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Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month



The International Festival USA proudly hosts a two-hour national celebration marking Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, honoring the rich cultures that have shaped Houston into a global mosaic of diversity. This year's theme, "Unite. Empower. Rise. - Celebrating Solidarity, Belonging, and Community," features a vibrant lineup of music, theater, films, literary showcases, and cultural activities. It's a tribute to the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across diverse industries like journalism, entertainment, government, business, and nonprofits.


May is recognized as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, encompassing a broad spectrum of nations, spanning the Asian continent from China, Japan, Thailand, and India to the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, including New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, and many others. Join us in celebrating the richness and diversity of these cultures that contribute to the tapestry of the United States.



The first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States in May of 1843. In May of 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed by over 20,000 Chinese workers who, many have lost their lives in the process due to explosions, avalanches, and other disasters during its construction.Since the 19th Century, thousands of Asians and Pacific Islanders have migrated to America, making their homes throughout Texas and Houston. Asian and Pacific Islander Americans represent a significant portion of the population of the City of Houston, contributing greatly to the economy, politics, and culture of the City.


As a major metropolitan area, Houston is home to many Asian Pacific American communities such as Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Koreatown, Thai Town, and Historic FilipinoTown. Beyond the City of Houston, a large number of Asian Pacific Americans call other areas of Houston their home, further diversifying the fabric of this great City.



The City of Houston benefits from a wealth of Asian and Pacific Islander-influenced cultures. Many museums, cultural centers, historical landmarks, theaters, and dance companies are in the City of Houston. The City offers countless cultural resources that represent the traditions of each Asian and Pacific Islander culture in a unique and exciting way.


The many Asian Pacific American community centers throughout the City provide family programming to a growing population, ensuring that the traditions of the cultures and an appreciation of the histories are shared with our young people and carried on throughout future generations.




Andrew Harry Gee 

AAPI Chairman 


Janella Del Mundo Gee



Observance Calandar page 


The International Festival USA Observance Calendar celebrates diversity and the contributions of various groups to the United States throughout the year. Highlighting special days, weeks, and months dedicated to multiculturalism and diversity, these events signify a range of commemorations.


In the diverse landscape of the United States, holidays and celebrations take myriad forms, varying in significance and nature. Some events honor somber remembrances of sacrifice or tragedy, while others signify remarkable achievements or spotlight individuals, religions, or heritages. Explore our celebration calendar for more details.

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