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2023 Marks a Historic Year for Asia Pacific Cultural Center

In 2023, Asia Pacific Cultural Center marked a historic chapter in its journey, commemorated by two significant events that will eternally resonate in our collective memory as we persist in our mission to serve the community.

The initial milestone transpired during the groundbreaking ceremony for our new facility on September 8, 2023. This pivotal moment represents the culmination of more than twenty-five years of unwavering commitment and diligence from our esteemed Founder and President, Patsy Surh O’Connell, and our dedicated Executive Director, Faaluaina (Lua) Pritchard. Together, this dynamic duo has tirelessly championed the realization of a long-cherished dream for APCC.

For additional details about our building campaign, please click here.

The second landmark event occurred on December 20, 2023, with the groundbreaking ceremony for Patsy Surh Place, APCC’s inaugural affordable housing initiative. In collaboration with the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), this project will comprise 77 apartment units, prioritizing AANHPI elders (55+) in our community, along with 20 units specifically designated for veterans.

To learn more about this transformative project, click here.

APCC extends sincere gratitude to everyone involved in these groundbreaking endeavors—our dedicated Board Members, Advisory Board Members, Staff, Volunteers, Donors, Funders, Sponsors, and Participants—all of whom have played pivotal roles in bringing these visions to fruition. As we bid farewell to this historic year, we look forward to continuing our commitment to community service and cultural enrichment in the years to come.

Reviewing the Year 2023 at APCC's Departments

What a fantastic year for APCC! The four main departments of Asia Pacific Cultural Center, including the Cultural Program, Business and Community Engagement Services (BCES), Mental Health, and Youth Program, achieved significant milestones in 2023. Each department recorded unprecedented levels of engagement with their respective audiences.

APCC also recently acquired the online news site Seattle Chinese Post, renamed as WA Chinese Post. This generous gift comes from Publisher Assunta Ng of NW Asian Weekly. We are thrilled as we embark on this journey of delivering compelling and relevant stories for the Chinese community in Washington state.

As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) reflects on a year filled with vibrant celebrations, educational initiatives, and community engagement.

Cultural Program - Celebrating Diversity, Building Connections

Dareth-rose Pak

Program Manager-Cultural Programs

Our 25th Annual New Year Celebration set the tone for a year of cultural richness, featuring Samoa as the host, showcasing 13 other Asian and Pacific Islander nations on the main stage, and boasting a record number of vendors and event-goers. This event marked a significant milestone for the APCC, underlining its commitment to fostering cultural understanding and appreciation. 

This past summer, in collaboration with Tacoma Creates and the City of Tacoma, APCC proudly organized the inaugural South Tacoma Heritage Festival. A two-day extravaganza held at APCC premises; the festival celebrated the diversity within the community while promoting cross-cultural solidarity.

This year, APCC expanded its cultural repertoire by introducing the Marshall Islands, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Okinawa days, adding additional layers of diversity to its already dynamic calendar of events. We look forward to continuing offering these as annual events for years to come.

We also had a record number of participants in Language programs and our monthly Taste of Asia Culinary Program.

Our Artist Gallery persistently highlights remarkable artists from diverse nations. The year 2023 proved to be an exhilarating period, showcasing a broad spectrum of techniques and media employed to craft stunning visuals.

Additional 2023 Notable Events and Activities –

  • Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO)*

  • 4th Sawasdee Thailand Day

  • 26th Polynesian Luau

  • AANHPI Heritage Month

  • 7th Korean Chuseok Festival

  • 1st Khmer New Year

  • 13th Samoa Cultural Week

  • and MANY others


2023 Cultural Program Insights

  • Number of presentations

o  In-Person - 704

o  Zoom - 52

o  Facebook Live - 78

  • Number of people served

o  In-Person – 124,449

o  Zoom – 931

o  Facebook – 335,6111

Enriching Lives Through Culture: The APCC Difference

Our Cultural Program acts as a platform to elevate the voices of the Asia Pacific people, allowing them to showcase their cultures and take pride in their heritage. APCC facilitates deep and meaningful connections between communities. The Cultural Interpreters, hailing from the represented countries and cultures, bring authenticity and richness to the programs, ensuring an immersive experience for participants.

In the spirit of inclusivity, the APCC keeps its events accessible with free or low-cost admission, breaking down economic barriers and welcoming everyone to partake in the cultural tapestry it weaves. All are welcome to join in the journey of cultural exploration and connection.

*APCC is part of the Extended Learning Opportunities Program with the Tacoma School District and Green Trikes in offering more Cultural Clubs to different Elementary schools focusing on different cultures. It’s all about each different country’s culture to learn, explore each country through art, culture, education, and business. Thank you and looking for more audience to join the culture program to explore different countries.

Business and Community Engagement Services (BCES)

Skye Raphael Baldemeca Rozon

BCES Outreach Manager

The Business and Community Engagement Services (BCES) at Asia Pacific Community Center (APCC) reflects upon an exceptionally fruitful year of service and outreach. The BCES program, dedicated to enhancing the well-being of the local community and beyond, has not only met but exceeded expectations in its efforts to provide support in diverse spheres.

2023 BCES Program Insights

  • Covid-19 Vaccines (375 Served)

  • PPE Distributions (31,544 Served)

  • Food Distributions (3,852 Served)

  • Small Business Assistance (668 Served)

  • Community Assistance (20,425 Served)

  • Paid Family Leave Cases (426 Served)

Total Impact: 57,291 People Served

APCC's Commitment to Community:

The Business and Community Engagement Services Program works to dedicate our time, sacrifice, and efforts in ensuring our AANHPI people are connected to the proper resources to alleviate their needs. This year, our program was able to serve a record number of people in our community, utilizing events that stem from Vaccine Clinics, Food Distributions, Financial Wellness Workshops, Small Business Resource Events, and much more. In addition, we also worked to serve those on a more personal scale, helping people navigate their issues through social work, being the messenger and connector as we allow guidance to problems that can be tricky to support.


2024 will be coming shortly, so please stay tuned as we work to provide more resources for the community, including some very exciting programs at the beginning of the year. Thank you everyone for your kindness, your grace, and your willingness to let us serve you as best we can. 

Looking ahead, BCES is poised to continue its mission of community engagement, recognizing that the needs of the community are ever-evolving. Through collaborative efforts and a client-centered approach, BCES will remain at the forefront of providing essential services and support, ensuring a brighter and more resilient future for all.

Mental Health Program

Glenda A. Duldulao

Mental Health Program Manager

It’s been a little over of year of APCC’s Mental Health Program since its establishment in 2022. We have accomplished and learned a lot this past year and we look forward to providing culturally relevant mental health education/engagements and access to mental health counseling in the coming year! 


Together with our partnered mental health professionals, we have delivered 53 mental health community education sessions and engagement and over 109 mental health vouchers to those needing financial assistance in accessing therapy sessions. Together, we served over 485 people at the cultural center, churches, schools, community events, and virtually. Of those people served, 49% were Asian American and 33% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders! 


2023 Mental Program Insights.


  • 485 - Mental Health Therapy Clients served

  • 109 - Health Vouchers Issued to Those Seeking Mental Health Services

  • 53 - AAPI Mental Health Community Educations Held

  • 17 – AAPI Identifying Consultants Contracted

How can we help?

  • We aim to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health and enhance literacy and awareness through culturally respectful community education workshops.

  • We strive to increase accessibility to mental health therapy by covering the expenses through sponsorship.

  • We deliver customized and facilitated mental health community education sessions to meet the unique needs of our community.

  • Working closely with our AANHPI Youth Advisory Board, we shape our program's strategies to enhance the mental well-being of young individuals.

  • We engage in collaboration with licensed mental health professionals who identify with the AANHPI community.

Let’s continue to seek ways to care for our mental well-being into the coming year. Happy New Year! 

Youth Program

Sinoun Hem

Youth Program Manager

The youth program at Asia Pacific Cultural Center plays a crucial role in our commitment to community service and our overarching mission. Our dedicated team of cultural enthusiasts, comprising both staff and volunteers, strives to cultivate a positive and inspiring environment for our young participants.

Throughout the year, we curate a variety of specialized programs tailored to different youth groups. Here is a glimpse of the offerings within our youth-centric initiatives:

Engaging Cultural Workshops and Presentations

Immersive and interactive workshops and presentations form the core of our educational endeavors, focusing on imparting knowledge about Asia Pacific art and culture. These sessions take place at diverse venues, including the APCC building, K-12 schools, colleges, museums, senior living or retirement homes, private companies, agencies, military bases, and various other locations.

Educational Field Trip Experiences

Schools and youth organizations from across the state embark on educational journeys to the APCC. During these visits, participants explore our facility, admire artworks, interact with cultural artifacts, and engage in hands-on demonstrations of both culture and art.

Promised Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT)

Our Promised Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) Youth Program creates safe spaces for youth to walk on that journey of self-discovery and confidence, especially youth coming from difficult backgrounds; we assist them in helping them plot a course for life. From receiving strong academic support through afterschool tutoring, mentorship, encouragement tailored to their ethnic background, to helping students navigate through the emotions of life through the safe and caring environment we provide as a PLOT program, our youth thrive and continue to overcome the most difficult challenges that may arise.

One of our students graduated this past 2023 and is now a full-ride scholar at Stanford University is Vanessa Sarmiento. She grew up in the slums of the Philippines, picking through garbage with her sisters to find recyclables to trade in for cash to feed her family. Torn between two worlds as she moved to the United States recently, she faced a lot of imposter syndrome; feeling like she didn’t belong or deserved all of the opportunities she had before her to go to school in America or to even found Lincoln High School’s first-ever Filipino Club. Vanessa realized she needed help, so she reached out to APCC for mentorship. Through our mentorship and encouragement, she was able to learn key time management skills and find a safe place in our program to express our Philippine heritage, teach it to other students, and feel confident in her new identity as a Filipino-American while taking on rigorous academic and leadership activities that prepared her for Stanford! We look forward to serving students just like Vanessa her and more in 2024 to be able to discover their fullest potential and — more importantly — believe in themselves to courageously seize each opportunity out there!

2023 PLOT Program Insights.

2023 – 2024 School Year

Number of Schools Served - 17

  • 7 High Schools

  • 2 Middle Schools

  • 8 Elementary Schools

Number of Students Served - 447

  • 222 High School Students

  • 156 Middle School Students

  • 69 Elementary Students

2022-2023 School Year

  • 533 Total Students Served

  • 85.7% Asian or Pacific Islander

  • 55 High School Seniors

o  52 Graduates

o  94.5% Graduation Rate

Asia Pacific Cultural Center is prepared for another year of dedicated community service and eagerly looks forward to the opportunities that 2024 holds. We're ready – are you?

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