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Executive Director's Letter - 5/2/23

How did we come to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? It all started in June of 1977, when the U.S. Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California introduced a resolution to establish Asian Pacific Heritage Week, to be celebrated each year at the beginning of May. Hawaiian senators, Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga, introduced similar legislation in the Senate. The following year, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a joint resolution to establish the annual event, and the first celebration took place in May of 1979. In 1992, the entirety of May was designated by President George H. W. Bush as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The annual celebration honors the many contributions and accomplishments of Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans, and Native Hawaiians.

How is the month being marked in Baltimore’s cultural community?

Asia North is a festival that celebrates the arts and Asian culture that are defining characteristics of Baltimore’s Charles North neighborhood, part of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Inaugurated in spring 2019, Asia North is a collaborative community celebration that recognizes, showcases, and honors the art, culture, and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of Baltimore’s Charles North community.

The Asian Arts & Culture Center and Central Baltimore Partnership/Station North Arts and Entertainment District co-produce events throughout the month with multiple community partners. The Festival kickoff event takes place this Friday, May 5, with the featured artists, performances, light refreshments, and The Modern Bangaray Speakeasy by Bangaray Baltimore. It continues with events throughout the month. You can learn more and get all the details here.

Also, in late April, The Walters Art Museum kicked off its special exhibition Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World, a landmark installation of its Asian and Islamic collections, offering new ways to examine and experience both Asian and Islamic art. For the first time at the Walters, visitors can view approximately 500 artworks from across the Asian continent together in a contiguous space, including art from Islamic cultures spanning West to South Asia. Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World is the culmination of years of work by Walters curators to expand the connectivity of the Asian and Islamic art collections and will feature visitor favorites as well as works which have previously never been on view.

Have a great May,


P.S. The Urban Arts Leadership application deadline has been extended until May 15.

GBCA’s flagship program, Urban Arts Leadership (UAL), is celebrating a decade of leadership training for emerging arts executives. We are looking for ten individuals who are interested in becoming leaders and administrators in the arts to join our 2023-24 UAL Cohort.

Each UAL Fellow will receive:

$10,000 in stipend

Professional development in arts administration

The opportunity to lead a project and collaborate with various organizational partners.

The opportunity to network and develop relationships with leaders in the region's arts and culture sector.

Is that you? Do you know a great candidate? Will you help us spread the news? Interested applicants can apply using this link.

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