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Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022


Resilience, ingenuity, creativity. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have enriched America’s history, society and culture and are instrumental to our past, present and future. This month, and every month, NEPM celebrates the wide array of values, beliefs and traditions and AAPI communities' extraordinary impact on our national identity. Explore these stories throughout the month on NEPM.



Asian Americans
Sundays at 10 p.m., starting May 1 on NEPM WORLD
The 5-part 2020 documentary series returns. Led by a team of Asian American filmmakers, including Academy Award®-nominated series producer Renee Tajima-Peña (Who Killed Vincent Chin?, No Más Bebés), Asian Americans examines the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from the first wave of Asian immigrants in the 1850s and identity politics during the social and cultural turmoil of the twentieth century to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.

Independent Lens: Eating Up Easter
Tuesday, May 3 at 9 p.m. on NEPM WORLD
Director Sergio Mata'u Rapu explores the challenges the people of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and environment against a backdrop of a modernizing society and a booming tourism trade.

American Masters
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
Thursday, May 5 at 9 p.m. on NEPM TV
Explore the life of the groundbreaking author of “The Joy Luck Club” in this intimate portrait. Archival imagery, home movies, photographs, animation and original interviews create a vivid, colorful journey through Tan’s inspiring life and career.

Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story
Saturday, May 7 at 9 p.m. on NEPM WORLD
Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.


American Masters
Waterman – Duke: Ambassador of Aloha
Premieres Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m.
Narrated by Jason Momoa, discover the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku. He shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges.

American Experience: Plague at the Golden Gate
Premieres Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m.
Discover how an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900 set off fear and anti-Asian sentiment in San Francisco. This new documentary tells the gripping story of the race against time by health officials to save the city from the deadly disease.



The Story of China
Travel from the Silk Road to the Yellow Sea with host Michael Wood as he explores the history of the world’s newest superpower. A thrilling and moving epic of the world’s oldest continuous state with the landscapes, peoples, and stories that made today’s China.

Great Performances: Beethoven in Beijing
Experience the international impact of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s historic 1973 trip to China, offering a story of cultural reversals and a glimpse into the worldwide future of classical music.

Korea: The Never-Ending War
Shedding light on a geopolitical hot spot, the film — written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Korean-American actor John Cho — confronts the myth of the “Forgotten War,” documenting the post-1953 conflict and global consequences.

The Registry
This film breaks open the hidden history of the US Army's Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II -- a story made possible because of a few aging Japanese American veterans with a little Internet savvy and a lot of determination.



Frontline: A Thousand Cuts
With press freedom under threat in the Philippines, "A Thousand Cuts" goes inside the escalating war between the press and the government. The documentary follows Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who has become a top target of President Duterte's crackdown on the news media.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
The little-known story of the only U.S. bank prosecuted in relation to the 2008 financial crisis. Director Steve James ("Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters") chronicles the Chinese immigrant Sung family’s fight to clear their names.



When Korean Boy Band BTS played its first Tiny Desk Concert, they promptly broke the series’ record for most YouTube views on its first day — in about 25 minutes. The concert opened with "Dynamite" — the group's first single to hit No. 1 in the U.S., as well as its first song to be fully recorded in English. From there, the group dipped into its back catalog, seizing on the opportunity to showcase its quieter side while (mostly) staying uncharacteristically seated.

Aditya Prakash Ensemble
Performing from their home base in Los Angeles, Aditya Prakash Ensemble highlights songs borne from South India's Carnatic tradition. Prakash uses his voice as an instrument to tell powerful, emotive stories — which he reimagines in a fresh, dynamic way.

Minyo Crusaders
Min'yō folk music was originally sung by Japanese fishermen, coal miners and sumo wrestlers hundreds of years ago, and the Minyo Crusaders are on a mission to make these songs relevant to an international audience.

Rina Sawayama
Rina Sawayama performs her Tiny Desk Concert clad in a periwinkle blazer with waist cut-outs and a high ponytail cleaner than the view of the city skyline. Even in fluorescent lighting, the Japanese British pop star performs with the same tenacity and drama you hear in her 2020 debut album, SAWAYAMA, a lustrous pop epic peppered with early aughts R&B, nu-metal and classic rock.