Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, join Asia Society Texas for 31 ways to celebrate the vibrant and diverse traditions and contributions of Asians and Asian Americans. Highlighting Asia Society’s live programs, our calendar also features a curated selection of on-demand activities, staff recommendations, and more.

Since 1979, May has been a dedicated time to celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage, but it wasn’t until 1992 that May was officially designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Selected to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1859 that was made possible by thousands of Chinese laborers, APAH Month elevates the stories, contributions, and experiences of Asian and Asian American communities.

Attend a live program, try a new restaurant, expand your playlist, and find inspiration to celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage throughout the month of May and beyond.

At a Glance

Our 31 ways to celebrate APAH Month include live programs and art tours at Asia Society Texas Center as well as activities and content available on-demand.

Live Programming Highlights:

  • May 1: Enjoy free admission to our exhibition on view, Making Home: Artists and Immigration!
  • May 7: Celebrate the end of Ramadan at our Festival of Eid, featuring food and fun for all ages.
  • May 11: Meet Huma Abedin, former top aide to Hillary Clinton, for a special talk and book-signing presented by our signature Muslim Series and Women’s Leadership Series.
  • May 15: Hear from Grammy nominee Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast), in conversation with author Bryan Washington about how her family and Korean heritage have influenced her art.
  • Each Saturday starting May 14: Join a docent-led art tour of Making Home: Artists and Immigration!

On-Demand Highlights:

  • Each Sunday, refresh and reset with Staff Picks for music, books, podcasts, and what to watch next.
  • On Mondays, enjoy selections from our Encore Series, which highlights the best of performing arts programming.
  • Tuesdays offer an opportunity to learn about local Asian Americans who reflect the richness and diversity of our community through our video series Houston’s Asian American Journeys.
  • On Fridays, explore restaurants in Houston’s Asiatown and our on-demand food content!

Jump to any date through the calendar below! We have also created a two-page PDF calendar for easy reference.

Download the PDF

* indicates a live program is scheduled on this day.

Sunday, May 1

[IN-PERSON] Free Exhibition Admission
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Enjoy free admission to our exhibition, Making Home: Artists and Immigration! Focusing on immigration and related themes, the exhibition centers the deeply personal histories of immigration as artists Phung Huynh, Beili Liu, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya consider topics of intergenerationality, the repercussions of colonial histories, dislocation, memory, otherness, belonging, and resilience. Learn more »

Reserve Tickets

Playlist: Jams and Bops for a Groovy Sunday

Enjoy a dreamy selection of music by Asian and Asian American artists! Curated by Production Technician Liz Nguyen, this 80-minute Spotify playlist offers a groovy start to our month-long festivities.

Monday, May 2

Monday Encore Series: Kaisar Anvar

In December 2021, pianist Kaisar Anvar presented a recital that took guests on his personal journey as a Uyghur artist from Xinjiang, China, to the United States, celebrating the music that has shaped him along the way. The program included pieces by Beethoven, Scarlatti, Chopin, Charles Vine, and popular Uyghur tunes. Here, Anvar plays his transcription of “Sherq Güzili” (“The Beauty From the East”) by Uyghur composer Quddus Khojamyarov.

This program was presented as part of Asia Society Texas’ Muslim Series.

Tuesday, May 3

Houston’s Asian American Journeys: Glen Gondo

Ever pick up some sushi at your local HEB? Glen Gondo is the man behind those trays of sushi — as well as cultural engagement throughout Houston. Hear about Glen’s journey in the food industry, his passion for sharing Japanese culture, and his dedication to the Asian American political sphere, cultural organizations, and many other areas of the greater Houston community. Hear more from Glen »

Wednesday, May 4

At-Home Activity: Fold an Origami Crane!

Cranes have long symbolized peace, good health, longevity, and healing in many Asian cultures. According to the Japanese tradition of senbazuru, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted their most desired wish. Learn how to fold an origami crane, which can be displayed on a desk or shelf or strung together with other cranes for a beautiful effect.

Thursday, May 5

[IN-PERSON] Permission to Come Home: Dr. Jenny Wang on Asian Americans and Mental Health
6 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

In her new book Permission to Come Home: Reclaiming Mental Health as Asian Americans, Dr. Jenny Wang weaves together personal stories of strength, pain, and resilience with incisive analysis of Asian American and immigrant identities — and how they affect our individual and collective mental health. Join us for a candid and compassionate conversation with Dr. Wang followed by a book-signing as part of this book launch event. Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Friday, May 6

Friday Food: Spotlight Asiatown

We’ve made it easier to choose your next meal! Find regional dishes and trendy new bites at dozens of Houston’s Asian and Asian American-owned restaurants, curated through our Spotlight Asiatown project. Each profile includes a way to order your next delicious meal!

Start Your Order

Saturday, May 7

[IN-PERSON] Teen Books Alive With Malinda Lo!
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Meet National Book Award-winning author Malinda Lo at this event presented in partnership with Houston Public Library! Lo’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club was named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus, and many more. Fifty teens who attend this event will have a chance to receive a copy of the book! Learn more »

Register Now

[IN-PERSON] Festival of Eid
4–8 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Celebrate Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan at our all-ages festival! Enjoy food, music, activities, and artist demonstrations on our lawn, and head inside to visit a bazaar featuring local artists and small business owners. Registration is required for this free event. Learn more »

Register Now

Jump back up to the calendar »

Sunday, May 8

Sunday Staff Picks: What We’re Reading (Fiction)

Refresh your bookshelf! We’ve surveyed our staff for fiction they have either read recently or added to their list to help you find your next favorite title. Enjoy this selection of short story collections, manga, novels, and more — all by Asian and Asian American authors including Tom Lin, Kikuko Tsumura, and Umi Sakurai.

Start Reading

Monday, May 9

Monday Encore Series: Turkish Music Festival

At the fourth annual Turkish Music Festival in September 2021, musicians from the Hoppa Project, with master clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski, took our audience on a foot-stomping cultural tour of Turkey, showcasing music of the Ottoman Empire from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and Georgia to Bulgaria. Here they perform “Tulum ve Kiremit Parçaları,” a traditional song from the Thracian region of Turkey.

Tuesday, May 10

Houston’s Asian American Journeys: Mal Bernardo

As a Chinese-Filipino and native Houstonian, Mal Bernardo is passionate about celebrating the region’s diversity. Whether through connecting with students in her classroom or enjoying one of the many food stops in Houston, Mal embraces the city as she explores how her identity and understanding of her family’s history have impacted her past and shape her thinking of the future. Hear more from Mal »

Wednesday, May 11

[IN-PERSON] Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series: Huma Abedin on Public Service and Private Legacies
6 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

In a rare convergence of Asia Society Texas’ signature Women’s Leadership Series and Muslim Series, we welcome Huma Abedin to share moments from her full and complex life — from her childhood in Saudi Arabia to her high-profile career as Hillary Clinton’s longtime top aide. Join us as Abedin speaks on her faith, family, and fortitude that have carried her through her journey as a Muslim woman and her high-pressure career. Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Thursday, May 12

[LIVE] Cooking Along With Chef George Chen
7 p.m. Central, Virtual

Rice is the staple food for over half of the world’s population. Join Asia Society Northern California for a complimentary webcast as chef George Chen shares the cultural significance of rice and how to prepare fried rice using a traditional Chinese wok! Learn more »

Register Now

Friday, May 13

[IN-PERSON] Kung Fu Film Nights: The Grandmaster
8 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

We’re celebrating the greatest hits of Hong Kong martial arts cinema with a series of outdoor movie nights! In 2013’s The Grandmaster, director Wong Kar-Wai crafts a heart-stopping action epic starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi and featuring exquisite choreography by Yuen Woo-Ping. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets to join the show on our front lawn, and enjoy complimentary refreshments from Asahi Beer! Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Saturday, May 14

[IN-PERSON] Architecture Tour
10 a.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Go behind the scenes of our 40,000 square foot center! Learn about the materials and influences of architect Yoshi Taniguchi‘s first free-standing in the building in the United States in this docent-led tour. Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

[IN-PERSON] Art Tour
11 a.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Join a docent-led tour of exhibition Making Home: Artists and Immigration to experience the art on view — on a personal level! Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Jump back up to the calendar »

Sunday, May 15

[IN-PERSON] Michelle Zauner in Conversation With Bryan Washington
7 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

In her bestselling memoir Crying in H Mart, indie rockstar and Grammy nominee Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) writes about losing her mother to cancer and forging her own Korean American identity. In conversation with author Bryan Washington, Zauner shares how her family and Korean heritage have influenced her art. A reception and book-signings with both authors follow the program. Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Sunday Staff Picks: What We’re Watching

Go beyond Squid Games and Bridgerton! Refresh your watchlist with our team’s recommendations for shows and films starring established and rising Asian and Asian American actors alike, celebrating the energy that defines nighttime culture across Asia, and much more.

Start Watching

Monday, May 16

Monday Encore Series: T.T.C. Dance

Performed in September 2018, Persistence of Memory takes its audience on a journey between the real and the surreal, where imagination is the only limitation of beauty. Choreographer Ting-Ting Chang conceptualized a convergence of dance and painting, focusing on the idea of moving sculptures and reexamining Salvador Dali’s drawers and Sigmund Freud’s unconscious mind.

Tuesday, May 17

Houston’s Asian American Journeys: Y. Ping Sun

Y. Ping Sun is recognized throughout Houston and the globe for her dedication to education and community service. She is a leader and legend in Houston’s Asian American community, and Asia Society Texas is proud of her role as the first woman to serve as our board chair. Learn about Ping’s journey from Shanghai to the United States in an excerpt from her podcast interview with the University of St. Thomas MAX Studios. Learn more »

Wednesday, May 18

Playlist: Bollywood Blasts

Tune in to this introduction to the most iconic Bollywood songs from the most iconic Bollywood movies! Curated by Performing Arts and Culture Coordinator Amal Hasan, our six-hour playlist features dance songs and heartfelt ballads, drawn from 90s classic films to today’s contemporary hits.

Thursday, May 19

[LIVE] At Home in Asiatown Virtual Tour
6 p.m. Central, Virtual

Explore Houston’s Asiatown from the comfort of home! In our live, facilitated virtual tour, learn about the history of Asians and Asian Americans in Houston, participate in an artist-led activity, and receive recommendations for a future trip to explore Asiatown in-person. Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Friday, May 20

Program Highlight: Cooking at Home With Priya Krishna

We recently welcomed New York Times food writer and cookbook author Priya Krishna to share what it means to grow up “Indian-ish” and to reflect on her career path as a South Asian woman in the rapidly evolving food industry. Enjoy a highlight from the program, which was presented as part of our Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series!

Video coming soon.

Saturday, May 21

[IN-PERSON] Art Tour
11 a.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Join a docent-led tour of exhibition Making Home: Artists and Immigration to experience the art on view — on a personal level! Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Jump back up to the calendar »

Sunday, May 22

Sunday Staff Picks: What We’re Listening To

Looking for a new podcast or musical artist to add to your playlist? Start listening with recommendations from our staff, spanning J-rock to pop culture podcasts to punk rock, with picks including Japanese Breakfast, Polkadot Stingray, and All the Asians on Star Trek.

Start Listening

Monday, May 23

Monday Encore Series: Formosa Quartet

Video coming soon.

Tuesday, May 24

Houston’s Asian American Journeys: Donna Cole

Video coming soon.

Wednesday, May 25

At-Home Activity: Dragon Boat Festival Fun!

The Dragon Boat Festival is a Chinese holiday celebrated with dragon boat races and zongzi, a sticky rice dumpling. This year, the Dragon Boat Festival takes place on June 3 — and on Saturday, June 11, you can see a real dragon boat at Asia Society Texas’ AsiaFest celebration!

Ahead of the festivities, learn about the Dragon Boat Festival through at-home activities such as a dragon boat puppet, an origami zongzi craft, and more. Preview or download the activity kit below!

Thursday, May 26

Asia In-Depth Podcast: Kal Penn’s American Journey

Actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn recently joined us at Asia Society Texas to discuss his career, from battling stereotypes in Hollywood to serving in Barack Obama’s administration. Revisit Penn’s stories and reflections in conversation with ABC 13 anchor and ASTX board member Melanie Lawson, through this podcast episode of Asia In-Depth.

Friday, May 27

[IN-PERSON] Kung Fu Film Nights: Once Upon a Time in China
8:30 p.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

We’re celebrating the greatest hits of Hong Kong martial arts cinema with a series of outdoor movie nights! Blockbuster hit Once Upon a Time in China cemented Jet Li‘s status as the greatest martial-arts superstar of his generation thanks to the film’s breathtaking blend of kung fu, comedy, romance, and melodrama that climaxes into a whirlwind guns-versus-fists finale. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets to join the show on our front lawn, and enjoy complimentary refreshments from Asahi Beer! Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Saturday, May 28

[IN-PERSON] Art Tour
11 a.m. at Asia Society Texas Center

Join a docent-led tour of exhibition Making Home: Artists and Immigration to experience the art on view — on a personal level! Learn more »

Purchase Tickets

Jump back up to the calendar »

Sunday, May 29

Sunday Staff Picks: What We’re Reading (Nonfiction)

Dive into nonfiction with a final round of recommendations from our team! Featuring memoirs by Kal Penn, a history of pop culture by the Angry Asian Man blog founders, and cookbooks for dessert and Afghan food alike, these selections will help you stay entertained, informed, and fed through the month of May and beyond!

Start Reading

Monday, May 30

Monday Encore Series: No-No Boy

Video coming soon.

Tuesday, May 31

Houston’s Asian American Journeys: Dr. Khawaja Azimuddin

Video coming soon.

Business and Policy programs are endowed by Huffington Foundation. We give special thanks to Bank of America, Muffet Blake, Anne and Albert Chao, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and United Airlines, Presenting Sponsors of Business and Policy programs; Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher, Presenting Sponsors of Exhibitions; AARP, Sterling Turner Foundation, and Wells Fargo, Presenting Sponsors of Education & Outreach; Syamal and Susmita Poddar, Presenting Sponsors of Performing Arts & Culture; Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Sponsor of the Japan Series; and Regions Bank, Title Sponsor for the internship program. General support of programs and exhibitions is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, McKinsey & Company, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Vinson & Elkins LLP, as well as Friends of Asia Society.

About Asia Society Texas

Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.