Western Michigan University Asian Initiatives presents 2024 Spring Gala celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Contact: Ian Magnuson

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Prepare for an afternoon of cultural delight as Western Michigan University Asian Initiatives proudly presents the 2024 Spring Gala at Miller Auditorium on Sunday, April 21, starting at 4 p.m.

This vibrant event, celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, promises a diverse showcase of Asian cultures, featuring captivating performances and artistic displays.

A Peking Opera actress stands in a colorful dress holding a fan.

Peking Opera actress Linghui Tu is among the performers scheduled for the Asian Initiatives 2024 Spring Gala.

Attendees will enjoy performances by:

  • Michigan Hiryu Daiko drummers
  • Award-winning Peking Opera actress Linghui Tu
  • Kalamazoo Ringers handbell ensemble
  • Kalamazoo Male Chorus
  • Local dance groups
  • Students from WMU, Kalamazoo College and Kalamazoo Public Schools

"Audience members will easily identify sentiments universally adored, finding empowerment and touching sentimentality, alongside fun," says Jingcai Chen, program coordinator of Asian Initiatives. "Indian folk dances and Japanese Taiko (drumming) demonstrate the contagious enthusiasm of daily living, while the bell choir performance of 'Boat on Lake Tai' conjures images of tranquil lakeside beauty familiar to any Michigander."

As part of the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Asian Initiatives provides campus and community education on Asian cultural heritage. It encompasses the Soga Japan Center, Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies and Chinese Language and Cultural Programming. Each brings academic and cultural talent to southwest Michigan and into Kalamazoo Public Schools classrooms.

Dr. Ying Zeng, director of Asian Initiatives, highlights the significance of this year's event: "This year, we're excited to elevate our Spring Gala to Miller Auditorium, aligning it with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It's an opportunity to foster greater understanding and appreciation of Asian cultures within our community."

With last year's signature event selling out, interested attendees are encouraged to secure their tickets early to ensure they don't miss out on this unforgettable celebration of Asian heritage and community spirit.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Asian Initiatives site.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.