A new event in Arcata aims to celebrate the roots of Humboldt’s Asian and Pacific Islander community.
Humboldt Asian Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI) are hosting their first-ever Exploring Our Roots Festival in Arcata at the Arcata Playhouse next weekend on June 23rd and June 24th.
Originally beginning life as Taiko Swing Humboldt in early 2019, the name was changed to HAPI during the COVID-19 pandemic due to support from community members in virtual events.
“We decided to change our name to Humboldt Asian Pacific Islanders to support educational, cultural events and exhibits in our area and we’ve been going strong ever since,” said steering committee member Terry Uyeki.
The festival has no shortage of that either, combining local artists and acts to celebrate their roots and legacy through dance, music, poetry, and film.
The festival will also consist of the premiere of the short documentary film “Many Moons” which focuses on the fabled “last Chinese man in Humboldt County” Charlie Moon and the descendants of his family.
“Many Moons” is directed by Chisa Hughes, and focuses on Moon’s history, the Chinese Expulsion of Humboldt County, and stories of his descendants in the Native and Asian communities.
“Most importantly, Chisa interviewed and got to know members of his family so hearing theirs stories about the patriarch in their family,” Uyeki said.
Other performers include guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto with Julian Sapotori and their music project No-No Boy performing on Friday to kick off the show.
Aireene Espiritu & Color-Coded Symphony, an experimental music collective, will perform beforE the “Many Moons” screening with their unique take on performing.
Festival tickets are $25 a day and can be purchased on the Arcata Playhouse website. A Festival Pass will also be able to purchase at $40 for both days of the event.
A free concert of Humboldt artists will take place on that Saturday between 12 to 2:30 p.m.