Notes from Nina: Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Hi TADA! Friends and Family,

May is AAPI Heritage Month in the U.S. Do you know that May was chosen because of two important dates to the Asian Pacific community; the immigration of 14-year-old boy Manjiro Nakahama — the first Japanese migrant to the U.S. (May 7, 1843) — as well as to remember the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869), wherein approximately 20,000 railroad workers were Chinese immigrants. It is a time where we honor the contributions and achievements Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to this country as well as honor and support the members of our AAPI community who enrich our lives every day. A large part of the TADA! Family/Community are AAPI — Ensemble Members and their families; Alum and their families; Board Members; Donors; Staff including Teaching Artists; Arts Ed Students; School administrators, teachers and students; Audience members; and my favorite local restaurant owners and workers.  

While it’s a time to celebrate, it is also a time to be aware of the increase in anti-Asian crime. A study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that reported hate crimes against Asians in 16 of the largest US cities and counties has risen by 164% since this time last year. Let’s not hate a group of people because of how they look or where they come from. This needs to stop. Let’s celebrate AAPI Heritage Month and get to know more about Asian and Pacific Islanders. You can do this by reading books, watching documentaries, attending festivals, talks, forums, listening to K-Pop (Korean pop) and watching K-dramas,  C-dramas (Chinese), Japanese reality shows and anime, and other Asian dramas and movies which are easy to find on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

It’s fun to explore other cultures other than your own. It’s also great to learn more about your own culture and family.

I finally got to travel to go see my Dad in Florida this past weekend. It had been almost a year and a half since I last saw him. He’s turning 91 next week and he’s doing great. I had to almost run to keep up with him when he got behind his walker and started moving, especially on his way to play poker! We had a very nice time together. I didn’t get to meet his new friend, Sarah. Something to look forward to on my next visit.


Janine Nina Trevens
Executive & Producing Artistic Director