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Cerritos City News Service
In commemoration of the important history of Asian and Pacific Americans, Cerritos Library will present the exhibition “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” from Sunday, January 3 through Sunday, February 28, 2016. The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and is part of a national tour. The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Cerritos Library is a Smithsonian Affiliate.
In this first exhibition of its kind, the Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of diverse cultures and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of the nation’s history. The exhibition will be complemented by the display of historical and cultural objects loaned by the City of Riverside from the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. Information about craft workshops, cultural performances and author presentations to be offered in conjunction with the exhibition is included in the enclosed January edition of the “Cerritos Library News.”
“I Want the Wide American Earth” tells the rich and complex stories of the very first Asian immigrants, including their participation in key moments in American history: Asian immigrants panned in the Gold Rush, hammered ties in the Transcontinental Railroad, fought on both sides in the Civil War and helped build the nation’s agricultural system.
The banner exhibition is complemented by an e-book, which is a 14-page illustrated adaption of the exhibition. Produced in collaboration with SI Universe Media, creators of the first-ever
Asian Pacific American comics anthology, the e-book tells the Asian Pacific American story in graphic narrative, featuring work by seven Asian Pacific American comic artists. The e-book is free to download and is viewable on all tablet devices and e-readers. The Cerritos Library’s website, cerritoslibrary.us, includes a link to the e-book download page.
The exhibition also features a free mobile tour app (available on the App Store under “Wide Earth”), which includes interviews with prominent Asian and Pacific Americans. A set of educational posters based on the exhibition is available for download on the SITES website, which can be reached through a link on the Cerritos Library’s website.
Curated by Lawrence-Ming Bùi Davis, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Initiative coordinator, “I Want the Wide American Earth” is a moving, dramatic and evocative narrative of Asian Pacific American history and culture.
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center produces programs and exhibitions about the Asian Pacific American experience and works in partnership with organizations across the Smithsonian and beyond to enrich collections and activities about the Asian Pacific American experience.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.
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