by Jian Ping
CHICAGO, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The Field Museum in downtown Chicago staged a Chinese Shadow Puppets show on Thursday. And a week ago, the museum featured spectacular flowers from China's Hengduan Mountains at a "Meet a Scientist" program.
While hosting the two events, the museum is marking the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) in the United States in May.
The museum is also scheduled to open a new exhibition titled "Legacy Hula" to honor four Kumu Hula, master teachers of Hula, who migrated to Chicago and made monumental contributions to the development of the Native Hawaiian and Hula communities in the U.S. Midwest.
During the exhibition, the museum will feature performances of Hula masters' dance styles, feather work demonstrations, and music, Eduarda Briseno, senior manager of Special Program of the Field Museum, told Xinhua.
This is the first time the museum is participating in the celebration of AAPIHM, Briseno said.
"We are working with local communities to get them involved in showcasing our important collections... to make sure their voices and stories are told and they are represented in the museum," she added.
Citywide, the AAPIHM celebration covers a variety of activities from performances, book discussions, storytelling, film screenings, specialty food, and art exhibitions for the entire month.
"In celebration of AAPIHM, we are hosting a book talk and discussion series (to know) what it means to be 'American Born Chinese'," said Mabel Menard, interim executive director of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC).
CAMOC is hosting an exhibition titled "Chinese Cuisine in America: Stories, Struggles and Successes," which highlights the struggles, resiliency, and entrepreneurial spirit of Chinese Americans and chronicling the complex and conflicting nature of Chinese Americans.
The Chinese Fine Arts Society is also launching a number of events in May, including a dance performance showcasing Chinese classical and folk dances; a music concert; and a Mongolian fusion night featuring melodies with "a modern take on nomadic music."
"During AAPIHM, the Art Institute is showcasing several exhibitions, including Margaret Honda's latest installation 'Double Feature with Short Subject,' and 'Ink Play: Paintings by Lui Shou-Kwan'," Yi Cao, director of the Curatorial Administration for Arts of Asia at the Art Institute of Chicago, told Xinhua.
Honda is an Asian American artist, and Lui a famed artist from China.
Other celebration events include a fusion concert of "Filipino traditional folk and contemporary music," a restaurant week participated by more than 50 AAPI-owned restaurants offering special deal or discount, an art festival highlighting "the breadth and dynamism of Asian Pacific American creativity and notable position in Chicago's cultural landscape," a Korean traditional drum and dance show, and a Cambodian music concert.
According to the Pew Research Center, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States in recent years, with more than 18.4 million in 2020, composing over 7 percent of the U.S. population. ■