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2024 Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The broad term of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) is intended to capture the Asian continent and Southeast Asian islands, as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The month of May was selected in commemoration of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the US and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, completed by a majority Chinese immigrant demographic.

The term “Asian American” was developed by activists during the 1960s to create solidarity and foster political power. While the use of “AAPI” aims to unify, we acknowledge that many people within these communities believe this term erases cultures and fails to recognize health and economic disparities. There are many shared experiences, but also great differences within these communities. This year, the Library honors AAPI Heritage Month with celebrations, children’s crafts, and more.



Featured Programs

A photo of author Rebecca F. Kuang.  The background is designed with a mixture of pastel colors and book covers of ”Babel” and ”Yellowface”.

2024 Winter/Spring Concert Series: FAIVA O SĀMOA: AN AFTERNOON WITH FAIVA   
Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. | Central Library, 1st Floor Neil Morgan Auditorium  

Don’t miss an exciting afternoon of traditional Sāmoan music played with acoustic guitars, selo (upright bass) and ukulele, along with traditional Sāmoan percussion instruments that draw influence from the melodic storytelling traditions from throughout Polynesia. Fresh off the release of their debut album, “Faiva O Sāmoa,” lifelong musicians Grant Muāgututi’a, Vaea A’etonu and Tinifuloa Grey will provide a program of blissful harmonies and authentic music. Be ready to be immersed in the language, culture and musical arts of Sāmoa.

Asian American Representation in Literature: An Author Talk with Rebecca F. Kuang 
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | 4 - 5 p.m. | Virtual 

We welcome you to register for a thrilling conversation with Rebecca F. Kuang (R.F. Kuang) as she chats with us about her New York Times bestselling novel, Yellowface. Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. Registration required. 



A girl with black hair reads a berry red book.

Preschool Storytime & Craft: Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 
Thursday, May 2, 2024 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Point Loma/Hervey Library 

Join in as we read, sing, dance, and play in this special storytime meant to encourage a love of reading and build essential early literacy skills. For this week's storytime, we're celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  Stay for an after-storytime craft project featuring a new craft each week. "Take & Make" craft kits will also be available on the day of (while supplies last).  Designed especially for children ages 3-5.

Mandarin Chinese Storytime 中文故事時間 | Pacific Beach Library, Children’s Area

Join Ms. Mei as she presents stories and songs and crafts in Mandarin.    

Happy Readers’ Club: Kamishibai Storytime 
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 4 - 4:45 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library, Children’s Nook

Come join us to honor and celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with a Kamishibai Storytime presented by Storybox Theater. Come join us for inclusive learning.  Everyone is welcome!

Bilingual Storytime: Mandarin (双语故事时间 周日 • 下午 2 点 儿童故事剧场 普通话 • 西班牙语) 
Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 2 - 2:30 p.m. | North University Community Library, Children's Story Theater 

Join in as we read, sing, dance, and play at Toddler Storytime!  Come and build essential early literacy skills and foster a love of reading. Designed for children ages 1-3. 
周日 • 下午 2 点 
普通话 • 西班牙语 


Children's Crafts

A watercolor image of two young children standing under a blooming cherry blossom tree.

Kids Craft: Fan Making 
Thursday, May 9, 2024 | 4 - 5 p.m. | Rancho Bernardo Library, Bill & Marcia Collins Community Room 

A representative from the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum will teach participants about the ancient art of fan making and then show them how to make their own! Ages 8-12. Registration required.

Sensory Adventures at Skyline Hills Library 
Join us for fun sensory crafts and activities such as sensory bins, puzzles and more! We aim to provide a sensory stimulating environment while supporting cognitive & motor skills development.

Arts and Crafts: Japanese Carp Windsock / Artes y manualidades: Manga de Viento de Carpa Japonesa 
Thursday/Jueves, May 2/el día 2 de mayo | 4 - 5 p.m. | Logan Heights Library, Children’s Area/La Biblioteca de Logan Heights, en la Aaea de los Niños 

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and get ready to celebrate the Japanese holiday Children's Day with this Japanese Carp Windsock craft! Kodomo no Hi, or Children's Day, is a Japanese holiday celebrated on May 5th to show respect for all children's personalities and celebrate their happiness. Families fly koinobori, or carp windsocks, to express hope that their children will be healthy and strong, just like the carp that swims upstream.

¡Celebre el Mes de la Herencia Asiático-Americana y de las Islas del Pacífico y prepárese para celebrar el Día del Niño, festivo japonés, con esta manualidad japonesa con mangas de viento de carpa! Kodomo no Hi, o Día del Niño, es una festividad japonesa que se celebra el 5 de mayo para mostrar respeto por las personalidades de todos los niños y celebrar su felicidad. Las familias vuelan koinobori, o mangas de viento de carpa, para expresar la esperanza de que sus hijos estén sanos y fuertes, como la carpa que nada contra la corriente. 

Crafternoon: Watercolor Cherry Blossom Tree 
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | 4 - 5 p.m. | Balboa Library 

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, create your own beautiful cherry blossom tree using watercolor paint.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Origami Basics 
Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 1 - 2 p.m. | Logan Heights Library, Seminar Room 1 

Learn the basics of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. All ages welcome. While supplies last.  

Create-It Thursday at Skyline Hills Library 
May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and we're exploring Indian art and culture. All programs occur at 4 - 4:45 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room. Registration required.  


Performing Arts

A graphic depicting Asian children smiling and celebrating with flowers, cherry blossoms, with light mixed pastel colors in the background.

Asian Story Theatre: Two Dragons 
Thursday, May 2, 2024 | 4 - 4:30 p.m. | Rancho Bernardo Library, Bill & Marcia Collins Community Room 

Asian Story Theatre presents Two Dragons: a play featuring two stories, Naga and the Princess and The Dragon Pearl. Naga and the Princess uses traditional shadow puppets from Indonesia to tell the popular story of a headstrong young princess determined to have her way. Featuring clowns, Balinese music, and the magical naga creatures from that storytelling tradition, legendary snake-like dragons with the power to transform into human form. This story is paired with The Dragon Pearl, the lovely and lyrical Chinese origin story of a river dragon, and the industrious young girl who is remembered for her sacrifice that makes it possible. Join us for a magical showing celebrating dragon folktales.

Korean Pungmul Performance 
Saturday, May 4, 2024 | 11 - 11:30 a.m. | Ocean Beach Library 

Celebrate the unique culture and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) at the library by watching a high-energy, super fun performance by the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute. Pungmul is a Korean folk music tradition that includes drumming, dancing, and singing.

AAPI Heritage Month Celebration: Kuchipudi Performance 
Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 3 - 3:30 p.m. | North University Community Library, West Lawn 

We will host a performance of Kuchipudi, a traditional dance form originating from the Andhra Pradesh region of India. It combines intricate footwork, expressive facial expressions, and graceful movements to narrate stories from Indian mythology and folklore. The rich cultural heritage and diversity of South India will be shared with the broader community.

Music of Southeast Asia 
Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 2:30 - 4 p.m. | Mission Hills Library, Community Room 

Bernard Ellorin, Ph.D., will explore the music of Southeast Asia, a region known for the conservation of Indigenous, colonial, and post-colonial heritages. From gong ensembles to improvisatory singing, this presentation focuses on music from diverse communities of practice. Divided between land and sea, Southeast Asian music reflects the landscape and belief systems of the people.


Adult Programs

Images of the movie covers for ”Better Luck Tomorrow” and ”Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, with a blurred mixed pastel colored background.

Pakiramdam/Feeling (AAPI Mental Health Workshop) 
Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | North University Community Library, Community Room 

Community partner Breaking Down Barriers presents an engaging and interactive discussion on AAPI mental health and wellness practices. In this workshop, we will define and interpret the term “Pakiramdam”/Feeling and identify ways to apply this practice to better support ourselves as we move through our daily routines. Registration encouraged, but not required.

Japanese Basket Weaving Workshop 
Monday, May 20, 2024 | 5 - 7 p.m. | Rancho Bernardo Library 

Join us and learn the art of Japanese basket weaving. All materials will be provided. 
Registration is required.

Picture This at Pacific Beach Library 


Meet Youth Poet Anoushka Majumder
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California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick comes to San Diego
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Introducing City of SD Poet Laureate Jason Magabo Perez!
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