In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will open a new, groundbreaking traveling exhibition titled “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.” The exhibit, which was funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), was inspired by a poem by Carolos Bulosan and features the diverse stories of Asian Pacific Americans throughout American history.
The opening reception for the exhibit was held at the National Museum of American History and featured dancers, musicians and Smithsonian leadership. Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president for program strategy for the WKKF, shared remarks at the reception:
“The national tour of ‘I Want the Wide American Earth’ is an inspiring move toward sharing the rich story of Asian Pacific Americans. Through the visual display of key moments in American history and the showcase of a multitude of diverse cultures, the exhibition is healing the legacy of exclusion and celebrating the triumphant stories of our past.”
The Smithsonian Institution celebrated the exhibit and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with the annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Family Day on May 4, 2013. The program featured local literary writers, spoken-word artists, exhibit tours, arts and crafts, and activities for young people such as scavenger hunts and storytelling.
After a six-week showing at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the exhibit will next open at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. “I Want the Wide American Earth” is a collaborative initiative with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Click here for information about the national tour of the exhibition.