GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public Library will host free programs throughout May in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, who wrote graphic novels like “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search” and “American Born Chinese,” will give a talk at 2 p.m. on May 14 at the main library. Registration is required at the library’s website. After the talk, Yang will sign books at Eastown bookstore Books & Mortar.
On May 16, Jennifer Tompkins, community history and education director of the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation, will tell the stories of Japanese-American World War II soldiers who came from West Michigan. The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be refreshments.
Furteelay Dance, a dance school in Novi, will give an hour-long Bhangra performance at 11 a.m. on May 20. Bhangra is a type of folk dance that comes from Punjab, India. The event is intended for all ages.
Throughout the month, the library will offer free AAPI Heritage Month craft kits. Kids will be able to create their own rangoli artwork, a type of Indian art that makes patterns with colored powder. They can also learn about Isabella Abbott, who studied seaweed and become the first native Hawaiian woman to earn a doctorate in science, and create seaweed seascapes with paper.
The main library is located at 111 Library St. NE near Fountain Street. More information can be found on the GRPL’s website.