations for 2014 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and its events include the Asian American Studies Program; Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council; Bloomington Farmers Market; the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society; the Chinese Calligraphy Club; City of Bloomington's Safe and Civil Program; the College of Arts and Sciences; Collins Living-Learning Center; Department of Communication and Culture; Department of History; the Dhar India Studies Program; Hutton Honors College; IU Art Museum; IU Cinema; GLBT Student Support Services Office; Kelley Without Borders; La Casa/Latino Cultural Center; the IU Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs; East Asian Language and Culture; IU Raas Royalty; and Indian Student Association.

Related Links

"Orion" by Jiangmei Wu; medium: paper, wires and LEDs (2013)

"Orion" by Jiangmei Wu; medium: paper, wires and LEDs (2013) | Photo by Photograph by Random Run

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