Civic Partner Highlight: The Wing

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

This May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – in other words, a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States and the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. The Wing is a longtime Civic Partner of the Office of Arts and Culture and is a glittering gem in the cultural landscape of Seattle.

Founded in 1966, the museum was named after Wing Luke (1925-1965), the first Asian American to hold public office in the Pacific Northwest.  The Wing explores the culture, art and history of the pan-Asian Pacific American experience and is the first Smithsonian affiliate in the Pacific Northwest as well as an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Their mission is to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences. Their community rich exhibitions offer authentic perspectives on a unique version of the American story.

The Wing exhibitions have explored Seattle’s Japanese community incarceration during World War II, community portrait galleries featuring Filipino, Vietnamese and South Asian portraits, a history of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District and temporary exhibitions featuring popular culture and icons. The museum also offers guided neighborhood walking tours that provide an insider look at the historic and culturally-rich Chinatown-International District. Tours include Historic Hotel tour, Bruce Lee’s Chinatown tour, Songs of Willow Frost tour, and dumpling tours (yes, please).

What does being a Civic Partner mean to The Wing? “Support from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture enables The Wing to give voice to those who are underrepresented and underresourced to share their art, culture, history, passions and perspectives. Being a Civic Partner demonstrates our joint effort in providing opportunities to bridge communities and connect with the general public overall.”

Don’t miss the following exhibitions and events at The Wing during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:

Immigration in Context
Thursday, May 7, 6-8pm
Join us for a lively discussion about how immigration and the U.S’s response to new migrants have changed over the last 50 years. Panelists from Changelab, UW, Washington DREAM Act of Coalition, and more will attend. Moderated by Cynthia Brothers. In conjunction with the Belonging exhibit with support from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. RSVP through the website. Free.

Baseball Saved Us
Saturday, May 9, 11am-12pm
Come see Baseball Saved Us, the award-winning children’s book, presented by 5th Avenue Theatre! Follow the journey of young Shiro, who, along with his family, is imprisoned in a “camp” unlike any other, and his struggles learning how to play baseball and survive. Free.

Constructs: Installations by Asian Pacific American Women Artists
May 15, 2015 – October 18, 2015
Explore history & memory, traditional arts & new technology, identity & belonging, and more – all through immersive and interactive environments that have transformed space at The Wing.

Bruce Lee’s Chinatown Tour
Retrace Bruce’s footsteps through the Chinatown-ID, his old stomping ground. His first martial arts studio and his hangouts – see how he became a part of the local community. For more details, go to wingluke.org/bruceleetickets/ or call 206.623.5124 ext.133

Interesting Fact: The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The Wing personifies the type of organization that the Civic Partners program funds. The Civic Partner program awards funding to arts and cultural and heritage organizations in all disciplines with a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. The City’s investment is aimed at creating broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities while promoting a healthy and diverse cultural community. The 2016/17 Civic Partner program funding opens May 5 so mark your calendars now.