Congress established Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 1992, corresponding its timing in May to two historical milestones: the arrival of the nation’s first Japanese immigrants in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, in which Chinese workers played a pivotal role, in May 1869. A presidential proclamation in 2021 expanded the observance to include Native Hawaiians.
Nearly 70,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) make their homes in the greater Kansas City area today. From the arts to medicine, education, and distinguished dining, they enhance and strengthen the fabric of our community.
The Library pays tribute by offering a collection of books, events and activities, resources, and more that highlight AAPI voices and experiences.
EVENTS & FILM SCREENINGS
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Reception: 5:30 p.m. | Program: 6 p.m.
Jackie Nguyen, a first-generation Vietnamese American, takes the stage at the downtown Central Library to discuss her founding and operation of the city’s first Vietnamese coffee shop, Café Cà Phê. Her appearance is the latest installment of the Library’s IDEAL Entrepreneurship signature programming series, examining ways to make entrepreneurship in Kansas City more inclusive, diverse, equitable, accessible, and liberating – more IDEAL for all.
These film screenings at the Central Library, in the distinctive Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault, feature Asian American or Pacific Islander storylines or characters in May:
Family Video Vault: Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
Saturday, May 6 | 2 p.m.
Sunday Cinema: Chan is Missing
Sunday, May 14 | 2 p.m.
Film Central: Chan is Missing
Wednesday, May 17 | 6 p.m.
Family Video Vault: Turning Red
Saturday, May 27 | 2 p.m.
READING & VIEWING RECOMMENDATIONS
Explore books, films, and other digital resources that highlight AAPI stories, experiences, and history.
Browse a wide array of movies featuring AAPI experiences and stories on your computer or mobile device with Kanopy.