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2022 May Newsletter to AACIG Members

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Dear Asian Art and Culture Interest Group Members,

On behalf of the Asian Art and Culture Interest Group (AACIG), I sincerely thank you for your membership support. Since 2017, AACIG has been a voice for advocating inclusive and diverse art teaching and research. In this newsletter, you will find some information about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, suggestions for expanding Asian Art and Culture curriculum, information on NAEA 2023 proposals via AACIG, and the AACIG website at

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May bears historical connections to the first Japanese immigrant to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. In 1992, the United States Congress anomalously designated the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to recognize AAPI achievements and contributions.

Year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of such celebration, a milestone that brings forth both triumphs and challenges. According to the United State Census Bureau (April 19, 2021), the AAPI population has quickly exceeded 29.2 million — making it the fastest growing race between 2000-2019. However, topics related to Asian and Pacific Islander remain mostly hidden or excluded throughout the K-12 curriculum. Thus, I would like to encourage everyone to view this challenge as an opportunity to expand your art curriculum and ask others to do the same. Art facilitates, bridges, and transcends barriers, inviting us to critically investigate context, process, techniques, and cultural significances.

Expanding the Asian Art and Culture Curriculum

There are many ways to begin this journey. I would like to offer how I use findings from research data to facilitate my teaching and research about Asian art and culture. I will use Pew Research Center’s report, Key facts about Asian Origin Groups in the U.S., as an example to provide some suggestions for you to consider:

  1. Understand who are Asian-Americans. According to The Pew Research Center’s 2019 report, 85% of the Asian Americans originated from the following ethnic groups: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. In addition, 15 other origin groups are on the rise. They are Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambodian, Hmong, Indonesian, Laotian, Okinawan, Pakistani, Malaysian, Mongolian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, and Thai. This list can serve as a checklist for us to research, study, and expand art lessons.

  2. Know your students and expand your art curriculum for student engagement. It is also worth noting the demographics of the Asian American population by state. For example, Chinese Americans are the dominant Asian American group on the West Coast and Indian Americans are most prevalent on the East Coast. Such information can help us as art educators introduce artworks and culturally relevant teaching content to connect with our students. By doing so, we not only foster a sense of belonging but also positively impact social emotional learning. In addition to teaching about dominant ethnic groups, we can consider what else could we highlight and incorporate into our curriculum to expand students’ idea and understanding about Asia and Asian arts and culture.

  3. Team up with school and local librarians to find relevant resources and reading materials. For example, when introducing a self-portrait project, learning about Joanna Ho’s Eyes that Kiss in the Corners (Ho, 2021) can empower Asian American students’ self-identity. (Click here to meet Ho). When teaching a food-related art project, Linda Sue Park’s (2008) Bee-Bim Bop! (Click here for a read-aloud by the Met) and Meenal Patel’s (2019) Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala will encourage Asian American students to proudly feature their home dishes in their artworks. (Click here for an interview with Meenal Patel by The Children’s Book Podcast).

Information on Submitting A NAEA 2023 proposal via AACIG

The 2023 NAEA National Convention Call for Presentations is now open! Submission deadline is on June 1, 2022. AACIG encourages members who wish to share their Asian art and culture teaching and learning experiences to submit a proposal. Please be sure to select Asian Art and Culture Interest Group under “Track” in your proposal. For more detail, please download NAEA Convention Submission Orientation guideline.

AACIG Website Update

Have you visited AACIG website yet? AACIG website contains published Newsletter Columns and Best Practices curriculum resources. Our latest column, Practicing Asian American and Pacific Islander art and culture, is written by Dr. Kyungeun Lim, Assistant Professor of Art Education at Northern Arizona University.

Recent NAEA Publications with Asian Art and Culture Interest Topics

  • Shin, R. & Yang, X. (2021). A Daoist pedagogy encountering new materialism in art education, Studies in Art Education, 62:3, 236-249, DOI: 10.1080/00393541.2021.1936802

  • Bae, J. (2022). Anti-Asian racism in the time of COVID-19: The work of Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom, Studies in Art Education, 63:1, 69-76, DOI: 10.1080/00393541.2021.2007727

  • Cooper, Y., Hsieh, K., & Lu, L. (2022). Voice for the Voiceless: Responding to the racial pandemic through art, Art Education, 75:3, 18-23, DOI: 10.1080/00043125.2022.2027726

Finally, we love to hear from you and greatly appreciate your continued support of AACIG!


Dr. Yichien Cooper,

Chair, Asian Art and Culture Interest Group, National Art Education Association.

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