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Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) is a New York-based advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the community needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. CAPA’s main goal is to build partnerships with community, social and non-profit organizations to reach new audiences through:

  • promoting cooperation and understanding among Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations
  • fostering friendship among Asian American and Pacific Islanders and others in the community
  • promoting, representing, and advocating the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities
  • providing a conducive environment for encouraging Asian American and Pacific Islanders to utilize their history, culture, and art to foster self-esteem and respect for their heritage
  • expose the greater community to AAPI culture and its contributions to society

Since 1979, CAPA has produced the annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival, which grew out of the civil rights movement of the era when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation to declare the first week in May to be Asian American Heritage Week. The proclamation was later extended to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by President George H. Bush.

The APA Heritage Festival owes its origins to the Basement Workshop, founded in 1970, and composed of artists, urban planners, students and activists in wake of the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, and post-1965 Immigration reform. The Workshop began projects like the Asian American Resource Center and Bridge Magazine, a national magazine. It was also the umbrella organization for Chinatown Health Fair, Amerasia Creative Arts Program, as well as the Resource Center. Its spirit lives on through organizations like the Asian American Arts Centre, Asian CineVision, Museum of Chinese in America, and Asian American Arts Alliance.