Celebrate AAPI Month with Author Curtis Chin

  • May 16, 2024 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Dennos Museum Center

    1410 College Drive
    Traverse City, Michigan 49686
Ticket Price Free This event is now over

Thursday, May 16th | 5-9:00 PM

5:00 | Food in Dennos Sculpture Court
6:00 | Screening of The Blessing and Q+A with the Director Liann Kaye
7:00 | Reading with Curtis Chin followed by a Q+A
8:00 | AAPI Book Sale & Signing

Join Traverse City's AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Committee for a free event with the goal to build greater understanding and empathy for people of different cultural backgrounds through positive engagement and welcoming learning events. 

Local AAPI restaurants and chefs will provide the food. Afterwards, head to Milliken Auditorium for a screening of The Blessing and a Q+A with the director Liann Kaye. Then, enjoy a reading from Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant by Michigan-born author Curtis Chin. Among many accolades, his book is included on the Most Anticipated LGBT+ Books of Fall 2023. The evening will wrap up with a Q+A with Curtis Chin, and a book signing and sale. 


When a timid Midwestern guy is finally ready to propose to his girlfriend, he has to go through her immigrant, Chinese mother and family first.

Liann Kaye is an AAPI filmmaker based in NYC. She was the director of video for Global Citizen’s international music festivals. She’s also directed music videos for Carlos Valdes (The Flash), Darren Criss (Glee), Theo Katzman (Vulfpeck), Charlene Kaye (KAYE) & more.

Her award-winning mini-series “The Blessing” won “Best Comedy” at the New York Short Film Festival and was also a recipient of the NYC Women’s Fund. All 6 episodes are out now on Youtube.

Her first feature, Electable, was selected for both the Athena Lab and The Blacklist x WIF Feature Film Residency, where she was mentored by Sofia Alvarez (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) and Kiwi Smith (10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde).

This year, she wrote and directed Seoul Switch as a proof of concept. The short film will hit film festivals in March of 2024.


A co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York City, Curtis Chin served as the non-profit’s first Executive Director. He went on to write for network and cable television before transitioning to social justice documentaries. Chin has screened his films at over 600 venues in twenty countries. He has written for CNN, Bon Appetit, the Detroit Free Press and the Emancipator/Boston Globe. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and more. His memoir, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant was published by Little, Brown in Fall 2023. His essay in Bon Appetit was just selected for Best Food Writing in America 2023.

This program is made possible with support from the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Northern Michigan E3, Northwestern Michigan College, the Traverse City Human Rights Commission, and Oryana Community Co-op. Program partners include the Dennos Museum Center and the Traverse Area District Library.

Date & Time

Thu, May 16, 2024 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Venue Details

Dennos Museum Center

1410 College Drive
Traverse City, Michigan 49686 Dennos Museum Center
Dennos Museum Center

The Dennos Museum Center builds community, sparks conversation, and inspires change for audiences of all ages through its exhibitions, programs, and the collection and preservation of art.

Opened in 1991, the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College is a premier cultural facility in northern Michigan offering a dynamic array of exhibitions and programs in the visual arts, sciences, and performing arts. The Museum includes temporary exhibition and permanent collection galleries, an elegant sculpture court, and a hands-on Discovery Gallery. The permanent collection features regional, national, and international art from the 19th-21st centuries. The Milliken Auditorium hosts events and concerts with performers from around the world. Visit the Museum Store for great shopping, including a fine selection of Inuit art for collectors.


The Museum's signature collection is Inuit art of the Canadian Arctic, one of the largest and most historically complete collections of these distinctive sculptures and prints in the United States. A significant collection of outdoor sculptures by noted international and Michigan artists surrounds the Museum on the beautiful campus of Northwestern Michigan College. In 2000, the Dennos Museum Center was recognized by ArtServe Michigan with the Governor's Award for Arts and Culture. The Museum expanded its original building in 2018, adding new galleries and auditorium spaces with wide support from the community.


In 2021, the Dennos joined a network of more than 200 other Smithsonian Affiliates in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Panama. Established in 1996, the affiliations program is designed to facilitate a two-way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and the Smithsonian to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. Smithsonian Affiliates are collaborators on many of the Smithsonian’s strategic priorities, adding local content, context, and expertise to national initiatives to help tell a fuller story.

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