Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at CPL

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage with Chicago Public Library this May by exploring this year’s theme of Rise Up! Throughout the month, attend our many events, visit a branch exhibit featuring AAPIC creators, join a book discussion and check out our reading recommendations. We also encourage you to continue your own journey of rebirth and renewal beyond the month of May.


Explore all Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month events, including cultural events, film screenings, book discussions and family events.

Opening Keynote Event

Join our keynote event, The Great Filipino Songbook of SamaSama Project, at the Harold Washington Library Center in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium or watch live on YouTube on Saturday, May 6 at 2 p.m.

Join us for The Great Filipino Songbook performance by Chicago Filipino Folk Fusion band, SamaSama Project, in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

SamaSama Project was launched as Chicago's premiere Filipino Folk Fusion band in 2008. “SamaSama” translated as “united, together” truly lives up to their name creating a blend of Filipino folk, rock, ska, and Latin music, inspired by a 1970s musical movement called Manila Sound.

More event highlights:

Music of Cambodia
11 a.m. Saturday, May 6 at Budlong Woods Branch
11 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at Rogers Park Branch

Maneki-Neko Collage (AKA Lucky Cat Craft) With Annie Chu
11 a.m. Saturday, May 6 at Uptown Branch
Suitable for anyone who can use scissors comfortably.

Manga Art Tutorial
4 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at Harold Washington Library Center, YOUmedia, Ground Floor
For high school-aged teens.

Film Screening: The Mind of a Chef with Edward Lee
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16 at South Shore Branch

Immigration Stories from Around the World
1 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at Lozano Branch

Weird Book Club: The Memory Police
7 p.m. Monday, May 22 at Map Room
Books are available to checkout at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch circulation desk, while supplies last.

Celebrating AAPIH Month: American Born Chinese Book Discussion
4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at Lincoln Belmont Branch

Learn About Hanul Family Alliance and Korean American Archive Project
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 30 at Albany Park Branch

View all Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month events.


Visit one of our exhibits across the city featuring AAPI creators during the month of May:

Andy Li
Avalon Branch

Andy Li is an artist and educator based in Chicago, IL. Andy's work has been exhibited at ACRE Projects, the Granoff Center, and Hyde Park Art Center, among others. Collaborative projects have appeared at places like AS220, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Singapore Art Book Fair. Andy works at Marwen, developing exhibitions and programs for emerging artists. He is exhibiting two of his paintings at the library: "Loving with liquid swords", 2022, acrylic and oil on panel, 9 x 12 in and "Laughing and crying at my debut", 2022, acrylic and oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.

Ivan Lo
Beverly Branch

Ivan Lo is a Chicago-based humanitarian photographer and physically disabled cancer survivor who has photographed for international NGOs since 2005. He specializes in documenting humanitarian projects as well as the daily life of the communities they serve and is actively seeking to continue using his photography for worthy causes in the developing world and beyond.

Linda Hyong and Song Ho
Budlong Woods Branch

Linda Hyong’s family immigrated from South Korea after her first brother finished his master in economics at Illinois State University. At the Undergraduate school at U of I, she had a variety of abstract Koi as visual languages using large size canvas and linen to invent a series of construction shapes to inscribe literary passages, showed at the Temple Hoyne Buell Hall Architect. Linda enjoys working on interdisciplinary arts collaborated in music lyrics. Recently, she reinterpreted expressing modern impressionism into our daily lives by using bamboo basket.

Based on Korea’s diverse traditional art culture, Song Ho is working on painting to express the inner beauty of Korean women, especially for the re-popularization of the Hanbok dress. They are also a co-Founder, member of the Chicago Korean Artists Association and Advisor to the Korean Painting Association.

Jenny Lam
Harold Washington Library Center/Popular Library

Jenny Lam is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist, independent curator, and writer. She is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong, and she graduated from Columbia University in New York City. Her exhibit at Harold Washington Library Center is a photographic love letter to Chicago, featuring photographs she has taken around our wonderful city throughout the past decade. All her photographs are shot using her phone, she strives to demonstrate that it’s not the tool—it’s the artist. Join an artist talk with Lam on May 15.

Veggiesomething, Michael Thompson and Mark Yee
Sulzer Regional Library

Veggiesomething, aka Sonic Visual Graphics, has been creating soulful characters since 2002. The artist and his artwork have been featured around the world via numerous art shows, exhibitions, publications, and other media outlets. His artwork is often modular and concise while reflecting human nature through the art of character design.

Michael Thompson constructs kites by creating a split-bamboo frame, stretching canvas over it and proceeding to collage and paint his design on the surface. His kites have been displayed in a variety of settings including a casino in Macau, aboard a yacht, in museums, department stores and films.

Richard Gessert
West Belmont Branch

Richard Gessert is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Richard is exhibiting Bleeding Heart Flowers, which considers the memory of the Vietnam War and its affective registers, and Hoa Nam (November 2013), a photo of a multilingual sign from a now-defunct grocery store in the Asia on Argyle district of Uptown, Chicago.

Coloring Page

Print our Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month coloring sheet or visit your favorite CPL location for a coloring sheet while supplies last.

Recommended Reading

Empowering Reads for Asian American & Pacific Islander Month for Kids
Empowering Reads for Asian American & Pacific Islander Month for Teens
Empowering Reads for Asian American & Pacific Islander Month for Adults
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage: Recent Highlights for Adults