Community Highlights: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023

Looking for FREE events to commemorate and celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in--or close enough to--Oakland? In addition to OPL's AAPI events, opens a new window, there's a variety of community events outside of the library for you to check out.

Community Events

Bonsai Garden

The Gardens at Lake Merritt (Map)
Mondays-Thursdays - 7:30am-3:00pm  Weekends - 8:00am-4:00pm
Did you know this garden features a Daimyo oak tree that was presented by the Japanese government in the 1860’s (during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency)? Curated by the only Japanese-certified bonsai master in the United States, this hidden gem, along with the other gardens at Lake Merritt, is not to be missed.

Friday Nights at OMCA - Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Oakland Museum of Contemporary Art (OMCA)
Friday, May 5th - 5:00pm-9:00pm
Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with kids, family, and friends with OMCA! Friday Nights at OMCA / Off the Grid series are free, mostly outdoor events and activities for the community. The May 5th celebration features (Japanese and South Korea) Children’s Day Hands-On Windsock Making and music by DJ Teao Sense. 

Son of Paper 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Saturday, May 13th - 6:00pm-8:00pm
Part of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s “Celebrating Our HeART-filled Heritage” (COHH) series. Son of Paper (SOP) is “...a songwriter and performing artist that blends Conscious Hip-Hop flows with R&B grooves and East Asian influences, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of our community.” Register online. 

25th Annual May Arts Festival

Lincoln Square Park 261 11th Street Oakland, CA 94607
Saturday, May 13th -
AYPAL’s May Arts Festival is a culmination of the work of API youth leaders learning and connecting to their culture through art. Youth leaders participate in cultural arts practices to build community with each other, learn about API history, and heal intergenerational trauma through understanding cultural practices. Library staff will be present-- make sure to stop by and say hi! RSVP online.

Asian and Pacific Islander Arts & Culture Festival

Alameda Bohol Circle Immigrant Park
Saturday, May 20th - 12:00pm-4:00pm
From the Rythmix Cultural Works website: “Feel the resonant sounds of the kulintang from the Philippines, enjoy the gentle sway of Hawaiian hula, and hear the vibrant stringed instruments from Vietnam – all while enjoying the beautiful waterfront views.” RSVP online. 

Strong Like Bamboo: Stories of Resilience for Healing in the Era of Anti-AAPI Violence 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Sunday, May 28th - 2:00pm-5:00pm

Co-hosted by Eth-Noh-Tec and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, six professional Asian American storytellers will share their stories of discrimination and the outcomes that can strengthen the ability to survive and thrive. Sponsored by the California Arts Council. Register online.