Asian Pacific American Festival Brings World-Class Entertainment Professionals Up Close and Personal to San Gabriel Community

L-R: Nathan Wang, Jonathan Salisbury, Vivian Chan, Denise Menchaca, Bobby Hundley Credit: Joseph FarrellL-R: (Back Row) Nathan Wang, Kin Hu, Jonathan Salisbury, Bobby Hundley L-R: (front row) Anna Cross, Vivian Chan , Denise Menchaca., Chloe, Linda Cheung. Credit: Joseph FarrellL-R: Jonathan Salisbury, Linda Cheung, Chloe, Nathan Wang, Vivian Chan. Credit: City of San GabrielL-R: (Back Row) Nathan Wang, Kin Hu, Jonathan Salisbury, Bobby Hundley L-R: (front row) Anna Cross, Vivian Chan , Denise Menchaca. Credit: City of San Gabriel

6:07 pm | April 30, 2018


Executive Producer Vivian Chan joins forces with Pasadena-based United Charity Foundation and the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse this May to celebrate the contribution of Asian Pacific Americans to the rich cultural mix of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond in this three week series that invites audiences to participate in everything from practical hands-on workshops to events featuring contributions from some of Hollywood’s finest talents.

From May 7 -26, the historic Mission Playhouse throws opens its doors to offer workshops in Tai-Chi and WuShu martial arts from Master Li Jing, one of Hollywood’s top fight and stunt experts (Pacific Rim, Transformers, Entourage), Cantonese Opera from local aficionados Perfect Harmony Cultural Exchange Association and the unique education program “Hands On Culture-Be A Scholar For A Day” originating from the Huntington Library Chinese Garden and Chinese Floral Arts FoundationUSA Charter.

The first weekend (May 11-13) APAFEST Family Fair offers an exhibition of stunning floral arrangements by Chinese Floral Arts Foundation-USA Charter along with a delegation from Chinese Floral Arts Foundation of Taiwan. From 1pm- 2pm, free music and dance performances on the outdoor stage will be presented by the Elite Performance Group USA. During this time, festival-goers will be able to create their very own Mother’s Day bouquets under the supervision of the Chinese Floral Arts Foundation. From 3:30pm audiences will be treated to a specially commissioned concert curated by highly prolific two-time Emmy winning composer Nathan Wang, Principal Partner of Singpoli Entertainment (LA Opera, Spielberg, Disney, Dreamworks).

On May 17, there’s a special screening of King Hu’s seminal martial arts classic film Dragon Inn. Made in 1967, the film is widely regarded as one of the all-time most influential martial arts movies. Prior to the screening, there’ll be introduction from King Hu Foundation’s George Wang and screening of Wang’s short documentary about King Hu, the first Asian director to be inducted into the prestigious Director’s Guild of America.

May 20 includes a special workshop Joyful Living, Happy Life. Conducted in Mandarin, the workshop encourages newer immigrants to get involved with the community to lead richer, more fulfilling lives. Later the same day, the Festival presents a panel discussion led by University of Hawaii’s George Wang. AFI Conservatory graduate and Senior Fulbright scholar and filmmaker Wang will be joined by fight choreographer Li Jing and other Hollywood professionals. The discussion will focus on the successes of the Asian community in Hollywood and the challenges that remain. The evening of the 20th offers a free screening of the 2005 comedy American Fusion directed by Frank Lin, starring Sylvia Chang and Esai Morales.

Festival organizers are collecting immigration stories from community members on video, on tape and in writing, which they’re sharing via social media and at the Playhouse. The closing event on May 26th features a selection of these stories developed into short pieces for the stage by actors and directors including John Miyasaki, Artistic Director of hereandnow theater company, whose work as an actor  includes East West Players, LATC and South Coast Rep; San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre Artistic Director Ray Rochelle; and Marilyn Tokuda, East West Players first Arts Education Director where she held the post for 14 years. Tokuda has also performed in many East West Players stage shows as well as having numerous TV and film appearances including Grey’s Anatomy, Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld, Magnum P.I. and JAG. The story section of this performance is produced by the San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre. The evening begins with special recognition of the work of March Fong Eu, the first Asian American woman ever elected to a state constitutional office in the United States– when the Festival will present their inaugural Pioneer Award to Linda Sun, God-daughter to the former California Secretary of State who held the office from 1975-1994.

APA-FEST promises a lively, varied and positive experience for the Asian Pacific American population and others keen to engage in some fun and enlightening cultural experiences. All events are free and take place in and around the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776.

Further details, schedules and sign-ups can be accessed at: www.apafest.org or apafest@gmail.com