Chicagoland celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Indian classical music concert hosted by the South Asia Institute on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Photo courtesy South Asia Institute

Indian Americans in Chicagoland will have many options to choose from to celebrate the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month which falls in May. Many art and culture events will feature through the month from a poetry recital or a dance performance to an exhibition or a book discussion.

Following are some of the upcoming cultural events to be held during May 2023.

Sunday, May 7, 2023. 3:00 pm.

Passages of Dance and Music: Asian Choreographers’ Showcase.

The Mandala South Asian Performing Arts will hold a music and dance performance at the Visceral Dance Center at 3121 N. Rockwell Street, Chicago. In a mix of traditional and contemporary style, the program will feature dances from various countries choreographed by Shalaka Kulkarni and Yoshinojo Fujima. Other artists performing solo or collectively at the program are Ikunojo Fujima, Krissy Bergmark and Sreevidhya and Varsha Vijayan. The program aims to present the imagination and resilience of Asian American artists.

Friday, May 12, 2023. 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Asian Night Market

This market just outside of Chicago at Oakton College on 1600 Gold Road in Des Plaines, features many Asian American small businesses, and will make a delightful experience.

Saturday, May 13, 2023. 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Music and Poetry of South Asia

The Kalapriya Festival of Indian Performing Arts is a year-long program, with different events on different dates. Each event is organized to showcase different aspects of Indian performing arts. To be held at The Kehrein Center For The Arts at 5628 W Washington Blvd in  Chicago, the May 13 event will feature Carnatic vocal and instrumental music, South Asian poetry and sampling of Indian cuisine.

Specially curated for Chicago audiences, the evening’s program will feature local, national and international artists with a variety of instruments, performing music in different languages. Admission to the event is free with Indian food available for purchase.

Kalapriya, a non-profit organization with its studio, public and private performances, works with schools and the underserved in the city. Their programs include cultural Sundays featuring webinars and virtual events in partnership with the South Asia Institute. In its ‘Journey Through South Asia’ curriculum, students are introduced to everyday life in the region whose music and dance they are to study. It looks forward to holding in-person events soon at its location on Michigan Avenue.

Saturday, May 20, 2023. 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Taking Root.

The South Asian Institute will also organize an afternoon program ‘Taking Root’ moderated by Faisal Mohyuddin, featuring an exhibition, poetry, music, book signing and more. Mohinder Singh will provide the music for the afternoon with poetry recitation by George Abraham, Czaerra Galicinao Ucol, Samina Hadi-Tabassum, and Saba Keramati.

Sunday, May 21, 2023. 3:00 PM
Classical Music Concert

Tejendra Majumdar & Tanmoy Bose will perform a ‘jugalbandi’ on Tabla and Sarod at the musical concert organized by the South Asia Institute at 1925 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Both Bose and Majumdar are renowned artists who have performed with Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Saturday, May 27, 2023. 3:00 pm.

Suitcase Stories.

The South Asian Institute will organize ‘Suitcase Stories’, story of an immigrant’s journey of losing one home and finding two.

Also, an ongoing event which began Jan. 21 and carries on through June 10 —    Testimonies on Paper: Art and Poetry of South Asian Women.

The South Asia Institute will host ‘Testimonies on Paper’ performance for public viewing. Curated by Andrea Moratinos, the exhibit is advised by poet Dipika Mukherjee. ‘Testimonies on Paper’ is an array of works on paper by South Asian women artists and poets to create a space for alternative narratives of femininity. The works in the exhibition incorporate various motifs such as spirituality, gender, displacement, and longing that reflect the artists’ desire to make sense of their lives in the world around them. Featuring artists include Zarina, Ayesha Sultana, Laila Rahman, Shahzia Sikander, Bani Abidi, Nasreen Mohamedi, Naiza Khan, Salima Hashmi, Meher Afroz and Rana Begum. Poets Mary Anne Mohanraj, Nina Sudhakar, Bhaswati Ghosh, Kashiana Singh, Dipika Mukherjee, Ami Kaye and Shikha Malaviya will be part of the program.



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