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Although other ethnicities have gotten recognition, Asian Americans, especially in the 1990s, have remained a largely invisible population. For the most part, Asian Americans have been underrepresented in entertainment, politics, sports or business, up until recently.
Now, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has launched a $25 million fundraising drive for permanent gallery space on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and to celebrate the achievement, there will be a party in Los Angeles full of celebrities and politicians. Several actors from the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians” are expected to attend, along with Rep. Judy Chu and Rep. Doris Matsui, both Democrats representing California.
Should the fundraiser prove successful, the Asian American gallery could join museums and galleries dedicated to other historically underrepresented groups.
Never has there been a dedicated space for the history and culture of Asian Americans. Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest-growing minority and make up roughly 6 percent of the population. Although they come from more than 20 countries, the largest populations hail from China, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea, and Japan.
Because of the rich history that Asian Americans have and contributed to American society, Laura Lott, president, and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums seeks to preserve it. “Museums preserve what’s important to society. They tell our stories, give historical context to contemporary issues and help us imagine a better future,” Lott told NBC News.