Pittsburgh Celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first ten days of May as a celebration of the
accomplishments of U. S. citizens of Asian descent. May had been selected because it coincides with two
important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the immigration of the first Japanese to the United
States on May 7, 1843, and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad,
which was completed on May 10, 1869. The One Hundred Second Congress of the United States of America at the
Second Session on January 3, 1992 proclaimed May of each year as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month”.
President H.W. Bush then signed this act into law.
This year, several local organizations are combining efforts to bring a month-long cultural celebration to
the Pittsburgh area. Featured events will include:
May 8 – Asian American Heritage Annual Luncheon - Sponsored by the Asian American Heritage Committee,
the Asian American Heritage Annual Luncheon honors Asian American students who have excelled in scholastics,
community service, and extracurricular activities. This year’s luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Station
Square Hotel and activities will include the luncheon and student awards. The guest speaker is Special
Agent Minh-Tri V. Truong from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information, contact Donna
Micuch at 412.395.5348 or Donna.M.Micuch@irs.gov
May 7 - 16 - Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival - Silk Screen Asian Arts Organization proudly
presents the 5th annual 10-day Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival that opens with a Red Carpet Gala
on Friday, May 7, 2010 at 8 PM. This gala has been listed as ‘the most colorful party in Pittsburgh’. Silk
Screen presents over 20 feature-length Asian and Asian American films, with several film makers lead
question and answer sessions for the audience. Many entries are on the international film festival circuit
(Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, San Francisco), and draw award winning filmmakers, actors, directors and producers
to Pittsburgh who come to participate in the festival’s seminars, workshops and question and answer sessions.
Films will be shown at Pittsburgh Filmmaker locations: Regent Square Theater, Melwood Screening Room, and
Harris Theater. For more information please contact 724-969-2565 or visit on-line at
Silk Screen is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote cross cultural understanding and
appreciation of the Asian experience through cultural events, music, dance and film.
May 10 - Fourth Annual Thai Night Gala – 4 PM to 8 PM - The celebration will be at Upper St. Clair
High School, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road. Thai Night includes exhibits of Thai culture, intricate fruit and
vegetable carvings, artists, a Market Place, and delicious Thai cuisine. Have your photo taken wearing a
Malai (flower garland), then relax in the theater to enjoy classical Thai dance, demonstrations and music.
The Thai Night Gala is a fundraiser for the Thai-USA Student Cultural Exchange Program, established in 2005
for Thai and American students to gain international experience and an appreciation of each other's culture.
Up to 2009, 192 Thai and Upper St. Clair students have participated as exchange students through this
program. This self-supporting program has also sponsored 18 Thai and Upper St. Clair teachers to travel to
each other’s countries. For more information, contact Luck Groves at 412.221.4816 or
May 17 - Asian Day at Kennywood Park - 2009 will mark the first year that an Asian Day will be
organized as a Kennywood Park Ethnic Days celebration. Activities will include Asian food, dance, and
more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Donna Micuch at 412.395.5348 or
May 22 – Ro Han Mem Cultural Troupe Performance - The Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association
and the Taiwan Culture Center of New York will bring the Ro Han Mem cultural dance troupe to Pittsburgh
for a single performance at Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland. Beginning its U.S. tour here in
Pittsburgh, Ro Han Mem is comprised of champion college and university students from Taiwan who perform
traditional temple dances with an updated hip-hop theme. Garbed in battle array, the performances are
representative of the Fukienese, Hakka, and Indigenous cultures. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults;
$5.00 for students and can be purchased by visiting:
May 29 – Asian Day with the Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05pm - Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Houston Astros.
Enjoy Asian performances on the SouthWest Deck of PNC Park, or pick up information about the diversity of
Pittsburgh’s Asian community.
Approximately 15 million Asian Americans reside in the United States, many of whom have had a significant
impact on government, business, sports, entertainment, and more. Some names you might recognize include
Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward, TV news reporter Ann Curry, chef Joyce Chen, retired Rear Admiral Ming Chang,
figure skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, diver Greg Louganis, golfers Tiger Woods and Michelle
Wie, entertainer Dwayne Johnson (the Rock), novelist Amy Tan, actors Bruce Lee, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Lou
Diamond Phillips, and Keanu Reeves, directors Ang Lee and M. Night Shyamalan, musicians Yo Yo Ma and
Midori, fashion designer Vera Wang, and architect I. M. Pei.