Carnegie Mellon University


Celebrating AAPI Heritage

written by
Harrison Apple

Co-organized by CMU staff and students (including Anny Chen, Lena Chen and Caroline Yoo), JADED is a public programming series celebrating the art and culture of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Organized by a collective of AAPI artists and organizers, the programming series builds interethnic coalitions to create safer spaces of kinship and address racial trauma while celebrating cultural heritage.

With support from the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry’s Director’s Fund, JADED programming and intimate events reanimated local histories, preserved cherished family recipes and practices and nurtured intergenerational dialogue.

Person making food, wearing an apron.
Two women, both with umbrellas, in an urban setting.
Hands as they bind a book.
Person making food, wearing food safety gloves.

Over the course of four months and seven events, JADED covered workshops (book binding, onigiri picnic and kimjang making), walking tours (Pittsburgh’s historic Chinatown, Chinese cemetery and Squirrel Hill) and live performance event with Jason Chu, Alan Z and MC Tingbudong.

This immense undertaking was made possible by the desire of its organizers and willingness of its participants to push the boundaries of Pittsburgh’s arts, culture and history profile, while collaborating with one another to celebrate AAPI presence in the city. Their impact is still being felt across the region and was recognized by the Pittsburgh City Paper, which in December named them People of the Year in Visual Arts for 2022.