Los Angeles kicked off Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month on Saturday, May 6 with IDENTITY LA, a concert and celebration on the steps of City Hall. Hosted by Councilmember David Ryu and the International Secret Agents, the free public concert drew over 5,000 attendees and highlighted APA history and the population’s contributions to the various facets of the city.
Korean RnB artist, DEAN headlined the festival alongside his futuristic underground crew, Club Eskimo. Folk Pop group, Us the Duo, and special guest, producer/electronic music artist Giraffage also entertained the crowd. The rest of the evening featured a mix of hip-hop, R&B, and pop artists of Korean, Filipino, Taiwanese, Japanese, South Asian, and Pacific Islander heritage. These performances from fan-favorites, Starro (soulection), Year of the Ox, Kronika (soulection), Doctors&Engineers, Tenelle, Saay, and Dj Zo celebrate APA’s dynamic culture in the heart of Los Angeles.
The festival also honored several individuals and groups “that make up the vibrant cultural identity of the Los Angeles region, arts, activism, leadership, youth [and] digital,” Ryu’s office said. The awardees this year were:
Awareness Through Arts & Entertainment Award: The Cast and Crew of the film “GOOK”
Presented to a Group or Individual for Artistic Achievements that have Contributed to Positive Social + Community Change for the Asian Pacific American Community.
• Digital Pioneer Award: Jenn Im
Presented to a Group or Individual for their Pioneering Contributions in Positively Elevating the Asian Pacific American Community through Digital Media.
• Activism Award: Taz Ahmed & Zahra Noorbakhsh of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim
Presented to a Group or individual for their Contributions in Empowering the Asian Pacific American Community through Activism + Education.
• Community Growth Award: EPIC: Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Presented to a Non-Profit Organization for their work at Empowering the Asian Pacific American Community through Activism + Education.
• LA Youth Award: Alex Siv
Presented to an LA Based Youth (18 or younger) for their work in Empowering the Asian Pacific American Community through Activism + Education.