Lisa Sasaki, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Discusses Inaugural Annual Event – The Hype Magazine

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Published on May 13th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Lisa Sasaki, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Discusses Inaugural Annual Event

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, a migratory museum that shares Asian Pacific American (APA) history, art, and culture through innovative community-focused experiences, announced its inaugural annual event, The Party. Featuring special performances by hip hop and R&B phenom Jay Park and iconic jazz band Hiroshima, The Party takes place May 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. The VIP reception will be hosted by Harry Shum Jr. Tickets are available via Smithsonianapa.org.

“The Party will celebrate the indelible contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to the American experience,” said Lisa Sasaki, the director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “From music to technology, sports to entertainment, these modern history makers inspire Americans of every ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic background by demolishing barriers and challenging timeworn stereotypes with their talents, perseverance, and ingenuity.”

The Hype Magazine spoke with Ms. Sasaki to discuss the event and the mission of the center as it moves to become a static display within the Smithsonian Museum landscape:

More about “The Party”

Spanning categories including Culinary Arts, Music, and Sports, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will first recognize the contributions of the following:

  • Pioneer Award in Culinary Arts to Helene An & The An Family, the chef known as “the mother of fusion cuisine.”
  • Legend Award in Music to Hiroshima, the Grammy-nominated and first Asian American R&B jazz band.
  • The Game Changer Award in Music to Jay Park, the multi-platinum global hip hop and R&B artist, choreographer, entrepreneur, and songwriter.
  • The Titan Award in Sports Vivek Ranadive, the founder of TIBCO and owner of the Sacramento Kings.

Additional honorees and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

As part of this celebration, The Party will mark the launch of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Keystone Initiative, which is designed to rally support for the first permanent Asian Pacific American Gallery within the Smithsonian.

“For over 200 years, Asian Pacific Americans have been an integral part of America’s cultural fabric,” said Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui, Smithsonian Regent and a member of the Center’s Advisory Board. “It is time for our struggles to be recognized and our diverse contributions honored within the respected halls of America’s Smithsonian Institution.”

The Presenting Platinum Sponsor of The Party is legal powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The Gold Sponsor is SeAH Holdings.

About Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center

From its establishment in 1997 as an initiative critical to the mission of the Smithsonian until today, the vision for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has been to enrich the American Story with the voices of Asian Pacific Americans.

Asian Pacific America is the story of a vibrant, diverse, and resilient set of communities that have been part of the American experience for more than two hundred years. It is the story of two continents and a constellation of islands joined by the migration, exchange, and competition of people and ideas. Yet, across museums and galleries in the nation’s capital and around the country, most people find only fragments of America’s rich Asian Pacific heritage.

There are more than 17 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States. In less than 50 years, nearly one of every ten people in America will trace his or her heritage to Asia and the Pacific–a region that covers more than one third of the earth–including the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Pacific. This region is also home to nearly half of the world’s population, natural life, nations, economies, major faiths and languages. The Center believes that our understanding of America and America’s standing in the world is richer, more compelling, and more powerful when it includes the Asian Pacific American story. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center serves as a dynamic national resource for discovering why the Asian Pacific American experience matters every day, everywhere, and all of the time.


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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