The Asia-Pacific Cultural Center obtains funding from the Maison
The House Appropriations Committee advanced new funding that was championed by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) to help expand the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center (APCC). APCC’s expansion is to ensure they can meet the growing demand for their programs, including cultural, business, community outreach and youth programs aimed at the Asian Pacific Islander community and local population. wider South Sound.
“For more than 20 years, the APCC has done tremendous work to provide our region with an opportunity to celebrate the art, culture, education and vibrant diversity of our community,” Rep. Kilmer said. “APCC’s expansion is a testament to the important and growing role this cultural institution plays in the Pacific Northwest. And that’s why expanding their services is so essential. I’m thrilled that the funding advanced by the House Appropriations Committee will help their expansion become a reality.I will continue to work to get it signed into law.
“That’s great news! Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, Congressman Kilmer, you always help our community with all your heart. That’s why we respect and honor you so much.” said Faaluaina Pritchard, executive director of the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center. “This award will advance our fundraising efforts to be 69% confirmed – and help build our first-ever AANHPI home in Washington State – to be a cultural destination representing the great peoples of Asia and the islands of the South Pacific.”
The Asia-Pacific Cultural Center is the only such facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest – providing cultural and youth programs not only to the Asia-Pacific Islander (API) community, but to the entire population of South Sound and beyond. Through a physical expansion of its home in South Park, the APCC aims to grow its current offerings through language and exchange programs, visual and performing art exhibits, business services for local community, residential and commercial leases, adult education and youth education. and career guidance services. The expansion will add necessary amenities to the APCC, including a demonstration kitchen, cultural classrooms, an Asian Pacific Island library, office and conference rooms and a large exhibit hall.
Economic development is also an essential part of the work of the APCC. Their facility is located in South Pierce County, where a significant portion of small businesses are owned by API. The APCC helps businesses overcome barriers, create jobs and remain vital members of the local economy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, APCC worked with Pierce County officials to reach API residents about health issues, such as COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, during the pandemic, the APCC is said to have increased its services to provide space for drive-through virus testing and vaccination – where more than 2,500 people have been vaccinated. They have also redirected many of their volunteers to conduct outreach, provide essential community support, and distribute food and grocery gift cards twice a week to those in need.
Kilmer led efforts to secure funding for the project through the House Appropriations Committee’s community project funding process.. The project is supported by Tacoma Public Schools.
The new APCC building and campus will be a historic event for Tacoma and the South Tacoma Way area where the APCC is located. The expanded facility has the capacity to reach and attract over 300,000 annual visitors and attendees from across the state, country and possibly the world. In coordination with Metro Parks, the new home of the APCC will be a cultural destination for people to gather, learn and experience Asian and Pacific Islander culture and heritage.
In this new home, the APCC will have an art gallery, performing arts center, visitor center, hall of nations, community gift shop, a culinary demonstration kitchen, an Asia-Pacific garden, an Asia-Pacific library, a community courtyard and several rooms for meetings and conferences.
APCC has been providing programs and services since 1996. When Metro Parks opened the STAR Center in 2012, APCC entered into a lease with Metro Parks to operate the former South Park Community Center as their organization’s headquarters. Over the past decade, the APCC has offered access to a range of courses, activities and events rooted in the cultures of 47 countries. These unique offerings provide rich and authentic cultural experiences for all who participate in center activities and help keep the traditions and heritage of our community members alive.
Through this partnership, the APCC invites the entire community to join in immersive learning opportunities and community-building events and celebrations. By sharing traditional performing, visual and culinary arts, the APCC helps to increase understanding and appreciation of the vibrant diversity of all who call Tacoma home.
While the former community center has expanded multicultural opportunities over the past decade, the outdated design limits the types of programs and number of people that can be served by the cultural center‘s programming. After years of planning and outreach, the cultural center is approaching its goal of replacing the existing building with an updated structure designed to meet new programming needs.
Learn more and make your donation at bit.ly/apcconeheartonehome.