SAN FRANCISCO–Mayor Ed Lee launched the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration with a briefing and luncheon at City Hall on May 1, running through a list of art-themed activities in addition to the customary giant street fair that caps the celebration.
Lee explained that Asians of his parents’ generation tended to emphasize job-ensuring careers instead of the arts, “now we are saying its time to encourage the arts among young Asians so they can be a really well-rounded individuals.”
He said, “I love to celebrate with the Vietnamese, the Korean, the Japanese, the Filipino communities” and reported that he had been to Washington, D.C. to show his support for comprehensive immigration reform and the preservation of family reunification provisions. “If we don’t pass immigration reform legislation now, I don’t think it will be achieved in our lifetime.”
Lee and APA Heritage Foundation president Claudine Cheng thanked sponsors of the month-long celebration, including AT&T, Wells Fargo, Target, Academy of Art University, PG&E, Kraft, and McDonald’s. Mary Nicely and ABS-CBN International’s Keesa Ocampo co-chair the Celebration Committee
Also introduced at the briefing were the finalists for the APA Heritage Awards– Young Sook Kim, Malu Rivera-Peoples and Brenda Wong Aoki for the Inspirational Leadership Award. Rivera-Peoples, a former Ballet Philippines (CCP Dance Co.) star and now proprietor and director of Westlake School for the Performing Arts, is also a nominee for Lifetime Achievement Award.