Illustration of a taiko drum, dumpling held in chopsticks, popcorn, microphone and tiffin on a calendar displaying May 2022.
(Li Anne Liew / Los Angeles Times)

11 L.A. events that celebrate the joy of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Los Angeles is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with various events and celebrations throughout the city in May.

You can commemorate the city’s AAPI history and communities through panel discussions, film and book festivals and musical performances.

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An Asian woman onstage, speaking into a microphone, in front of a brick wall
(Gary Tang Photography)

Enjoy the Crazy Woke Asians Comedy Show

Toluca Lake Comedy Club
May 12
Spend the evening laughing until your stomach hurts at the Crazy Woke Asians Comedy Show at the Haha Comedy Club. Expect performances from eight Asian American and Pacific Islander comedians, including Kiki Yeung, Justin Rivera and Dante Chang. The show starts at 8 p.m. Early-bird tickets are $25 and general admission is $30.
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Watch a free movie at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Hollywood Hills West Point of Interest
Through May 13
Grab some movie snacks and check out one of the featured films in the 38th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America. There will be in-person and virtual showings. You can pick from documentary films like “Crossroads,” which follows a group of women peacemakers who plan to march from North Korea to South Korea. Or opt for an animated film like “W(HO),” which unpacks womanhood and internalized misogyny. Viewings are free but reservations are required.
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Artworks on the wall and on a display case at the Very Asian Art Show.
(Leanna Lin’s Wonderland)

Delight in the Very Asian Art Show

Eagle Rock Art Gallery
Through June 5
Genevieve Santos, of the stationery shop Le Petit Elefant, curated the Very Asian Art Show at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland, a gift shop and art gallery. The art installation is an ode to what it means to be “very Asian.” You can expect to see the cult favorite White Rabbit Creamy Candy in ceramic form, Korean kimbap framed paintings and ube ice cream mini ceramic sculptures. A portion of sale proceeds will be donated to API Equality-LA, an organization working to “empower Asian and Pacific Islander communities to achieve LGBTQ, racial and social justice.” Admission to the art show is free.
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Kenny Endo pounds on a drum as tall as he is.
(Ken Berry)

Be captivated by Kenny Endo's taiko drumming skills

Downtown L.A. Community Center
May 14
If you’re looking for a night of live music and dinner, watch musician Kenny Endo perform Japanese taiko drumming at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Endo has been blending traditional taiko rhythms with melodies from around the world for 45 years. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $35.
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A sign that reads "Celebrating Korean Makers and Korean Excellence" surrounded by cactus and people.
(Hyun Lee)

Celebrate Asian American makers at Market With Maum

Chinatown Flea Market
May 15
Grab your friends for an afternoon of shopping at the Market With Maum at Chinatown Central Plaza. The marketplace will have 88 Asian American small business pop-ups. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, free for those 12 and under.
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Combat bullying and hate at a community reception

Downtown L.A. Museum
May 18
Join United We Heal, a mental health advocacy group, and Act to Change, an antibullying nonprofit, to commemorate the fourth National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate. The group is hosting a virtual event followed by a community reception. The virtual event will start at 3 p.m. and will include guest speakers like figure skater Mirai Nagasu and journalist Lisa Ling. Later, attend a reception at the Japanese American National Museum from 6 to 9 p.m. that includes two drinks and admission to the “Common Ground” exhibit, which chronicles Japanese American history and features a barracks structure from a Wyoming incarceration camp. Tickets for the event are $50 for youth and $75 for adults.
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A woman standing in front of an ornate Chinese door looks at a fortune from a fortune cookie.
(Berrie Tsang / King of Yees)

Journey through Chinatown with 'King of Yees'

Sierra Madre Playhouse
May 20
Take a journey through San Francisco’s Chinatown at the premiere of “King of Yees” at Sierra Madre Playhouse. Playwright Lauren Yee takes her viewers on a cultural journey to find her missing father. The play starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20.
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Find your next great read at the AAPI Festival of Books

Long Beach Library
May 21
Spend a Saturday with your favorite authors at the Festival of AAPI Books at the Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach. Starting at 1 p.m., listen to panel discussions, meet authors and enjoy book readings. The book fair is free; reservations are encouraged.
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Members of the Hula Group, wearing traditional hula garb, stand holding hands in a prayer circle.
The Hula Group in a sacred prayer circle.
(Halau Hula O Ka Mahina Poepoe)

Experience Hawaiian lei making, Chinese calligraphy and Japanese music

Calabasas Point of Interest
May 21
Join the National Park Service in celebrating Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Day at King Gillette Ranch. The day will be filled with taiko drumming, Hawaiian featherwork and lei making, Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, Japanese music and history presentations. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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A woman lies on her back in a bed, holding a magnifying glass over her face, her hand in a pink rubber glove.

Reclaim the AAPI narrative with a night of discussion and entertainment

Downtown L.A. Point of Interest
May 25
The NeueHouse Bradbury hosts a night of introspective discussions followed by a DJ set and party at its “Redefining Our Story: AAPI Culture and Identity Through the World of Entertainment” event. The panel discussion will “explore stereotypes and reclaim the AAPI American narrative.” Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the panel discussion starting at 8 p.m., followed by the party and DJ set at 9 p.m. The event is free, but you need to RSVP.
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A man in a superhero costume stands before a stone temple's steps, holding a wooden pole in one hand.
(Jasin Boland)

Watch "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with L.A. Times Eat See Hear

Griffith Park Museum
May 29
L.A. Times Eat See Hear will kick off summer screenings with the Marvel movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” at the Autry Museum of the American West. Enjoy the film with vegan sushi or dumplings from one of the “AAPI-influenced” food trucks. Pop singer Polartropica will kick off the night with a performance. General admission is $20 with advance online purchase, $25 at the door. Tickets for those 12 and under are $14; children 5 and under are free.
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