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Eight ways to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month around Boston

From left: Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan in "Everything Everywhere All at Once." The film will screen on three Saturdays this month at the Museum of Science’s IMAX theater.Allyson Riggs/Associated Press

Greater Boston is home to a diverse Asian American Pacific Islander community, whose heritages contribute to the area’s rich cultural tapestry. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and local organizations and cultural leaders are coming together to celebrate the various traditions of Boston’s AAPI residents. Here are eight events to check out.

GBH AAPI Programming GBH and GBH World will present a number of AAPI stories through television programming throughout the month. Catch American Masters documentaries about artistic pioneers Amy Tan and Nam June Paik, and explorations of significant moments in Asian American history ranging from anti-Asian hate during the pandemic (”Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March”) to a 1900 bubonic plague outbreak (”Plague at the Golden Gate”). GBH also hosts a community event called “The Invisible Becoming Visible” on May 22 with two panels that feature local AAPI government officials, artists, and business people. There are options to register in-person or virtually. TV schedule: May 2-29. “The Invisible Becoming Visible”: May 22, 6-8:30 p.m. Free. GBH Studios, 1 Guest St.


15th Annual Unity Dinner The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission honors the work of AAPI artists, community leaders, and activists in the Bay State for the 15th year. Seven individuals will receive the Unsung Hero award, which recognizes underappreciated achievements. The dinner will also include dance performances and two exhibits. May 6, 5:30-9:30 p.m. $100-1,000. Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, 210 Morrissey Blvd.

Asian Street Food and Music Festival Head over to Harvard Square for a showcase of Asian culture and heritage hosted by the nonprofit Harvard Square Philippine American Alliance. The event is part of a larger spring festival, the Harvard Square Business Association’s 38th annual Mayfair. Watch musical performances, browse crafts vendors, and enjoy a range of food and drinks — all in celebration of the vibrancy of Asian culture. May 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Church Street Parking Lot, 41 Church St., Cambridge.


Composer Emily Koh (left) and director Mo Zhou (right). The opera "HER | alive.un.dead" premieres at Pao Arts Center May 12.Simon Goodacre, Afra Lu

World Premiere Opera at Pao Arts Center Watch the world premiere of “HER | alive.un.dead,” an opera by Singaporean composer Emily Koh about the identity conflicts and familial relationships of Chinese-American women in Western cultures. Co-produced with Guerilla Opera, Pao Arts Center in Chinatown will stage the multilingual, non-linear show for one weekend. May 12-14, 8-9 p.m. $15-55. Pao Arts Center, 99 Albany St.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” in IMAX Loved this year’s best picture winner and want to see it again? Rediscover “Everything Everywhere All at Once” at the Museum of Science’s IMAX screenings. The museum presents the film with the Boston Asian American Film Festival as an anniversary celebration to honor 15 years of the festival. Take your pick of the three Saturday screenings and enjoy Emerson College alums Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s story of a Chinese American woman (Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh) and her encounter with the multiverse. May 13-27, 7 p.m. $15. Mugar Omni Theater, 1 Science Park.

AAPI Women in Government Discussion Three AAPI women working in local government will be in conversation about their career paths, personal achievements and obstacles, and recommendations for others who want to run for office. The speakers are Erika Uyterhoeven, state representative for the 27th Middlesex District in Somerville; Yasmin Padamsee Forbes, executive director of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and Nina Liang, Quincy city councilor-at-large. The event is hosted by the Boston chapter of Women in National Association of Asian American Professionals and civic education initiative Mabel’s Ride. May 18, 6:30 p.m. Free. Workbar Boston, 24 School St., second floor.


The Boston Road Runners AAPI 5K in 2022. The race this year is May 20.Michael Mach

Boston Road Runners AAPI 5K Participate in this 5K race at Carson Beach to fundraise for local Asian American nonprofits such as the Asian Community Development Corporation, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. Hosted by Boston Road Runners, there is a virtual option for runners who can’t make it in-person. Not interested in running but still want to be involved? Sign up to volunteer behind the scenes or at the race itself. The registration deadline is May 5, after which the sign-up fee increases. May 20, 8-10:30 a.m. $30-35. Carson Beach.

Opera Night at the Boston Public Library Boston Lyric Opera partners with the Boston Public Library to host reflections on the representation of Asian artists and stories in opera through performances and a discussion led by the opera’s artistic adviser, Nina Yoshida Nelsen. The event carries on The Butterfly Process, the opera’s initiative to create open dialogue about “Madama Butterfly” and its racial stereotypes. The performances will include selections from “Madama Butterfly,” which will open BLO’s 2023-24 season, as well as contemporary opera pieces. May 25, 6-7 p.m., Free. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St.


Abigail Lee can be reached at