May is Asian Pacific American History Month

Seattle is the perfect place to celebrate Asian Pacific American History Month. Asian Pacific Americans have played significant roles in Seattle’s history and there is a thriving community with lots to explore including public art, museums, the Chinatown/International District and everything in between.

Lunch + Learn
Friday, May 13 | 12-1 p.m.
Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Please join us for a special Lunch + Learn, celebrating Asian Pacific American History Month. Artists Akio Takamori, Diem Chau, and Humaira Abid will present their work and how it reflects their cultural heritage. Curated by Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Program Director, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Please bring your lunch; beverages and food for thought will be provided.

Places to explore:

Chinatown/International District
Seattle’s Chinatown/International District is located southeast of Pioneer Square. The historic district built largely between 1909 and 1929 is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places. It is home to vibrant storefronts, restaurants, produce markets, and museums.

Parks to explore:

Hing Hay Park
423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hing Hay Park “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings” is the International District’s primary public square and features an ornate grand pavilion that was a gift from the people of Taipei.

Kubota Garden
9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
The Kubota Garden is a stunning 20 acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. It was created by Japanese American Fujitaro Kubota in 1927.

Seattle Japanese Garden, Arboretum
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
Located within the Washington Park Arboretum, this is a spectacular 3 1/2 acre formal garden designed and constructed under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida in 1960.

Cultural Organizations:

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104
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.

Seattle Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle, 98112
The Seattle Asian Art Museum resides in a 1933 Art Deco building in the Olmstead-designed Volunteer Park. Their collection of Asian art includes historic and contemporary Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, Filipino, and Vietnamese art.

Burke Museum
4331 Memorial Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, founded in 1885 is a research and collections based museum dedicated to cultural heritage and biodiversity. The museum’s long term exhibition Pacific Voices features the arts, ceremonies and stories of Asian and Asian American cultures and communities around the Pacific Rim.

Densho is a digital, public history organization. They work to preserve and share stories of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II by recording firsthand accounts, digitizing historical images and documents, and developing classroom resources. Densho’s work is nationally acclaimed with awards from the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and the Oral History Association.

5th Avenue Theatre
1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Opened in 1926, the interior of the 5th Avenue Theatre incorporates design motifs from Imperial China’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heavenly Peace, and Summer Palace.


*Information included from the Visit Seattle’s Cultural Guide

Mayor’s Arts Awards 2015 by the numbers

2015 marks the 13th year Seattle has been celebrating our arts and culture scene with the Mayor’s Arts Awards. For the past 13 years three Mayor’s have been honoring the best organizations and individuals that make Seattle one of the most livable and fastest growing cities in the U.S. This year was no exception. So instead of a narrative about the day, we thought we’d let the numbers speak for themselves. Check out the video,

  • 500 people attended the ceremony

Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Nick Licata and the 2015 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients.
On September 4, 2015, Mayor Edward B. Murray honored the 2015 recipients of the MayorÕs Arts Awards at the Seattle CenterÕs Mural Amphitheater. Presented in partnership with Bumbershoot, the awards ceremony is part of the official opening of Bumbershoot 2015, which runs through Monday.
The 2015 honorees are:
¥ Cultural Ambassador: Dr. Robin K. Wright
¥ Arts & Innovation: Akio Takamori
¥ Cultural Preservation: Densho
¥ Future Focus: Seattle JazzED
¥ Creative Industries: Daniel Brown
Photo by Marcus R. Donner © 2015

  • 600 programs printed
  • 300 chairs were set up (so yes, there were quite a few standing)
  • 25 members of the Chinese Community Girls Drill Team
  • 1 Mayor
  • 5 Mayors Arts Awards winners
  • 14 Seattle Arts Commissioners
  • 1 Seattle Councilmember

1 Civic Poet (here’s a link to the poem she read)

  • 1 Seattle based glass artist Manuel Castro who designed and created the Mayor’s Arts Award, in partnership with Chihuly Garden and Glass (maybe a link to his site)
  • 1 artwork Fear of Volcanos 46 unveiled that was dedicated to Councilmember Nick Licata (by artist Ryan Molenkamp, and purchased with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds)
  • 75 volunteers to set up the event
  • 7 temporary artworks in the Seattle Center Sculpture Walk
  • 397 nominations
  • 1 ukulele player, thank you Champagne Honeybee!
  • 9 months of planning

2015 Mayor’s Arts Awards at Seattle Center

Mayor Edward B. Murray, the Seattle Arts Commission and the Office of Arts & Culture invite you to the

MAYOR’S ARTS AWARDS CEREMONY 4 p.m., Friday, September 4 Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center


Cultural Ambassador: Dr. Robin K. Wright
Arts & Innovation: Akio Takamori
Cultural Preservation: Densho
Future Focus: Seattle Jazzed
Creative Industries: Daniel Brown

For more information about the winners visit:

The Mayor’s Arts Awards are presented by the Seattle Arts Commission and the Seattle Office of Art & Culture.