Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Illinois

Kalapriya 1024x653

Deon Reed

Read Time 2 minutes
May 11, 2023

May brings with it fresh blooms and sunnier days, and the annual celebration of AAPI Heritage Month! In Illinois, humanities organizations and cultural groups across the state are sharing traditions, engaging their communities in local and national history, and presenting classical and contemporary performances. Check out these events hosted by Illinois Humanities grantee partners, friends, and other institutions that offer exceptional public programs.

Know of other events happening around the state? Send them to us at info@ilhumanities.org or tag us on social media @ILHumanities.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Festival
May 6 – 28 | Chicago

The Asian Museum of Heritage Art is hosting a series of lectures, hands-on workshops, and exciting events that explore the art, traditions, and stories of Asian-Pacific Americans, all month long! Visit them on Instagram to learn about upcoming events, and be sure to RSVP!


Asian museum of heritage art

Cambodian Classics Music New Arrangements
May 20 & 21 | Chicago

The National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial’s Cambodian Traditional Museum Ensemble welcomes Mahori Music Ensemble and Crossing Borders Music for two special events featuring new arrangements of Cambodian classics. Arranged by Crossing Borders Music violinist Rasa Mahmoudian, it will be the first time these pieces have been performed live!


Crossing borders event 600x411

Yellow Peril: Past and Present
May 25 | Waukegan

In this free event, dynamic storyteller Ada Cheng will visit the Waukegan Public Library for a performance about the meanings of home(land), racial profiling, the image of the perpetual foreigner, and anti-Asian racism under the pandemic. We’re fortunate that Ada is a longtime Illinois Humanities Road Scholar, and her presentations can be booked by interested hosts year-round.


Ada cheng

Night Out in the Parks: Mitra, A Celebration of Friendship
June 2 | Chicago

Happening just after AAPI Heritage Month ends, Illinois Humanities grantee partner Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts presents Mitra, A Celebration of Friendship. The show brings together artists from Chicago and India to create this multi-genre production blending theatre, dance, music, and poetry.