Past Asian Heritage Street Celebrations
The Inspiration Behind the AHSC
By Angela Pang
“Why doesn’t San Francisco have an Asian Pacific American street fair?” Asian Public Relations specialist Grace Niwa asked AsianWeek Foundation’s Ted Fang in 2005.
Inspired, Fang decided to create the first-ever Asian Heritage Street Celebration that same year.
A celebration of all Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, the goal of the Street Celebration is to promote and foster Asian Pacific American identity by bringing together community and encouraging the sharing of differences and appreciation of diversity.
The AHSC is the only outdoor event in the Bay Area to rotate its location each year, in order to showcase that APIs reside in all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. The first celebration highlighted the Japanese community in Japantown, the second showcased the Chinese on Irving St. in the Sunset district, the third year paid homage to the large Filipino community in the South of Market area, the fourth year returned to Japantown, and in the fifth year showcased the Vietnamese community in the Little Saigon district. This year and next the celebration will remain in the Little Saigon/Civic Center area. The fair will continue its tradition of rotating locations in 2012.
In six years, the AHSC has quickly become the country’s largest assemblage of APAs.
“We are very excited to see the Asian Heritage Street Celebration return to the Little Saigon Cultural & Commercial District, ” says Philip Nguyen of the Southeast Asian Community Center. “We welcome this fair heartily, which will help promote not only Little Saigon, but also the whole Southeast Asian community of the Tenderloin, and of the city of San Francisco.”
The AHSC returns all proceeds to various Asian communities, including newer and underserved communities like the Hmong and Samoans, as well as more established populations. The AHSC has donated more than $60,000 to over 50 Bay Area community groups and charities, who are selected for their role in assembling diverse elements within the Asian Pacific American community.
Fundraising for San Francisco public schools is another mission of the Celebration, which has created a raffle program with the goal of teaching children about community philanthropy at an early age. The AHSC provides prizes and administrative support for students and school groups to sell raffle tickets, and all proceeds are returned to participating schools.
For information on past Celebrations, please visit our former websites. They include links to more photos and other posts.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration 2009
AsianWeek 2009 Coverage of Asian Heritage Street Celebration:
Asian Heritage Street Celebration 2008
Asian Heritage Street Celebration 2007
Asian Heritage Street Celebration 2006