apa focus at smithsonian folklife festival 2010

Every summer, the Smithsonian Institution presents the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington D.C., attended by over a million people in person and millions more online. Focusing on three topics each year, it's a top tourist attraction that has helped Americans to learn more about cultures, countries and states.

In 2010, the Folklife Festival will focus for the first time on Asian Pacific Americans, along with the country of Mexico and the staff members of the Smithsonian itself. It'll be a historic opportunity for community to share its stories and weave ourselves more tightly into the fabric of America. However, it's apparently going to take some green to make it happen. Read on:
Recent Challenge

Each year, the Smithsonian pays about a million dollars toward the cost of a program such as the APA celebration, and asks the community being celebrated to contribute another $450,000. Usually this money is raised fairly easily through fundraising proposals written to family and corporate foundations. This year, however, because of the state of the economy, no foundation monies have been forthcoming and several major donors have said that they cannot even make a pledge until after January 1, 2010.

Therefore, at a meeting held at the Smithsonian last week, a decision was made to either postpone or scale back the Asian Pacific American focus of the 2010 Folklife Festival unless $450,000 in cash or pledges could be raised by October 31st.

Responding to the challenge, many dollars have been raised so far from the APA community, including $10,000 from a newly-retired federal worker and $10,000 from a local computer entrepreneur. Groups such as OCA have pledged monies that they plan to contribute by October 31st, and other groups are moving quickly to see how they can respond to this shortfall that threatens to derail our historic opportunity.

Meeting the Goal

Our community has met many difficult goals over the years. Whether challenging unfair laws, electing APA leaders, or supporting our community's entrepreneurs, we have worked together to create a history that deserves to be celebrated on the National Mall next summer. We have earned our right to be there, and we WILL be there if each of us finds a way to contribute what we can toward the 2010 Folklife Festival.

We especially need your help before October 31st, to meet our $450,000 goal, with all pledges payable by January. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. And contributions can be tied to sponsorship packages and other benefits to your business or organization.
Maybe you can help by pledging a donation, or spreading the word to friends, family and neighbors. If you can contribute, go here and write "Folklife Festival" in the Comments box. You can also write checks payable to Smithsonian APA Program and mailto:

Smithsonian APA Program
Capital Gallery, Suite 7065, MRC: 516
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

October 31 is coming up quick. It's short notice, and times are tough, but the goal is critical. With your help, this historic celebration can happen next summer. For more information, go here. And make plans to be in Washington D.C. between June 24 and July 5 next summer.

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