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The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC) is a migratory museum that shares Asian Pacific American history, art, and culture through innovative museum experiences online and throughout the U.S through the Smithsonian Institution's work.The center was established in 1997 and does not feature a museum building for public display; instead, the institution manifests its work through community engagement.
Through exhibitions, programs, research, and collaboration, the APA Center seeks to improve the public's appreciation of the roles of APAs in the history of the nation and empower APA communities by increasing their sense of inclusion into the national culture. The center has provided leadership, vision, and support for APA activities at the Smithsonian and has also served as the Smithsonian's liaison to APA communities. The center's founding director, Dr. Franklin Odo, retired in January 2010. Konrad Ng served as director from 2011 to 2015. Lisa Sasaki was appointed director in November 2016.
In 1997, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center established an advisory group headed by Norman Y. Mineta with a mandate to research, deliberate, and then report to Secretary I. Michael Heyman on the Institution's ability to increase and diffuse knowledge about the nation's richly diverse APA communities.
The Asian Pacific American National Advisory Group's final report, released in June 1998, called for the creation of a program for Asian Pacific American Studies. This central program would provide vision, leadership, and support for all APA activities at the Smithsonian, while serving as a liaison to APA communities.
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has had significant impact on how the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum complex, is evolving to better reflect the diversity of our nation of immigrants and indigenous peoples. Since its inception, the Smithsonian’s APA Program has sponsored more than a dozen successful exhibitions featuring Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian and Vietnamese Americans, to name a few ethnic groups.
In 2017, the institution published the "Culture Lab Manifesto," which highlights its mission to provide a glimpse into "experiential friction between guests and hosts, history and future."There have been three Culture Labs to date in 2019.
The Smithsonian Institution, also known simply as The Smithsonian, is a trust instrumentality of the United States composed as a group of museums and research centers. It was founded on August 10, 1846, "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. It was originally organized as the "United States National Museum", but that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.
A curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution is a content specialist charged with an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material including historical artifacts.
The Anacostia Community Museum is a community museum in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the United States. It is one of twenty museums under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution and was the first federally funded community museum in the United States. The museum, founded in 1967, was created with the intention to bring aspects of the Smithsonian museums, located on the National Mall, to the Anacostia neighborhood, with the hope that community members from the neighborhood would visit the main Smithsonian museums. It became federally funded in 1970 and focuses on the community in and around Anacostia in its exhibitions. This museum also houses a library.
Museology or museum studies is the study of museums. It explores the history of museums and their role in society, as well as the activities they engage in, including curating, preservation, public programming, and education.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in the Upper East Side's Museum Mile in Manhattan, New York City. It is one of 19 museums that fall under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution and is one of three Smithsonian facilities located in New York City, the other two being the George Gustav Heye Center in Bowling Green and the Archives of American Art New York Research Center in the Flatiron District. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity.
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is a history museum in Seattle, Washington, United States, which focuses on the culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans. It is located in the city's Chinatown-International District. Established in 1967, the museum is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the country. It has relocated twice since its founding, most recently to the East Kong Yick Building in 2008. In February 2013 it was recognized as one of two dozen affiliated areas of the U.S. National Park Service.
The Japanese American National Museum is located in Los Angeles, California, and dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Japanese Americans. Founded in 1992, it is located in the Little Tokyo area near downtown. The museum is an affiliate within the Smithsonian Affiliations program.
Glenn David Lowry is an American art historian and director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1995. His initiatives there include strengthening MoMA's contemporary art program, significantly developing the collection holdings in all media, and guiding two major campaigns for the renovation, expansion, and endowment of the Museum. He has lectured and written extensively in support of contemporary art and artists and the role of museums in society, among other topics.
Richard Kurin, an American cultural anthropologist, museum official and author, is the Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research at the Smithsonian Institution. He is a key member of the senior team managing the world's largest museum and research complex with 6,500 employees and a $1.4 billion annual budget, caring for more than 139 million specimens, artifacts and artworks, working in 145 countries around the globe, hosting some 30 million visitors a year, and reaching hundreds of millions online and through the Smithsonian's educational programs and media outreach. Kurin is particularly responsible for all of the national museums, scholarly and scientific research centers, and programs spanning science, history, art and culture.
Dr. Franklin S. Odo is a Japanese American author, scholar, activist, and historian. Dr. Odo has served as the director of the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution since the program’s inception in 1997. As the director of the APA Program, Dr. Odo brought numerous exhibits to the Smithsonian highlighting the experiences of Chinese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans, and Indian Americans. He was the first Asian Pacific American curator at the National Museum of American History.
Smithsonian Libraries (SIL), formerly known as Smithsonian Institution Libraries, is a library system comprising 20 branch libraries serving the various Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers, as well as central support services which include a Book Conservation Laboratory and an Imaging Center. The Libraries serve Smithsonian Institution staff as well as the scholarly community and general public with information and reference support. Its collections number over 1.5 million volumes including 40,000 rare books and 2,000 manuscripts. The Libraries also holds the United States' largest trade literature collection, which includes over 300,000 commercial catalogs dating from the early nineteenth century and representing more than 30,000 companies.
Lonnie G. Bunch III is an American educator and historian. Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first African American and first historian to serve as head of the Smithsonian. He has spent most of his career as a history museum curator and administrator.
Asian/Pacific American (APA) or Asian/Pacific Islander (API) is a term sometimes used in the United States to include both Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans.
William Wyvill Fitzhugh IV is an American archaeologist and anthropologist who directs the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center and is a Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History. He has conducted archaeological research throughout the circumpolar region investigating cultural responses to climate and environmental change and European contact. He has published numerous books and more than 150 journal articles, and has produced large international exhibitions and popular films. Of particular note are the many exhibition catalogues he has had edited, which make syntheses of scholarly research on these subjects available to visitors to public exhibitions.
Smithsonian Affiliations is a division of the Smithsonian Institution that establishes long-term partnerships with non-Smithsonian museums and educational and cultural organizations, in order to share collections, exhibitions and educational strategies and conduct joint research.
Paul J. Smith was an arts administrator, curator, and artist based in New York. Smith was professionally involved with the art, craft, and design fields since the early 1950s and was closely associated with the twentieth-century studio craft movement in the United States. He joined the staff of the American Craftsmen's Council in 1957, and in 1963 was appointed Director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, a position he held for the next 24 years. In September 1987, he assumed the title of Director Emeritus and continued to work as an independent curator and consultant for museums, arts organizations, and collectors.
Alexandra Munroe, Ph.D., is an award-winning curator, Asia scholar, and author focusing on art, culture, and institutional global strategy. She has produced over 40 exhibitions and published pioneering scholarship on modern and contemporary Asian art. She organized the first major North American retrospectives of artists Yayoi Kusama (1989), Daido Moriyama (1999), Yoko Ono (2000), Mu Xin (2001), Cai Guo-Qiang (2008), and Lee Ufan (2011), among others, and has brought such historic avant-garde movements as Gutai, Mono-ha, and Chinese conceptual art, as well as Japanese otaku culture, to international attention. Her project Japanese Art after 1945: Scream Against the Sky (1994) is recognized for initiating the field of postwar Japanese art history in North America. Recently, Munroe was lead curator of the Guggenheim’s exhibition, Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, which the New York Times named as one of 2017’s top ten exhibitions and ARTnews named as one of the decade’s top 25 most influential shows. Credited for the far-reaching impact of her exhibitions and scholarship bolstering knowledge of postwar Japanese art history in America and Japan, she received the 2017 Japan Foundation Award and the 2018 Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award, both bestowed by the government of Japan.
Christine Y. Kim is an American curator of contemporary art. She is currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Before her appointment at LACMA in 2009, she was Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York. She is best known for her exhibitions of and publications on artists of color, diasporic and marginalized discourses, and 21st-century technology and artistic practices.
Gia Maisha Hamilton is a contemporary curator and culture worker with focus on afro-futurism and community engagement. She serves as executive director and chief curator of the New Orleans African American Museum.
Lisa Sasaki is the director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Prior to being appointed in November 2016, Sasaki was director of the Audience and Civic Engagement Center at the Oakland Museum of California and director of program development Japanese American National Museum. From 2001 to 2003, she was a museum curator at the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center in Pueblo, Colorado, and assistant collections manager at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.