MINNEAPOLIS (May 2, 2013) — Hennepin County is celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with public events and an exhibit at Hennepin Gallery, free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A Level, 300. S. Sixth St., Minneapolis.
Hennepin County is home to 28 percent of Minnesota’s Asian population. Who are they and where are they from? This exhibit offers a glimpse into the lives of Asian communities within the county. It will include artifacts, jewelry, traditional clothing, traditional cooking utensils, pottery, materials and more on loan from: Hmong ABC Bookstore, St, Paul; the Chinese Heritage Foundation; the Korean Service Center; and the personal collection of Hennepin County Library – Augsburg Park Librarian Phuoc Tran.
Tran is an active member of the local Vietnamese community and a respected storyteller. She has shared her experience and knowledge of Vietnamese culture and has dedicated her time to helping recent immigrants transition into life in America. The exhibit will also feature programs and services provided by Hennepin County Library as well as items from its Asian collection.
The public is also invited to attend the “Laos Rocket Festival,” a celebration of various Asian countries and cultures with music and exhibits, Wed., May 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. Sixth St., featuring performers from noon until 1 p.m.: Spoken Word – Saymoukda Vongsay; Spoken Word – Chay Dousngphouxay; and Dance and Fashion Show – Lao Advancement Organization of America.
President George H.W. Bush issued a proclamation in 1990 declaring May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month to recognize the history and contributions of the generations of Asians in the U.S. May was chosen for two important Asian American milestones: the first Japanese immigrants arrived on May 7, 1843; the transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869 (majority of workers who laid the tracks were Chinese).
Hennepin County recognizes diversity as a source of community strength. To foster cultural understanding and cohesiveness within our community, Hennepin County Library will present its seventh “Spice & Slice of Asia” program, April 27 through May 18. Link: http://www.hclib.org/pub/events/alleventsaction.cfm?keyword=spice.
The performing arts productions explore stereotypes and offer insight into the Asian American experience and issues. Admission is free. The exhibit is sponsored by Hennepin County Library and Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health. The Gallery is a project of Hennepin County Public Affairs.