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SAVE THESE DATES: 2024 APAA Events & Community Activities - Check back later for more details

Sunday, May 19, 2024, 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm, Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration Day, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave,. Rochester, NY 14607

Celebration Series offers Rochester area families and community members the opportunity to learn more about specific cultures, communities, and events through performances, presentations, art & crafts, and more! Free and open to the public, includes museum admission with a suggested donation of $5 per group when you RSVP. Tickets required.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 - Friday, May 31, 2024 APAA Link Gallery Exhibit commemorating National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May, and celebrating the 21st Anniversary of APAA serving the Greater Rochester community.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 9AM - 3PM, New York State Unity Summit, hosted by the Hate & Bias PreventionUnit, New York State Division of Human Rights.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024 - March 4th, 2024, APAA Asian Lunar New Year Display, Local History Department, 2nd Floor, Rochester Central Library.


Saturday, February 10, 2024, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm APAPA/MCC Lunar New Year Festival, Flynn Campus Center, MCC Brighton Campus, 1000 East Henrietta, NY 14623.

"Join in celebrating the arrival of the aspicious Year of the Dragon with a kaleidoscope of community performances, engaging family activities, culinary delights, and immersive insights into the rich cultures of AAPI countries. Explore traditions,savor diverse cuisines, and participate in joyful festivities."

Enjoy: Cultural performances, AAPI cultural booth, cultural games for family, New Year ceremony, arts, crafts, Asian food and more!

Sponsored by Apapa Rochester Chapter and Monroe Community College




Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 7:00 - 8:00 PM, Heart, Mind, and Soul with Color and Light: The Glass Artwork of Nancy Gong, Pittsford - Fisher Meeting Room, Pittsford Community Library, In-person. 

Nancy, Gong, award-winning Chinese American artist will share about her work in architectural and fine art glass. Gong's art has been commissioned for the Port of Rochester, RMSC, RIT, Artwalk of Rochester, Akron Civic Theatre, Sharon Vermont Welcome Center, and many homes and private collections.

Sunday, May 7, 2023, 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm, Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration Day, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave,. Rochester, NY 14607

Celebration Series offers Rochester area families and community members the opportunity to learn more about specific cultures, communities, and events through performances, presentations, art & crafts, and more! Free and open to the public, includes museum admission with a suggested donation of $5 per group when you RSVP. Tickets required.

Saturday, May 6, 2023, 7:00 PM, Chinese Choral Society of Rochester's 37th annual concert "A Better Tomorro" held at the Rcohester Chinese Christian Church, 1524 Jackson Road, Penfield, NY, Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

The concert, “A Better Tomorrow”, will be directed by Dr. Ming-Lun Lee and will feature the following Chinese and English songs:  

Praying for a Better Tomorrow 祈禱明天會更好
Grandmother  外婆
Turning Back 再回首
Folk Song Trilogy    牧歌三疊
You and Me 你儂我儂
Perhaps Love
Sing, Sing, Sing

For further information,visit the CCSR website,

Saturday, May 6, 2023, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM, NYS Senator Jeremy Cooney's UPSTATE AAPI SUMMIT, Empowering the Upstate NY Asian Community, India Community Center of Rochester. Click here to register. Limted capacity of 175 attendees.

Join us to celebrate and explore Asian American heritage and how we can support each other in our efforts to empower AAPI identities across Upstate New York. Workshops include: Breaking Down Barriers, Mental Health in the AAPI Community, Economic Opportunity & Equity, and Organizing Our Upstate Communities.

Thursday, May 4, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Opening Reception: APAA P.I.E. 2023 celebrationg National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and APAA's 20th Anniversary of service to the Greater Rochester community, Link Gallery at City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester, NY. Free and open to the public.

Come and join us in celebrating local AAPI pioneers, innovators and entrepreneurs -- their stories of overcoming challenges in thriving and making notable contributions to our community will inspire you.

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM, An Evening with Chen Chen, Pittsford - Fisher Meeting Room, Pittsford Community Library, In-person

Chen Chenm the acclaimed Chinese American poet and winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, visits PCL for a special National Poetry Month reading. Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and Your Emergency Contact is Experiencing An Emergency.

Monday, April 24, 2023 - May 31, 2023 APAA P.I.E. Link Gallery Exhibit commemorating National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May, and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of APAA serving the Greater Rochester community.

APAA is seeking nominations, corporate sponsors, supporters, and project team members for our APAA P.I.E. 2023 exhibit.

APAA plans to host our Fifth exhibit at the Link Gallery highlighting the contributions of local AAPIs to the Greater Rochester community. In 2013, we celebrated our tenth anniversary with our APAA P.I.E. exhibit, paying tribute to five pioneers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We would like to expand this project with a broader selection of AAPIs from all areas of life: community, business, school, public service, and the arts. 

Nominations are due by Monday, March 13, 2023 and honorees will be finalized by March 17, 2023 to be included in 2023 Link Gallery Exhibit from April 24, 2023 to June 2, 2023. Installation is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 1:00 PM. Click here for details and nomination form.

The FIRST APAA P.I.E. exhibit celebrated APAA's Tenth Anniversary and premiered at the Memorial Art Gallery's Family Day on May 5, 2013 during the gallery's annual Asian American History Month celebration. To see details on the first FIVE HONOREES in 2013 (Edline Chun, Reuben M. Garcia, Brijen K. Gupta, Hkadin Lahtaw Lee, and Masanori Seto), click here

If you are interested in sponsoring/supporting the exhibit and/or volunteering on the project team, please email your name, and contact information (email and phone number) to

If you become a corporate sponsor ($1,000 or more), supporting ($100 or more for individuals & nonprofits), you and your organization will be acknowledged in all publicity and at the opening reception for the exhibit, which will be on display from April 24, 2023 to June 2, 2023. It will also become part of our project for future mobile exhibits throughout the Greater Rochester area when they can be loan out to various venues such as schools, art galleries, businesses, churches, and groups highlighting the AAPI community.

Project team members will help curate the exhibit by researching/interviewing the honoree, writing their stories, and creating the exhibit frame. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Asian American Film Series: Bad Axe - is a 2022 documentary about the struggles with the pandemic and racism faced by an Asian American family running a small restauratn business that participated in the BLM movement in the small town of Bad, Axe, Michigan. The screening will be followed by a virtual Q&A with the director, who will discuss his experience of making the film. Register

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, MAGIC Spell Studios, Wegman's Theater, RIT, open to the public, free

The hosts and moderators are Yuhan Huang and Wenjie Liao, both RIT faculty, Event co-sponsors: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Diversity Educaton. Contact Taj Smith,

Thursday, March 23, 2023: MCC and RIT Welcome Bestselling Author Gene Luen Yang, New York Times bestselling author and three-time Eisner award winner. Mr. Yang is a prolific graphic novelist (Boxers and Saints, American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The SearchDragon Hoops, and more.

2:00 PM, RIT Campus: Booth Hall, 7A-3471, Visitor parking permits are available at the Welcome Center (100 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NT 14623). Please make sure the pass is visible on the vehicle dashboard.

7:00 - 9:00 PM, MCC Campus: Thomas Flynn Campus Center, Monroe A & B

Click here for additional details. View here via YouTube Livestream.

Saturday, February 4, 2023, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm APAA/APAPA New Year Networking, A New Year A New Beginning for Connecting and Building a Strong AAPI Community, Agape Black Belt Center, 3750 Monroe Avenue. Suite 1000. Pittsford, NY 14534 

We have exciting news to share with you as we enter a new year and a new beginning. APAA is pleased to welcome the establishment of a new Rochester chapter of The Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA); a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2001 that is spreading across the country, including Western New York.

APAA is co-hosting with APAPA to bring together people of like minds and passions to discuss advancing the AAPI community through increased leadership in social and civic engagement. Please join us at a networking event to learn more. 

Light refreshments will be served. As a martial arts school, shoes are not worn inside the center. Please feel free to bring in-house slippers/shoes or be prepared to remove shoes before entering the center.

WHO WE ARE: Founded in 2002, and established as a 501(c)3 in 2003, APAA celebrates 20 years of serving the Greater Rochester Area through educational and cultural programs. APAA is committed to a stronger Greater Rochester Area community where diverse Asian/Pacific Islander American (APA) peoples are valued, and their heritages and histories are preserved and celebrated. is currently setting up a Rochester chapter to advance Asian Pacific Islander communities through increased leadership and civic engagement. APAPA is a nonpartisan nonprofit with national headquarters in California that has been established since 2001; the organization has over 40 chapters across the country. Its motto: INSPIRE, ENGAGE, EMPOWER.

 Saturday, January 28, 2023, 3-7pm, Chinese New Year Celebration, RCCC, 1524 Jackson Road, Penfield, NY 14526.




Thursday, June 30, 2022 -- Sunday, July 10, 2022 Cowboys Versus Samurai by Michael Golamco, presented by Bristol Valley Theater, 151 S. Main Street, Naples, NY 14512o wb

This hilarious romantic comedy is a fresh twist on the Cyrano de Bergerac story. Travis Park, a modest high school English teacher, is falling for the new Korean American math teacher, Veronica Lee. But Veronica, who has only ever dated white guys, is smitten with Travis' dimwitted cowboy friend Del. Travis afrees to help Del find the right words to wion Veronica's affection, but in the process all three discover what they are really looking for in their search for love.

There will be a talk back with the cast and crew following the matinee performance on July 3rd.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website ( or call the box office at (585)374-6318.


Thursday, June 2, 2022 -- APAA Lunch & Learn "See Rochester's Asian Community Through Personal Lens"

Hosted by: Trillium Health
  • Mimi W. Lee, APAA President
  • Lily Lee, APAA Board Secretary/Communications Director

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 -- APAA Lunch & Learn "Rise of Rochester's Asian Community"

Webinar: Rise of Rochester’s Asian Community
When: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Noon to 1 p.m. ET
How: Log in to the APAA talk:
Hosted by: URMC Department of Psychiatry

  • Mimi W. Lee, APAA President
  • Lily Lee, APAA Board Secretary/Communications Director

**Click here to view the webinar for a limited time courtesy of the URMC Department of Psychiatry.

Sunday, May 15, 2022 -- Memorial Art Gallery Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration Series

View schedule and register for tickets here, 12 noon to 4 PM, 500 University Avenue, NY 14607

Celebration Series offers Rochester area families and community members the opportunity to learn more about specific cultires, communities, and events through performances, presentations, art & crafrs, and more! These days are free and include museum admission, optional suggested donation of $5 per group when you RSVP. Tickets requested to expedite check-in!

Friday, May 13, 2022 --  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month  Storytime

Join us for a special #throwback virtual storytime with Mimi Lee from APAA (Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association of Greater Rochester) and Miss Lauren to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Learn about the Chinese Zodiac animals, and read a story together on how everyone has a voice to say something, be kind to one another, and how your voice can make a difference. Auntie Mimi will pay tribute in memory of her friend and mentor, Corky Lee, who impacted many lives through his photos and activism, and inspired her to do the same. #AsianPacificAmericanHeritageMonth #APAA #FPLkids #FairportLibrary

Friday, May 1, 2022 - June 8, 2022 -- Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Photography Exhibit: APAA P.I.E. and AAPI Musicians

Lake Avenue Baptist Church, 72 Ambrose Street, Rochester, NY

Celebrating 150th Anniversary: LABC was founded in 1871. We have had an incredible history, where God has been moving in us and through us in so many exciting ways.

During the 2021-2022 Church Year, LABC will be celebrating it's 150th Anniversary. We encourage you to follow the link below to learn more about the exciting history of LABC and to join us as we move into our next 150 years!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - Sunday, May 8, 2022 GEVA Theater Center: The Chinese Lady

By Lloyd Suh, Directed by Aileen Wen McGroddy. A Kitchen Theatre Production.

In 1834, a 14-year-old girl is brought to the United States from Guangzhou Province. Allegedly the first Chinese woman to set foot in the U.S., she isput on display for the American public and billed as "The Chinese Lady." FOr over 45 years, she is toured around the US as a sideshow act, accompanied by Atung, her assistant and closest acquaintance. Lloyd Suh's piercing tale, based on the tru story of Afong Moy, examines the ways in which one woman's life is impacted by the exploitation and the white gaze and explores the mystery surround Moy's later years. 

View The Chinese Lady Video Prologue with Lloyd Suh, The Chinese Lady Playwright, and Christina Lee, Anthropology Professor, Coordinator of Global Education at Monroe Community College, hosted and curated by Rachel DeGuzman, Producer of Engagement Programs.

A Q&A with Aileen Wen McGroddy, director of The Chinese Lady  and Rachel DeGuzman, Producer of Engagement Programs -- Geva Journal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - Monday, June 6, 2022 -- APAA Link Gallery at City Hall Exhibt celebrating our 20th anniversary, and highlighting local artists' works on how the AAPI community is surviving and thriving through the pandemic.

Great news! Exhibits at the Link Gallery at City Hall resumes for 2022 after cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Announcing call for new hangable artwork for APAA 2022 Link Gallery at City Hall Exhibit to celebrate National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May and APAA's 20th anniversary. The tentative theme for the 2022 exhibit will focus on "Through and Beyond the Pandemic'' for the Greater Rochester AAPI community at work, school and play.
If interested, please RSVP to info at apaaroc dot org.
Exhibit Information: 
Please note the deadline dates to RSVP to participate, publicity materials, installation and take down dates.
  1. RSVP to participate in exhibit by: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 EXTENDED TO SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022
  2. Provide input for Publicity Materials by: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
  3. Location: Link Gallery at City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester, NY 
  4. Hanging of Art (installation): 5:30 PM, Monday, April 11, 2022
  5. Show comes down: 5:00 PM, Monday, June 6, 2022
  6. Opening Reception: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, TBD
Hangable art may include framed photographs and any artwork that can be hung from a wire that is suspended from the ceiling. Art is a powerful medium to inspire and share our cultural aspirations in surviving and thriving through the pandemic these past two years, especially amidst the wave of anti-Asian violence. We hope that this exhibit will be able to educate and promote better understanding of the diversity that make up the tapestry of the Greater Rochester community.
Due to space limitations for the APAA 2022 Link Gallery exhibit, we are looking for local artwork on the theme "Through and Beyond the Pandemic" either created during or in response to the pandemic which began March 2020:
  1. This exhibit is not just about displaying cultural art and artifacts, it is how our diverse AAPI cultures helped us through the pandemic.
  2. The artwork should express our response to the pandemic, the impact on our daily lives -- the fear, frustrations,and anger, the hardships, community support and encouragement, our hopes, and dreams, both positive and negative -- how we as the Greater Rochester AAPI community survived and thrived during the last two years of the pandemic.
  3. This exhibit is also an opportunity to share how the wave of anti-Asian violence against our community, made us feel, the emotions elicited, and how it affected our daily lives at work, school and beyond.
  4.  Each artwork submitted should be accompanied by a short paragraph about it's creation, to bring to light the various issues, and hopefully inspire us all to work together in building bridges and resolving our mutual challenges in living and thriving through the pandemic.
For the organizational frame,local artwork can be included in describing what your organization is about, what it has done to get through the pandemic, how it supported its members and the community. This is an educational piece to share the positive activities that the organization did to encourage its members and the community through the pandemic. Examples of these activities may include: giving out masks, providing food and services for those who are in need, raising awareness of the AAPI community's needs through educational events, rallies, etc.

Tuesdays, March 1, 2022 - May 24, 2022 -- Asian Americans in Hollywood, 7:30 pm, The Dryden Theatre, Eastman Museum, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

13 Films

Last summer the Dryden Theatre presented the series “In Solidarity: Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Directors,” which focused on directors of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who told stories through their own lens. But Asian Americans were working in film since the silent era, both in front of and behind the camera. This series will highlight three of the biggest Asian American contributors from the first seven decades of cinema: actress Anna May Wong, actor Sessue Hayakawa, and cinematographer (and George Eastman Award honoree) James Wong Howe. See details at Dryden Theatre.

  • Anna May Wong, born to Chinese parents in Los Angeles, started acting in her teens and during the silent era became a well-known actress and fashion icon. Unfortunately, many of the roles offered to her tended to demean her culture, but Wong shone in the roles she did accept and delivered memorable performances from the silent era into the 1940s. Despite her fame and popularity, Wong’s greatest disappointment was being turned down for the role of O-Lan in MGM’s adaptation of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth.
  • Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa emigrated to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century and turned to acting in 1914 and quickly became a matinee idol with the release of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Cheat in 1915. He became highly sought after but was frustrated by being typecast. In response, he formed his own production company, Haworth Productions. There he made nineteen films over five years, including one of his greatest successes, The Dragon Painter, in 1919. Hayakawa continued to work through the 1960s and appeared in over 100 films over his fifty-year career, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  • James Wong Howe got his big break into cinematography when he took some still photos of silent star Mary Miles Minter and darkened her eyes in the image by having her look at a dark surface. Minter requested that Howe be the cinematographer on her next film and a career spanning fifty years and nearly 140 films. Howe’s continual innovation in his field led to ten Academy Award nominations and being recognized as one of the ten most influential cinematographers of all time. He received the George Eastman Award at the George Eastman Museum for his work in 1957.
  1. March 1: The Toll of the Sea (Chester M. Franklin, 1922
  2. March 8: Piccadilly (E.A. Dupont, 1929)
  3. March 15: Shanghai Express (Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
  4. March 22: Daughter of Shanghai (Robert Florey, 1937)
  5. March 29: The Cheat (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915)
  6. April 5: The Dragon Painter (William Worthington, 1919
  7. April 12: Bridge on the River Kwai (David Lean, 1957)
  8. April 19: Mantrap (Victor Fleming, 1926)
  9. April 26: Transatlantic (William K. Howard, 1931)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - Saturday, December 31, 2022 -- Opening exhibit of Immigrants of Rochester at the Rochester Public Library

The Local History and Genealogy Division of the Rochester Public Library is creating an exhibit celebrating the contribution to the community of Rochester by our immigrant populations throughout our history.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 --  Happy Lunar New Year! Chinese Year of the Water Tiger 4720!





CANCELED Saturday, November 13, 2021: APAA/United Way presents an on-line event -- the third Asian Pacific American Leadership Development Program, originally scheduled in-person on Saturday, October 2, 2021.

Cancelled by United Way due to low attendance -- stay tuned for future programming.

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Development Program (APALDP) focuses on increasing and broadening the participation of Asian Pacific Americans in civic and volunteer leadership roles in the region and community. The program encourages community awareness, leadership, and networking in the Asian-Pacific community. 

Click here to listen to New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney on the importance joining in leadership development and getting involved in the community and make a difference in our Greater Rochester community.

October 17, 2021 12 PM - 4 PM Brave Spaces: Rochester's Second Annual Summit to End Hate 2021, presented by The Levine Center to End Hate

An online immersive learning experience designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of what is driving today’s increased expressions of hate—and how to feel empowered to address bias in your own spheres of influence. We are proud to feature keynote speaker Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News Nightline, who—as an Asian American and Jewish American—is leveraging her platform to speak out about the dramatic rise in hate crimes against members of these communities. Closing out the event will be Chris Mosler, the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Trials and six-time Team USA triathlete.
Section One: Business and Education Leaders
Session Two: Nonprofit Facilitators and Student Leaders
Registration is open at
For more information, visit us at
Suggested Donation: $25 (No one will be turned away for lack of funds
September 23, 2021 9:00 AM - 12 Noon  Asian Community Workshop presented by The Mohawk Valley Latino Association. This online event will bring together several experts to discuss the challenges that the Asian community in Central and Upstate New York are facing, and how we can strengthen the ties between the Latino and Asian communities. Register here.

July 1 - Aug. 19, 2021 Thursdays 7:30 PM Free 8-Week Film Series -- In Solidarity: Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Directors at the Eastman Museum Dryden Theater, 900 East Avenue. Rochester, NY 

The George Eastman Museum is pleased to be partnering with the Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association of Greater Rochester on the free film series In Solidarity: Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Directors at our Dryden Theatre.

July 1 The Joy Luck Club (Wayne Wang, US/China 1993, 139 min., 35mm, English, Cantonese and Mandarin w/subtitles)

July 8 Boy (Taika Waititi, New Zealand 2010, 87 min., DCP)

July 15 Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin shi nan nu, Ang Lee, Taiwan 1994, 124 min., 35mm, Mandarin w/subtitles)

July 22 In the Family (Patrick Wang, US 2011, 167 min., DCP)

July 29 Picture Bride (Kayo Hatta, US/Japan 1995, 94 min., 35mm, English, Japanese w/subtitles) 

August 5 Columbus (Kogonada, US 2017, 100 min., DCP)

August 12 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long, Ang Lee, Taiwan/Hong Kong/US/China 2000, 120 min., 35mm, Mandarin w/subtitles)

August 19 Coming Home Again (Wayne Wang, US/South Korea 2020, 86 min., DCP) -- SPECIAL TREAT: Fortune cookies provided by Lee's Oriental Food & Gifts, 900 W Jefferson Rd, Suite 11, Rochester, NY 14623

This series is a partnership of the George Eastman Museum and the Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association of Greater Rochester; the Levine Center to End Hate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester; and the PRISM Multicultural Center and Global Education and International Services at Monroe Community College. The series is sponsored by the William & Sheila Konar Foundation and Nocon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.


May 28, 2021 Rochester's Asian American and Pacific Islanders speak out after wave of intolerance

Amid the backdrop of rallies and marches elevating Black lives in America, a wave of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islander across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic also has entered the national conversation.

They routinely encounter prejudice that makes them feel like foreigners in their own country, according to interviews with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who live in Rochester or the surrounding suburbs.


May 19, 2021 Rochester-area State Senator pushing for Asian American Pacific Islander education

Local State Senator behind AAPI education bill: As the first Asian American elected to state office in Upstate New York, Senator Cooney wants to spread awareness about Asian Americans.
It's really important to me to support legislation, like my colleague Senator Liu down in Queens, to show upstae families, upstate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that their role in history is not going to be ignored. That future generations of students are going to know that Asian Americans played a critical role in the development of our nation," he said.
Senator Cooney believes that by passing this legislation, it can make a difference in the rise of unprovoked attacks on Asian Americans across the country.
"We're absolutely overjoyed about the possibility of this learning opprotunity for all Americans to learn the history of AAPI heritage and our contributions in building our wonderful country, " said Mimi W. Lee, President of APAA.
"I think it is long overdue because many of us did not have this opportunity to learn about our heritage in grammer school until college when we had an opportunity to take it as an elective, " Lee said.
RMSC The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World
Exhibit (November 2020 - May 16, 2021) is now closed, but you can still read about the over 200 women in the physical exhibit, including the 25 women making an impact in the AAPI community on the Map of Change website below. RMSC will be posting another 100+ Changemakers onto the digital map from the original nomiations soon. Check back to see who they are, and you can nominate additional Changemakers in the link below.
Virtual Tour of Rochester Museum & Science Center The Changemakers Exhibit
See if you can locate all 25 of these women in the virtual tour!
  1. Enterprising Change: Hkadin Lahtaw Lee, Olivia Kim, Ngo Hna Sangaichho, Nancy Gong, Ruth Watanabe, Jeannie Hines-Clinton, Afshan Quereshi
  2. Organizing for Change: Byoung Baek, Samiha Islam, Mimi W. Lee, KaeLyn Rich, Linda Marshall
  3. Inventing Change: Mridula Nair, Louisa-Ong-Lee, Randy Barbara Kaplan
  4. Enterprising Change: Parvatha Chidambaram, Edline Chun, Karina Vattana, Marilyn Ajavananda, Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Mary Chao, Linda Sue Park, Mara Ahmed
  5. Standouts: Maggie Barry, Carolyn Ajavananda
  • Click to see where each Changemaker made her mark. Who knows? It could be right underneath your feet.
  • Is there another woman from our region or the Haudenosaunee Confederacy you think should be nominated as a Changemaker? Let us know who by filling in the form below. We will add them to the map to share their story and inspire others.


May 10, 2021 Out of the Rehearsal Hall By Geva Theatre Center -- Episode 3-2: The Changemakers

This episode features the Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World exhibit at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, which inspired Geva’s Tenacious Women project. We start by talking with Kathryn Murano Santos about the innovative and inclusive process that led to this exhibit. And then, sisters Mimi W. Lee and Lily Lee share the incredible inspiration of their mother, the events that led them to create the Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association of Greater Rochester, and the role of education in combating Anti-Asian hate. And in the final segment of the episode, we feature writer, editor and historian Joan Coles Howard and Youth History Ambassadors from Teen Empowerment, Tashiana Williams and Nino Irizarry in a discussion about the importance of sharing our history through generations.

May 10, 2021 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month  Storytime
  • Join Mimi Lee from APAA (Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association of Greater Rochester) and Miss Lauren from the Fairport Public Library to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at this storytime!
  • Learn about the Chinese Zodiac animals, read a story together on how everyone has a voice to say something, be kind to one another, and how your voice can make a difference.
  • Auntie Mimi will pay tribute in memory of her friend and mentor, Corky Lee, who impacted many lives through his photos and activism, and inspired her to do the same.
  • This storytime will take place on Monday, May 10th at 9:30 am on Facebook.
May 1-6, 2021 at 7:30 PM GENseng will present Jeanne Sakata’s solo performance piece, Hold These Truths, about Gordon Hirabayashi, the Nisei activist who in 1941 defied the government’s curfew order, refused to sign the infamous “loyalty oath,” and sued the government for violating his civil rights.  Although he initially lost Hirabayashi v. United States, having taken his cases all the way to the Supreme Court, Hirabayashi lived to see both cases overturned and justice served in 1987.  GENseng is proud to be directing alumnus Russell James Allen (Class of ’13) in the starring role of Gordon in this free and ZOOMed concert version of the show.

May 2021 WXXI presents Asian Pacific American Heritage Month PBS LearningMedia Collection

  1. Lily and Mimi Lee
  2. Rev. DongKi Kim & Miki Kim
  3. Mara Ahmed
  4. Linda Marshall
  5. Ra Family
  6. Olivia Kim
  7. Samila Islam
  8. Parvatha Chidambaram
  9. Jeannie CLinton
  10. Karina Vattana
  11. Dr. Theckadeth & Susan Mathew

April 28 - May 5, 2021 Memorial Art Gallery presents Celebration Series: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Community Guest Programmer Rujuta Dholakia: Celebrating the Asian Pacific American Heritage with five days of free virtual programming!

  • Day 1: Introduction to North Indian Rhythms by Renowned Music Composer/Producer Rushi Vakil
  • Day 2: Hamamatsu-Rochester Sister City Committee Japan Culture Showcase with Lisa Svengsouk, Jocelyn Svengsouk, and Jefferson Svengsouk
  • Day 3: Bharat School of Indian Dance and Music Performance Performers: Parvatha Chidambaram, Mira Ramesh, Malvika Satheesh, Radha Pandya, Radhika Amin, Sushmita Patil, Meeta Dahaka, and Mansi Chawla
  • Day 4: Performances by Wenzhuo Zhang, Yangqin-Chinese Hammered and Vidhya Bala and Raja Bala, Hindustani Vocal
  • Day 5: Live Performance – Asia Meets America Vocal-Piano Performance by Saveree Joshipura and Swarit Joshipura
Monday, April 19, 2021 at 6 PM Film showing of "Our Lost Years" by Lane Nishikawa via Zoom.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7 PM Q&A with Lane Nishikawa via Zoom. Register here.
  • Sponsored by SUNY-Geneseo's Asian American Studies & Programming and GENseng: Geneseo's Asian American Performance Ensemble. 
  • Sansei director, actor, producer, poet, and activist Lane Nishigawa is a long-time firend and supporter of the performing arts at Geneseo. He was the inspiration for the establishment of GENseng in 1999. 
  • The San Diego chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), describes Our Lost Years: The San Diego Chapter JACL, working with Producer/Director Lane Nishikawa, produced a professional feature length educational documentary film, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. 
  • Our Lost Years examines how lives were challenged, how livelihoods were lost, how families persevered and started over, and how the generations who have followed, continue to feel the effect of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Though all of our Issei (First generation) have passed on, we witness through their children and grandchildren, how their lives would forever change, and their futures would be unknown. We utilized historic and personal footage and photos to authentically visualize the amazing stories of the entire West Coast Japanese communities.
April 2, 2021 Rally against Anti-Asian Hate  
March 21, 2021: Asian Lives Matter Rally, Columbus Park, Chinatown, New York City
Levine Center to End Hate "Asian Matters" 3-Part Series
  • March 21, 2021 Asian in Rochester: Our introductory session examined the diversity of Asian and Asian American communities in Greater Rochester, and the impacts of racism and xenophobia historically and more recently with the COVID-19 pandemic. Pilapa Esara Carroll, Natasha Chen Christensen, Christina Lee
  • April 11, 2021 Asian in Perspectives:  Three Asian Americans from different sectors of Greater Rochester come together to talk about common misperceptions of Asian Americans and the negative effect they have on the Asian American community. Hannah PK, Smriti Jacob, Frank Keophetiasy. Samiha Islam
  • May 2, 2021 Asian in Action: Local Asian American change-makers round out the final session of our series. Their activism on behalf of refugees, the LGBTQ+ community, and others breaks down divisions that can become a source of hate. Joshua Wu, Jeremy Tjhung, Soe Win, Tiana Stephens
Rallies in Support of Democracy for Myanmar
January 27, 2021: Remembering Corky Lee: APAA Honorary Board Member Lost to Covid




Saturday, February 22, 2020, 2 PM and 7 PM: Kim's Convenience by Ins Choi, A staged reading by GENseng Generations, Geneseo's Asian American Playhouse Ensemble, directed by Randy Barbara Kaplan, starring Hara Kang (Class of '05), Nancy Kim (Class of '06), Chuk Obasi (Class of '05), Ben Berstein (Class of '21). Lauren Ngo (Class of '21), Lucille Park (Class of '21), Free Admission at The Robert E. Sinclair Black Box Theatre, SUNY Geneseo 

**RESCHEDULED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 5 PM, Free admission: Lane Nishikawa's OUR LOST YEARS, SUNY Geneseo, Newton Hall 202.  Japanese American filmmaker, director, and actor Lane Nishikawa presents his feature length documentary examining the internment of the Japanese Americans during World War II and the ten year fight for redress and reparations (100 minutes). He is currently touring the film throughout the United States. Don't miss this free showing and talk with the filmmaker.

**CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Monday, April 20, 2020, 7:00 PM: Asian Americans new PBS Documentary Series premiering in May for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that will chronicle the contributions and challenges of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in America. Personal histories and new academic research will cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Screening and Panel Discussion, Networking reception, The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester, NY
**CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Sunday, May 3, 2020, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Celebration Series: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Memorial Art Gallery 

**CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - Monday, June 22, 2020: APAA Link Gallery at City Hall Exhibit celebrating National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

**CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Friday, May 8, 2020, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Opening Reception APAA Link Gallery at City Hall Exibit 

**CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS**Tuesday, July 21, 2020:  Asia/Pacific Islander/American Story Telling Program & Craft, Learn about the Lunar New Year of the Rat, hear the story of the Chinese Zodiac, and discuss the cultural traditions of the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures with Mimi Lee of the Asia/Pacific Islander/American Association.  Storytelling, show and tell, songs, and simple craft included. Free program for school-aged children and their families.  Please call to reserve your spot, 624-6067. Limited to 25 children. 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM, Mendon Public Library Community Room, 22 North Main St., Honeoye Falls, NY 14472

November 2020 - May 2021: RMSC The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the WorldStories of women who changed the world right in our back yard. The physical exhibit runs through May 16, 2021. Come visit and learn about the following women who made an impact on the AAPI community in Greater Rochester:

  1. Advocating for Change:  Nancy Gong, Jeannie Hines-Clinton, Olivia Kim, Hkadin Lahtaw Lee, Afshan Quereshi, Ngo Hna Sangachho, Ruth Taiko Watanabe
  2. Enterprising Change: Mara Ahmed, Parvatha Chidambaram, Edline Chun, Louisa Ong-Lee, Marilyn Ajavananda, Mary Chao, Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Linda Sue Park
  3. Inventing Change: Randy Barbara Kaplan, Mridula Nair, Karina Vatanna
  4. Organizing for Change: Byoung Joo Baek, Samila Islam, Mimi W. Lee, Kaelyn Elizabeth Lee, Linda Marshall

Read their stories and the other nominated women on the virtual map.

Exhibit closed May16, 2021. Visit the virtual tour.




Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - Monday, June 17, 2019: APAA Link Gallery at City Hall Exhibit celebrating National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, highlighting the iconic "social justice" photo taken by photographer Corky Lee in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike, joining of the transcontinental railroads on May 10, 1869.

Saturday, May 11, 2019: Celebration Series: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Memorial Art Gallery. For complete listing of events, click here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019:  Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with APAA, 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM, Fairport Public Library Community Room, 1 Fairport Village Landing, Fairport, NY 14450

Children and their caregiver are invited to this fun, interactive storytime about Asian traditions and art!  Learn about the Year of the Pig, special holidays, the art of paper folding, make and decorate your own Chinese paper lantern, and savor a snack or two.  Presented by Mimi W. Lee and co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander American Association.  Geared for children ages 2-5 but all children are welcome. Space is limited.  Please register

Friday, May 17, 2019, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: APAA Link Gallery at City Hall Exibit Opening Reception

Co-sponsored by TruCare Connections, Inc. and Wegmans




Celebrating APAA's 15th Anniversary 2003-2018



APAA Invites you to Geva Theatre Center 
presents a staged reading of
A play by Prince Gomolvilas
On a clear day in Rochester, New York, in 1871, atop an observation tower that used to stand on Mount Hope Cemetery's highest point, thousands of locals witnessed a remarkable phenomenon which came to be known as "The Rochester Mirage." Several days later, a group of Rochesterians return to the scene of the strange occurrence. They include the cemetery groundskeeper who's been inspired to change his life and open his heart to the possibility of love; a new employee who seeks the courage to take on the enormous responsibility which has been placed upon his shoulders; and an outspoken woman who demands that the city's myriad secrets be brought to light. PANORAMA delves deep into a city's hidden history and uncovers the untold stories that helped shape this nation.
Monday, April 16, 2018, 7:00PM, Free Admission
Fielding Stage, Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14607   
Limited Seating
Prince Gomolvilas’s plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, the first of his three shows produced by East West Players, the nation’s longest-running theater of colorThe Theory of Everything, which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama and was published by Dramatic Publishing; and Mysterious Skinthe stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel. His work has been staged across the United States, as well as in Canada, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. He has received new-play commissions from Geva Theatre Center and South Coast Repertory, as well as from the education departments at the Alley Theatre and TheatreWorks. His work has been developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, The Lark Theatre Company, and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University. His TEDx talk, “Mind the Gap,” is available on YouTube.


APAA invites you to The Little Theatre’s 



A film by Mouly Surya 2017 (Malaysia)

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6:30 PM

The Little Theatre (Theatre #1) 

240 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604

MARLINA tells the story of a young widow of the Indonesian’s hills of the island of Sumba. Attacked and robbed by a gang, Marlina defends herself by killing several men. The next day, she goes on a journey for justice, empowerment and redemption. But the road is long especially when the ghost of her headless victim decides to haunt her.

Panel Discussion After Movie

Wahyu S. Dilts is the President of the Board of Transformasi and a senior advisor to the Board of FIELD Indonesia, she is also the co-founder and advisor of The Dilts Foundation. Her work with farmers, local officials, street kids, and the poor in providing training, education and leadership opportunities has won her several awards, including Inspiring National Women Indonesia magazine in 2009, and Inspiring National Cosmopolitan Women in 2008. She also wrote and directed opera drama musicals with street children in Indonesia.

Christina Lee is a board member of APAA, and serves on the Advisory Committee for Memorial Art Gallery's Celebration Series: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. She is a Unite Rochester Community Blogger for the Democrat and Chronicle, and is an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology and curriculum lead in Global Education and International Services at Monroe Community College.

Greta Niu, PhD. was a founding board member of APAA, a film and media scholar who has taught at the University of Rochester, and SUNY College at Brockport. Her research and classes encompass digital media, Chinese cinemas, Asian Pacific Islander American literature, film and gender issues. She is the Director of Grants at Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.  

Tickets:   General Admission - $9.00                  Member - $6.50

               Senior (62+) - $6.00                             Member Senior - $4.00

               Student (With ID) - $6.00                     Member Student - $5.00

               Military - $6.00

At the Box Office, mention you are an APAA Member for $1.00 off your ticket.


Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Asian Lunar New Year of the Earth Dog! Join in the celebrations as Asian communities around the world, and Rochester, partakes in this most meaningful holiday arriving on Friday, February 16, 2018.

You are invited to APAA's Annual Asian Lunar New Year Fundraising Luncheon RESCHEDULED for Friday, March 16, 2018, 11:30-1:30 p.m. (due to the Nor'easter on March 2) at the GRAND SUPER BUFFET, 1100 Jeferson Road, Henrietta, NY 14623 (Corner of East Henrietta Road). 

Featuring Full Asian Buffet, Sushi Bar & BBQ Grill. Join us in celebrating the 15th day of the Lunar New Year - the Lantern Festival with great food, fun, networking and raffle prizes donated from our community. All proceeds benefit APAA programs for the Greater Rochester community. See below for a listing of our generous donors!

Reserve your seat today!

$18/person prepaid by Wednesday, 3/14; price increases to $25 after 3/14 and at the door (cash only). Includes tax, tip, a hot or cold drink, and one regular raffle ticket. Come enjoy special Lunar New Year dishes, meet new friends and greet old friends. Open seating. PRE-REGISTRSTION EXTENDED THROUGH THURSDAY, MARCH 15TH!

Checks should be postmarked by Saturday, 3/10 payable to APA-HIP, APAA/New Year Lunch, P.O. Box 10503, Rochester, NY 14610; please include attendee names, email address and phone number (for confirmation).

To pay by credit card or PayPal, please fill in the attendee names and click on the button. 

List Attendee Names

Hosted by volunteers; this is an outreach to share, promote and celebrate the Asian Lunar New Year, a timeless tradition of a rich heritage and culture celebrated by the Asian communities in the U.S. and overseas for centuries. All proceeds fund APAA programs to benefit the Greater Rochester Area community.

Special thanks to our generous donors for their raffle prizes and donations:

  1. Mara Ahmed
  2. Boyland Code
  3. Century Liquor & Wine
  4. Svetlana Dauria-Tkac
  5. Kidney Foundation
  6. Betty Lee
  7. Christina Lee
  8. Mimi W. Lee
  9. Lee's Oriental Foods
  10. Lifespan
  11. The Little Theatre
  12. Donald Lo
  13. Shirley Lynn
  14. MansaWear Boutique
  15. Mostly Clay
  16. Planned Parenthood
  17. Rochester Optical
  18. Travel Ease
  19. Longze Zhang

Asian Lunar New Year Luncheon Planning Committee:


Did you miss our tenth anniversary exhibit in 2013-2014?

"See Us Now...Greater Rochester's Asian American Community" premiered December 10, 2013 through Monday, January 27, 2014, Mon-Fri., 9 am - 5 pm., Rochester City Hall Link Gallery, 30 Church Street. Don't miss looking back at the APA community over the past ten years!

Available for a limited time, you can go online for the APAA OnCell Tour.

Read about it: