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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Mee-Young Kim
Asian Culture Center

Last modified: Monday, March 31, 2003

IU Bloomington marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with activities in April

May is officially Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, but the Indiana University Bloomington campus and its Asian Culture Center will begin celebrating in April to increase student participation. As a kick-off event, the ACC will host the opening reception and panel discussion on Asian American experiences on Thursday (April 3).

The calendar of events for the month also includes a lecture, a performance, a cooking demonstration and television specials.

"The events we have planned for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month highlight diversity among Asian Americans and their U.S. immigration histories and rich cultures. I believe this celebration will bring the Asian American community closer and help the general public better understand their fellow citizens," said Mee-Young Kim, interim director of the Asian Culture Center.

This year's celebration also will be very special to many IUB Asian American students as they will host the Midwest Asian American Student Union Spring Conference, with support from the IU Office of Student Development and Diversity.

The Midwest Asian American Student Union works to promote political unity and activism among Asian Pacific Americans in the Midwest, according to co-chairs Chris Sinclai and Cecille Domingo.

Several hundred students from throughout the country are expected to attend the spring conference. Events kick off Thursday with socials for early arrivals and will continue through the closing on Sunday (April 6). Friday's and Saturday's conference schedules are filled with discussions, workshops and performances. Educational workshops are free for IUB students, faculty and staff. Seating at the formal banquet, featuring a keynote address and entertainment, is available by reservation.

The opening reception and panel discussion for APA Heritage Month and MAASU Spring Conference will begin Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Faculty Club in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St..

Other events planned for the month include:

-- "A Demonstration of Japanese Folk Song and Tsugaru Shamisen: A Prelude to 'A Visit to Japan,'" April 13 at 2 p.m. at the Mathers Museum, 416 N. Indiana Ave. The program offers an opportunity to learn more about the sounds and the instruments that you will hear at the April 20 concert, "A Visit to Japan" (see below). Baisho Matsumoto, a tsugaru shamisen player, and Molly Adkins Jeon, a Japanese folk singer and ethnomusicologist, will give insights into the music and how it is performed. Admission is free. For more information, call 812-855-6873 or e-mail

-- A concert, "A Visit to Japan," on April 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and April 20 at 2 p.m at the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St. Experience Japan through the dynamic sounds of Japanese folk song and tsugaru shamisen (a three-stringed instrument from the northern part of Japan). Baisho Matsumoto (a well-known master of folk songs and tsugaru shamisen), along with his student of 10 years, Molly Adkins Jeon, have delighted audiences throughout Japan with their songs and stories. Tickets can be purchased at the Waldron Arts Center, phone 812-334-3100, ext. 109. Sponsors include ACC, the IU East Asian Studies Center and NTN Driveshaft.

-- An Asian-Latino cuisine cooking class on April 23 at 7 p.m. at La Casa Latino Cultural Center, 715 E. Seventh St. The program will be an exploration of Asian-Latino cuisine, merging the best flavors of the two cultures. Participants will learn about how to cook Chinese-Cuban and Peruvian-Japanese dishes and desserts.

-- A children's poster art contest and exhibit, beginning April 11, in the activity room at Campus View Apartments.

-- A series of television programs being presented by IU public television station WTIU-Channel 30. Programs will include "American Experience: Daughter from Danang," "Vietnam Passage: Journeys from War to Peace" and "Race: The Power of an Illusion." For more information, go to WTIU's Web site at

You can find more information about the MAASU Spring Conference by visiting or by e-mailing For more information about the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration, contact the Asian Culture Center at 812-856-5361 or visit its Web site at