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A bridge to the future ...



Asia Pacific Cultural Center will transform our community to become a dynamic, inclusive hub for diverse communities, cultures, and generations.



Our mission is to bridge communities and generations through art, culture, education, and business.


Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) is a center for cultural exchange providing programs and services that promote the greater awareness, understanding, equity, and inclusion of the Asian and Pacific Islander people.  This community includes immigrants, refugees, children and youth, seniors and elders, low-income, and all groups who are a part of the Asia Pacific community.  Our founders recognized the need for cross-cultural understanding in their community, and in 1996 they founded APCC to address this need.


We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Tacoma, Washington, serving the Greater Puget Sound and beyond. APCC proudly represents and serves the Asia Pacific people from 47 different countries, providing a wide range of programs and activities, many of which are free or very low cost of admission. APCC brings people together in the spirit of acceptance and understanding, helping to build a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community for present and future generations.



One of the biggest strengths is APCC’s strong connection and history with the Asian and Pacific Islander community.  This connection is a key element of our organization’s mission and purpose. We represent 47 different countries and cultures, and we could not successfully provide our programs and services without this connection. Washington is a wonderful kaleidoscope of races and ethnicities, with more than 900,000 or 13% who are of Asia Pacific descent.  Our connection with the Asia Pacific community has grown during the 25 years that our organization has been in existence.   This connection helps us in our work in providing outreach, support, and greater cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the history, art, culture, and heritage of the Asia Pacific community for current and future generations. 


APCC not only serves the Asia Pacific people, but Asia Pacific people are an integral part of APCC.  This is reflected in our leadership and staff: over 90% of our staff and over 90% of our Board Members are Asian or Pacific Islander. These Board Members and staff are also active members and leaders in their represented communities.  This connection helps to ensure we are truly representing and serving the Asia Pacific people.  All of our programs and activities include representatives from different Asia Pacific groups who help to provide input, develop, plan, and implement our programs. 


These cultural and community connections give us a better understanding of the needs of this community and allow us to address these needs from different perspectives.  We are able to communicate and stay connected to the Asia Pacific community through our network and partnerships with other cultural organizations.  Our connections help us to adapt to the cultural, societal, and institutional complexities of the diverse populations that we proudly serve.




APCC is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the programs and services we offer and is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization at all levels.  We welcome, include, and value the perspectives and contributions of people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientations, gender identifications, abilities, incomes, marital status, veteran status, and ages in all APCC processes, policies, activities, and decision-making. 

Our History



In 1996, local artist and community leader Patsy Surh O’Connell met with a small group of Asia Pacific community leaders from Pierce County to discuss the need for a central gathering place for all Asians and Pacific Islanders. They envisioned a place to honor our ancestors and honor the legacy they passed down to us.  They envisioned a place where Asia Pacific people can teach, share, and show their pride in their rich culture and heritage with the greater community. They envisioned an inclusive space that provides support for immigrants, refugees, and all individuals and families in the Asia Pacific community. And they envisioned a place where our children and youth can be more connected with their culture and grow into our future leaders. From this beautiful vision for a future of cultural connectedness, Asia Pacific Cultural Center emerged.



We have experienced continued growth in the more than 25 years since APCC was established. We have become a hub of information and resources, a center of cultivating cultural connections, and a trusted leader in the community.  We have continued to add programs and expand existing programs in response to community needs.  To match this growth, we moved from a small one-room office to a 3-room office, and then in 2012, we took over a 10,500-square-foot building in which we currently reside.


Now we look toward the future of the community and the future of APCC with our APCC Building Project, doubling our size to 21,000 square feet. We will honor and preserve the legacy and heritage of the 47 countries and cultures we represent and serve while helping to build a better world for future generations.


November, Nineteen Ninety Six (1996)

APCC is founded! Our mission is “to bridge communities and generations through art, culture, education, and business”, representing the diverse cultures of 47 countries.  There are six original founding board members representing three generations of Asians and Pacific Islanders in Tacoma: Daniel Yu, Michi Osaka, Judy Chen, Eva Laird Smith, Patsy Surh O’Connell, and Steve Wong. 


Nineteen Ninety Seven (1997)

APCC begins to offer culture and arts programming. APCC partners with local the local Samoan and Pacific Islander community for the very first Annual Polynesian Luau.


Nineteen Ninety Eight (1998)

APCC hosts the First Annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration, welcoming the Year of the Tiger with performances on the main stage by 15 different Asia Pacific countries and cultures. More than 10,000 people gather for the event at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.


Two Thousand (2000)

APCC moves into a small 150 square-foot office space at the Tacoma Convention Center (the old Sheraton Hotel), generously donated by the City of Tacoma.


Two Thousand One (2001)

“Asia Pacific Cultural Center” name is registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Two Thousand Three (2003)

APCC purchases former Tacoma Arts Museum building and moves to this new office on 1123 Pacific Avenue in Downtown Tacoma.


Two Thousand Five (2005)

APCC sells the old TAM building and moves to a shared 300 square-foot office space at the Children Arts Museum on 934 Broadway, Tacoma.


Two Thousand Eight (2008)

APCC starts the Monthly Taste of Asia and Tea Ceremony classes, presenting a different Asia Pacific country or culture each month.


Two Thousand Ten (2010)

APCC moves to a larger 1,100 square-foot office space at 221 South 28th Street, Tacoma. APCC hosts the 1st Annual Samoa Cultural Day at the Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.


Two Thousand Eleven (2011)

Promised Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) Youth Program is established, with 40 Asia Pacific students from Lincoln High School.


Two Thousand Twelve (2012)

APCC moves from their small 3-room office and takes over the former South Park Community Center building in South Tacoma. This 10,500 square-foot building allows for the rapid expansion of programs and services for the community.


Two Thousand Thirteen (2013)

First year of APCC’s partnership with the Washington State Fair for Asia Pacific Day, a full day of Asia Pacific performances on their Showplace Stage.


Two Thousand Sixteen (2016)

APCC celebrates 20th Year Anniversary at the Tacoma Convention Center.

APCC reaches 100,000 people for the first time this year, receives the 2016 Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award.


Two Thousand Seventeen (2017)

APCC hosts the 1st Annual Korean Chuseok Festival at the APCC building.


Two Thousand Nineteen (2019)

In partnership with Tacoma Creates’ Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO), APCC begins offering After-School Asia Pacific Cultural Classes at three TPS Elementary Schools.


Two Thousand Twenty (2020)

APCC develops remote and online programming due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and greatly expands communication, outreach, and support services in response to great community need. Services include COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, free PPE, free fresh food, free hot meals, Pandemic relief support, and many other services.


Two Thousand Twenty One (2021)

APCC celebrates 25th Year Anniversary at the Tacoma Convention Center.

APCC Receives the 2021 Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award - Luminary Award.

APCC establishes the Business & Community Engagement Services program, expanding outreach services for small businesses, families, and the greater community.

Two Thousand Twenty Two (2022)

APCC introduces new AANHPI Mental Health Program

Two Thousand Twenty Three (2023)

May - APCC Moves to their temporary location on East Portland Avenue, Tacoma, while the new building is under construction

September - APCC Groundbreaking Ceremony commemorating the start of construction for the center to be built on South Tacoma Way, Tacoma


  • 2014 City of Tacoma AMOCAT Arts Award

  • 2015 Asian Weekly Visionary Award

  • 2015 Distinguished Community Bridge Award from the Pakistani Association of Greater Seattle

  • 2016 International Examiner Unsung Hero Award - Arts and Culture Organizations

  • 2016 Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award

  • 2020 Tacoma Urban League Empowerment Award

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