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Feedback, Closure, and Ongoing Dialogue, APA Program Curator Phil Tajitsu Nash

In the 2010 Folklife Festival book, the goal of the Asian Pacific Americans program is described in this way: “The Festival program will bring together people from diverse communities in the Washington, D.C., area to highlight the breadth of traditions practiced by APA cultures.   It will emphasize the ways in which APAs make connections not only to each other, but also to the broader communities in which they live, work, and play. Through theater, music, dance, and sports performances; demonstrations of language and calligraphy traditions; martial arts, healing arts, and ritual arts; crafts and foodways presentations; and children’s activities, Festival visitors will learn about APA identity, history, and culture, and will discover shared and integrated traditions.”

The audience and the APA program staff will discuss how close we have come to that goal at the Talkstory stage from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., and then continue the dialogue by email and in future conversations.

The APA closing ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on the Asian Fusions stage of the Festival. Dr. Stephen Kidd, acting director of the Festival, will make remarks, followed by Dr. Konrad Ng, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, and Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. The closing will be moderated by Phil Tajitsu Nash, curator of the Asian Pacific Americans program.

The final event of the program will be a twenty-minute story and presentation from Dr. Catherine Yi-yu Cho Woo, the first Asian Pacific American appointed to the National Council of the Arts and a Distinguished Professor of Chinese Studies at San Diego State University. Reflecting on the APA Festival themes of “Local Lives, Global Ties” and “Cultural Preservation and Transformation,” Dr. Woo, also a well-regarded calligrapher, painter, and feng shui master, will present a scroll to the Smithsonian to commemorate the historic 2010 Asian Pacific Americans program. The scroll will contain the Chinese character that stands for “Wind (from The Classic of Changes), and it will bring the East Wind of fortune to the Smithsonian in its future projects.

Phil Tajitsu Nash
Curator, Asian Pacific Americans program

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