APAHA is honored to be in our 20th year of service to the community. We are in a pivotal year as the Board of Directors have launched their very first strategic planning process where an outcome will be a business plan in 2012 for the remainder of 2012 and 2013. This business plan will provide a clear direction for APAHA to carry out its programs as well as to build and strengthen relationships in the community, and to assure good stewardship of funds. We provide the following programs/events that help achieve our mission of promoting Asian Pacific Islander American heritage and accomplishments through awareness and education:
Lunar New Year Children’s Festival
APAHA has formed a dynamic partnership 8 years ago with the Children’s Museum of Houston and CenterPoint Energy to conduct a Lunar New Year Children’s Festival. This festival is held in late January or early February each year at the award winning Children’s Museum of Houston. The festival provides educational arts and crafts with multi-Asian ethnicities represented, along with cultural performances from various prestigious youth dance groups. The celebration is coordinated by APAHA that entails managing 5 arts and crafts tables that provides an educational and cultural experience with making Hawaiian leis, writing Chinese calligraphy, creating a Vietnamese greeting card, designing Indian Henna painting, and learning how to fold Japanese Origami. In addition, APAHA coordinates a dance performance program that shares the traditional and contemporary (Chinese) Lion, Indian, Korean, Japanese, and Polynesian dances. Each year, we create a lasting impression and cultural experience with over 3,000 children and their parents.
Distinguished Speaker Series Program
Since April 2010, the Distinguished Speaker Series is the signature program for promoting Asian/Pacific awareness and education. The series brought together audiences to experience multi-dimensional and interactive presentations while enjoying delightful ethnic dinners. At least 4 Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) are planned for next year. Examples of recent speakers include Dr. Stephen Klineberg from Rice University and Ina Georgescu from University of Texas sharing their studies on Houston and Asian/Asian American demographic and business data, author Pradeep Anand, poet and filmmaker Raymond Chong. The speaker event format includes dinner and (a presentation) conversation with the distinguished guest. This is a three hour event usually conducted in the evenings.
Youth Art Awareness Program
The APAHA Art Contest and Exhibition includes a public awareness campaign on an important community topic. This year, the topic promoted "Go Green" in the Art Contest, aimed at engaging Asian/Pacific American middle and high students to express environmental issues - such as sustainability, clean air, water quality, renewable energy and recycling - through art. The contest involves students from Greater Houston-area high schools and Asian language schools. Scholastic awards are given to first, second, and third choice winners, including a People's Choice Award. The winning art will be displayed during the summer at the Art Institute of Houston as well as Houston Community College.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival
The Kick Off event that is a prelude to the national Asian Pacific American month of May. A 3 hour program at the Galleria Mall includes an introduction to the APA month activities, a fashion show that exhibits the different Asian clothing, and an array of cultural dance performances. This year’s Kick Off event will be on Saturday, April 28th, 2012, at the Galleria Mall, 2- 5 p.m.
The annual APA Heritage Festival that has been supported by the HAA will take place on Saturday, June 16th, 2012, at Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010. The festival will present a rousing display of the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) American spirit featuring a cultural display of signature food items and cooking demonstrations, music and dance performances, including arts and crafts for children. Visitors and attendees can experience the first-hand the culture and traditions of various API cultures. There will be two major show times that will include music and dance performances. Between shows, attendees can observe cooking demonstrations of authentic cultural dishes, or participate in cultural arts and crafts e.g., making Hawaiian leis, practicing Chinese calligraphy, Indian henna painting, etc. Moreover, people can participate or observe in the trademarked "Ramen Noodle Eating Contest." This festival attracts 2-4,000 people each year.
Faith and Culture Bus Tour
The Faith and Culture Bus Tour is held once or twice a year depending on available volunteers. The bus tour is an all day event that visits 3-4 places of worship. Popular requested places include the Vietnamese Buddhist Center, BAPS Swaminarayan Santhsa Mandir, Maryam Masjid (Mosque), and the Asian American Baptist Church. A visit to China town is included for lunch. Tour guides are provided for each location. This is a wonderful educational trip for the family and new residents or visitors to Houston.
Cultural Awareness Program
Because of our 19 year history of coordinating a multi-cultural festivals and events, we have been blessed to build a list of outstanding professional performing artists. We receive constant requests from government agencies, community and civic organizations, and schools to provide a presentation on Asian Pacific American data, accomplishments, and contributions. Moreover, there are requests for a cultural performance. This program provides a speaker/cultural performer bureau list. Donations are collected to help pay for the performers’ transportation costs. Our frequent program is presented annually at the Houston Public Library locations that provide outreach to hundreds of people.