May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) will celebrate the rich culture, traditions, history and music in collaboration with Polynesian Proud Productions at its 12th Annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Celebration on May 6.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have enriched communities and the nation with enduring leadership, vibrant cultures and extensive contributions to all aspects of our society,” said Joseph P. Cox, president and CEO of MODS. “While showing steadfast resilience in the face of great hardship, they have helped shape our country’s history for the better, including protecting the nation during times of war, serving the American people at all levels of government, and spearheading innovations. We are committed to celebrating the rich heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and furthering our collective efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do.”
Guests are invited to enjoy a full-day of cultural performances from Polynesian Proud Productions, drumming with Ronin Taiko and demonstrations by Joe Keit Martial Arts, as well as learning about different art forms from various Asian-Pacific American cultures, exploring the science of volcanoes and islands, participating in a shark tooth dig and engaging in hands-on make-and-take arts and crafts stations that celebrate the diversity of South Florida’s AsianPacific Islander community.
“In creating this event 12 years ago in partnership with MODS, it has always been an opportunity to share, showcase and celebrate our Polynesian culture so everyone can experience the beauty, excitement and rich culture, traditions and customs of our islands and our people,” said Russell “Talani” Gagliano with Polynesian Proud Productions. “To perpetuate, preserve and promote through performances, demonstrations and hands-on interaction with our community, families and attendees as we immerse guests in the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Kingdom of Tonga and Samoa. The event is educational and fun at the same time.”
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have contributed significantly to many facets of American culture and society, including science and medicine, literature and art, sports and recreation, government and politics, and activism and law. In 2021, Kamala Harris became the first Asian American Vice President of the United States. Today, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States.
The month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843. May also is a significant month because it recognizes Golden Spike Day, May 10, 1869, which marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad that was built with significant contributions from Chinese workers.
This event is included with admission to the Museum. Tickets can be purchased online at mods.org/tickets or by visiting the Museum box office upon arrival.