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Palos Verdes Library to Celebrate APA Heritage Month

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES — The Palos Verdes Library District will observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month throughout May.

APAHM, which celebrates contributions and culture of community members with Asian Pacific American heritage, was established in 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 102-405. May was selected to commemorate the first immigration of Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, primarily built by Chinese immigrants, on May 10, 1869.

Speakers include author Naomi Hirahara and news anchor/filmmaker David Ono.

Today, APAHM serves as a reflective and celebratory month to recognize the contributions of Asian Pacific American communities and learn more about American history and the history of APA communities in their ancestral homelands and in the U.S. Local APA communities include families that have lived in the U.S. for generations, indigenous Pacific Islander groups living in U.S. states and territories, and those that have come to the U.S. as immigrants or refugees.

The range of communities and cultures that APAHM covers is vast and includes those with ancestry from over 50 different countries such as Japan, China, Korea, India, Bhutan, Laos, Philippines, Vanuatu, Kiribati, and Tonga.

The Palos Verdes Library District, with support from California Humanities, recognizes APAHM with a series of programs featuring the culture and history of the Japanese American community on the Peninsula, exploring and celebrating through music, food, language and dance the many contributions to the Peninsula’s diverse and vibrant community.

For more information, call (310) 377-9584, ext. 601 or visit

• Sunday, April 30, from 12 to 2 p.m.: Community family sumi-e painting, an all-ages collaborative art project to kick off the month-long celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Participants will create an extra-large art piece using the Japanese art technique of sumi-e. The resulting artwork will hang in the library for the entire month for all to see. Supplies will be provided; no registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Foyer, 701 Silver Spur Rd., Rolling Hills Estates

• Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 19, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.: Japanese bilingual storytime. Enjoy stories and songs in English and Japanese with Yuri Paramore. This program is geared towards children 2-5 and their caregivers but children of all ages are welcome. No registration necessary. May 4 at Malaga Cove Library Community Room, 2400 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates; May 19 at Peninsula Center Library Storytime Room.

• Friday, May 5, from 4 to 4:45 p.m.: Celebrate Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan dedicated to children’s growth and happiness. Participants will make koinobori (carp) flags to fly and celebrate the children in their families. This program is best for children in kindergarten and up but all are welcome. No registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Community Room.

• Friday, May 12, from 9 to 10 a.m.: Screening of “The Legacy of Heart Mountain,” which details the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps, and what daily life looked like inside the camps. Join the film’s producer, writer, and narrator, ABC7 news anchor David Ono, after the film for a Q&A. No registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Community Room,

• Saturday, May 13, from 12 to 3 p.m.: Japanese Culture Day, featuring a demonstration of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) from 12 to 2 p.m. and a performance by the Los Angeles Japanese Music Ensemble from 2 to 3 p.m. This event will coincide with the Passages Project scanning event. Light refreshments will be provided. No registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Community Room and Foyer.

• Saturday, May 13, from 12 to 3 p.m.: Passages Project scanning event, an extension of last year’s Your Story Is the Peninsula’s Story. You are invited to share images of your family’s unique immigration story to be scanned and added to the library’s digital repository. No registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Conference Room and Foyer.

• Monday, May 15, from 6 to 7:45 p.m.: “Japanese Americans on the Peninsula.” Join author Naomi Hirahara and local resident Naomi Hamachi for an evening of conversation about the impact of Japanese Americans on the Peninsula. Peninsula Center Library Community Room.

• Tuesday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Passages Project storytelling event. Your first impressions of the U.S. Learning a new language and culture. Being a child of immigrant parents. Everyone has a story to tell. Come for a day of recorded conversations about your family’s immigration experience using a specially designed “listening station.” Make an appointment online at Open to everyone. Peninsula Center Library Community Room.

• Wednesday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.: Screening of “American Pastime,” a 2007 drama set during World War II depicts life for the Japanese American inhabitants of the Topaz, Utah camp as they embrace the most American sport of all — baseball. Peninsula Center Library Community Room.

• Monday, May 22, from 4 to 5 p.m.: Sushi demonstration for teens. Learn about the history of this popular Japanese delicacy from experts at the Sushi Chef Institute. Learn how to make it, and try it for yourself. Ages 12-18. Teen Annex.

• Wednesday, May 24, from 4 to 5 p.m.: Hands-on workshop in the traditional Japanese art of sumi-e painting. Members of the Gardena Kuwai Sumi-E Club will be demonstrating ink painting techniques and then guiding participants in creating their own works. Supplies will be provided; no registration necessary. Peninsula Center Library Community Room.

• Thursdays in May from 5 to 7 p.m.: Anime movie screenings for ages 12-18. Teen Annex.

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