March 28, 2001 Library Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Series of Events

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Anchi Hoh Dianu (202) 707-5673

The Library of Congress will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) with a series of programs in May, with the theme "Asian Pacific Americans - Emerging Together." Following is the current program calendar. All events are free and open to the public.

Koto Performance by Brian Yamakoshi

Monday, May 7, Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Jefferson Building, noon-1 p.m.

Composer and musician Brian Yamakoshi presents selected works on the koto, a Japanese zither. Mr. Yamakoshi has played or composed music for approximately 20 CDs and DVDs. His music for the French film "C'est Quoi La Vie?" was nominated for the Cesar award in 2000. Jon Pareles of The New York Times described one of Mr. Yamakoshi's koto performances as "an impressive demonstration of the instrument's capabilities." This event is co-sponsored by the 2001 APAHM Planning Committee and the American Folklife Center. Transportation for Brian Yamakoshi provided courtesy of US Airways.

Keynote Speaker: Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta

Music Performance: Brian Yamakoshi, composer and Koto performer. Wednesday, May 9, Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Jefferson Building, 2-3 p.m.

Reception immediately following the program.

Norman Mineta became the 14th U.S. Secretary of Transportation on Jan. 25, 2001. Mr. Mineta served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton and became the first Asian American to serve in the Cabinet. Mr. Mineta was also a member the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995.

Presentation by Jean Pfaelzer

Thursday, May 10, Dining Room A, Sixth Floor, Madison Building,noon-1 p.m.

Jean Pfaelzer, Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Delaware since 1985, has published extensively on American Utopianism in the 19th century, American women's literature and history. The research for this presentation will be used in her fifth book. This event is co-sponsored by the 2001 APAHM Planning Committee, the Library of Congress Professional Association and the Library of Congress Asian American Association.

Reading by Han Ong

Tuesday, May 15, West Dining Room, Sixth Floor, Madison Building, noon-1 p.m.

Playwright Han Ong reads from his first novel, Fixer Chao, a story about love, revenge, art and feng shui. Mr. Ong has written two plays, Dark Bakersfield and Middle Finger, and has published work in Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Asian-American Fiction; Bomb; and Conjunctions. In 1997, Mr. Ong became one of the youngest recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. The Los Angeles Times has said that Mr. Ong is "undeniably one of the most sought-after playwright-performers in the country."

The Evolution of Asian America by Franklin S. Odo

Wednesday, May 16, Pickford Theater, Third Floor, Madison Building, noon-1 p.m.

Franklin S. Odo, Director of the Smithsonian Program for Asian Pacific American Studies, will review the evolution of the Asian American movement and the emergence of Asian Pacific Americans as a political entity. Mr. Odo will also discuss the development and inclusion of an Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian. Mr. Odo was a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawaii and taught at Columbia University prior to arriving at the Smithsonian.

Thai Dance and Music Tuesday, May 22, West Dining Room, Sixth Floor, Madison Building, noon-1 p.m.

Rondalla Performance

Tuesday, May 29, Mumford Room, Sixth Floor, Madison Building, noon-1 p.m.

The rondalla, a string orchestra composed of various 14-stringed instruments, traditionally accompanied Filipino folk dances during fiestas. The term "rondalla" is derived from the Spanish words "rondar" ("to make rounds") and "alla" ("there"). It is believed that the rondalla started when lonely civil guards made their rounds at night and played their guitars to keep themselves awake. From the lone guitar-playing guard, the rondalla evolved to include various instruments played by numerous musicians. Northern Virginia Rondalla, a group of 22 members that range in age from children to senior citizens, will perform various works.


PR 01-048
ISSN 0731-3527