Indian American Heritage Project

Indian American Heritage Project Indian American Heritage Project (IAHP) is the first sustained effort by the Smithsonian Institution chronicling the story of immigrants from India and their descendants in America.
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In 1997, the Smithsonian Institution established the Asian Pacific American Center to reflect the experiences and history of more than 15 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States.

In 1997, the Smithsonian Institution established the Asian Pacific American Center to reflect the experiences and history of more than 15 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States.

Operating as usual

We hope you'll register to come and see some of the amazing Indian American (and beyond) artists in CrossLines. Among ot...
05/20/2016
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

We hope you'll register to come and see some of the amazing Indian American (and beyond) artists in CrossLines. Among others, CrossLines will be featuring Anjal Chande, doing an interpretive dance around women in the civil rights and the Indian independence movements; Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, of The People's Kitchen; and Rano Singh of Pansaari.

Here's your chance to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of CrossLines and a curator's tour before the pop-up exhibition opens to the public! Register to join us for the CrossLines digital social:

03/25/2016
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

When voting in the North Carolina primary elections, an Indian American by the name of Rudravajhala "Rudy" Ravindra was asked repeatedly to spell his name. In his own words, "This farce went on a for a while, and each time [the poll worker] made a mistake, I patiently corrected. Meanwhile, voters in adjacent lines came and went briskly. I heaved a sigh of relief when HW finally entered my mouthful of a name into his computer and peered at the monitor. And then I had to pronounce it, and when he tried, he couldn’t get it right." The director of the County Board of Elections reputedly later told Ravindra that "the poll workers overstepped their authority and that they had no reason to subject us to that unnecessary exercise." This is a problem many Asian Pacific Americans (and people beyond the Asian Pacific American community) can undoubtedly relate to. When Asian Pacific Americans are singled out for that kind of treatment, it reinforces perceptions of "perpetual foreignness" in this country.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
02/12/2016
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Beyond Bollywood curator Dr. Masum Momaya says, “Diplomacy usually occurs between nations, but more than ever in the 21st century, people, ideas, and cultures are transnational and they transcend state interests. As people who are often forced to make categories and coherence out of complexities, curators are and have long been cultural diplomats.” Read about her trip to India with the traveling exhibition of Beyond Bollywood, created with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
01/07/2016
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

This weekend is your last chance to see the Beyond Bollywood Traveling Exhibition at Museums of Sonoma County! Be sure to check it out. After that it's off to Bloomington, Indiana, for a stay at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures starting Jan. 30. Find out where else Beyond Bollywood will be heading on its national tour and learn how to book it at your local museum!

A photo has been circulating on social media of Darsh Singh with the caption “Nobody at school wants to guard Muhammad, ...
12/08/2015

A photo has been circulating on social media of Darsh Singh with the caption “Nobody at school wants to guard Muhammad, he’s too explosive.” (Learn more at NBC Asian America: nbcnews.to/1M1zevl.) Darsh, an American, was featured in our exhibition "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation" http://bit.ly/1Y000uZ. Aside from perpetuating hurtful and quite frankly ridiculous stereotypes about Muslim and Sikh Americans, we feel that the post completely missed the point. Darsh Singh is awesome! A huge Spurs fan, all he wanted to do was play in one of America’s greatest sports. He became the first Sikh American to play basketball in the NCAA and he successfully petitioned the NCAA to allow him to wear his turban. That’s groundbreaking. On top of that, his jersey was in the Smithsonian. How many people can say that? So, in response, all we have to say is: we want to be like Darsh Singh when we grow up. Why do you want to #BeLikeDarsh?

A photo has been circulating on social media of Darsh Singh with the caption “Nobody at school wants to guard Muhammad, he’s too explosive.” (Learn more at NBC Asian America: nbcnews.to/1M1zevl.) Darsh, an American, was featured in our exhibition "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation" http://bit.ly/1Y000uZ. Aside from perpetuating hurtful and quite frankly ridiculous stereotypes about Muslim and Sikh Americans, we feel that the post completely missed the point. Darsh Singh is awesome! A huge Spurs fan, all he wanted to do was play in one of America’s greatest sports. He became the first Sikh American to play basketball in the NCAA and he successfully petitioned the NCAA to allow him to wear his turban. That’s groundbreaking. On top of that, his jersey was in the Smithsonian. How many people can say that? So, in response, all we have to say is: we want to be like Darsh Singh when we grow up. Why do you want to #BeLikeDarsh?

Our new digital exhibition H-1B shares works by 17 Asian and South Asian American artists responding to the H-1B visa. T...
11/23/2015
H-1B - Google Cultural Institute

Our new digital exhibition H-1B shares works by 17 Asian and South Asian American artists responding to the H-1B visa. Take a look!

November 29, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the H-1B visa, created by the Immigration Act of 1990. In this exhibition, 17 South Asian and Asian American artists explore America's immigration story through the H-1B visa, which permits the employment of non-U.S. citizens with exceptional skills on…

Those of you who saw Meet The Patels at the Beyond Bollywood Film Festival now have another chance to see the film in th...
09/15/2015
A Quick Q&A With Meet The Patels' Ravi Patel - The Aerogram

Those of you who saw Meet The Patels at the Beyond Bollywood Film Festival now have another chance to see the film in theaters in L.A., Chicago, and New York. Here is an interview with Ravi Patel, star and co-director of the film, in The Aerogram:

Ravi Patel: "This is a romantic comedy about family that just happens to have some Indian elements..."

Join us for a Periscope tour of Beyond Bollywood with our curator Masum Momaya today at 3pm ET!
08/11/2015

Join us for a Periscope tour of Beyond Bollywood with our curator Masum Momaya today at 3pm ET!

Interested in seeing what went on behind the green sari at the Living Beyond Bollywood? Check out our intern's interview...
08/07/2015
Bringing Beyond Bollywood to Life: An Interview with Ali Miller & Anirudh Srirangam |...

Interested in seeing what went on behind the green sari at the Living Beyond Bollywood? Check out our intern's interview with two of the award-winning play's creators, Ali Miller and Anirudh Srirangam, for an in depth behind-the-scenes look at the creative process that spurred the play.

Lyric Grimes interviews Ali Miller and Anirudh Srirangam, two creators of the play Living Beyond Bollywood which is performed in Beyond Bollywood.

We need your help! What is more seriously amazing than this photo of SALGA marching for the first time in the India Day ...
08/06/2015
Smithsonian Summer Showdown: Round One

We need your help! What is more seriously amazing than this photo of SALGA marching for the first time in the India Day Parade in New York City? In this moment, SALGA made Indian American and LGBTQ history. This photo says that Indian American LGBTQ stories deserve to be in the Smithsonian. That’s why we submitted it to the Smithsonian Showdown.

Vote for representation of Indian Americans in the Smithsonian and across the country. Vote SmithsonianAPA. You can vote once per day, so please vote again tomorrow. Together, we can send Beyond Bollywood to the next round!

What's the single most seriously amazing thing at the Smithsonian? Vote for your favorites in Round One by Aug 12! #sishowdown http://s.si.edu/1evh8sz

On Wednesday at 3pm ET, tune in on Periscope for a tour of Beyond Bollywood with curator Masum Momaya.
08/03/2015

On Wednesday at 3pm ET, tune in on Periscope for a tour of Beyond Bollywood with curator Masum Momaya.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
07/31/2015

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Join us on August 1 at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm for thought-provoking performances on Indian American history by The SAPAN Institute at the groundbreaking Beyond Bollywood exhibition during its last few weeks at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

"In light of recent national (American) celebrations over marriage equality, movements for trans* rights, and outrage ov...
07/29/2015
These Things DO Happen To Us: How Indian-Americans Can Stop Failing Each Other - The Aerogram

"In light of recent national (American) celebrations over marriage equality, movements for trans* rights, and outrage over sexual assault, how we understand ourselves as “Indian-Americans” must change. It needs to account for those experiences we do not personally know or understand, so that all of us can get support and solidarity when we need it most."

Neepam Shah writes about his experience as a gay Indian American in The Aerogram:

To be rejected for who you are is painful, without a doubt, but framing this rejection in a way that questions someone’s fundamental identity is worse.

Bay Area Friends! 'Beyond Bollywood' is opening at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont on Saturday, August 1st.  The g...
07/23/2015

Bay Area Friends! 'Beyond Bollywood' is opening at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont on Saturday, August 1st. The gallery is holding a free family festival from noon-3pm with dance & music performances, arts & crafts, food for purchase and a brief curator's tour at 1:30pm. Kids of all ages are welcome. Please come! And spread the word amongst friends & family.

Beyond Bollywood is heading to the Olive Hyde Art Center! Hope you can catch the traveling exhibition while it's in Frem...
07/22/2015

Beyond Bollywood is heading to the Olive Hyde Art Center! Hope you can catch the traveling exhibition while it's in Fremont, CA.

On the road! "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation," a collaboration with Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, is on its way to the Olive Hyde Art Center in California!

Among many other topics, the exhibition explores tasty Indian American food traditions. What are your favorite Indian-inspired dishes?

07/11/2015
Astronaut Sunita Williams discusses upcoming flight

Congratulations to Sunita Williams on being selected as one of four astronauts to lead first commercial space missions! Williams, an Indian and Slovenian American astronaut and Navy officer, holds the record for most spacewalks for a woman and longest spacewalk time for a woman.

Sunita Williams is one of four astronauts who will fly on a commercially owned and operated spacecraft, built by contractors, not NASA. They will launch to space from U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

Beyond Bollywood Curator Masum Momaya participated in a Twitter chat with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition S...
07/07/2015
"Ask A Curator" Twitter Chat: Beyond Bollywood (with images, tweets) · sitesExhibits

Beyond Bollywood Curator Masum Momaya participated in a Twitter chat with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service last week. Catch some of the highlights here:

Dr. Masum Momaya, from the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center and curator of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition #BeyondBollywood, took over our Twitter channel @sitesExhibits to answer tough questions about immigration, history, racial stereotypes, and exhibit design. Check it out!

We're still looking for stories & photos from Alaska.  If you have one, please send it our way!
07/06/2015
Indian Americans are #APAEverywhere

We're still looking for stories & photos from Alaska. If you have one, please send it our way!

In April, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center issued a national call for Indian American stories and photographs from people in states we hadn't yet traversed while curating Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation. More than 100 entries were generously submitted from nearly...

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service @sitesExhibits is hosting a Twitter chat with our Beyond Bollywood ...
06/29/2015

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service @sitesExhibits is hosting a Twitter chat with our Beyond Bollywood Curator, Masum Momaya on Wednesday, July 1 2pm-3pm. We hope you'll be able to join and send your Beyond Bollywood questions her way!

Attention DC/VA/MA area desi actors and actresses!!The SAPAN Institute invites interested members of the community to au...
06/12/2015
Living Beyond Bollywood Auditions

Attention DC/VA/MA area desi actors and actresses!!

The SAPAN Institute invites interested members of the community to audition for their award-winning production, which brings Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's Beyond Bollywood exhibit to life by performing in the gallery itself.

If you have acting experience or always wanted to give it a try, this is a unique opportunity.

Performances are scheduled for Saturdays: July 25, August 1, August 8 and August 15 at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.

Available roles:
Young Sikh man. Appears to be early 20s. Second-generation Indian American. Black sheep of his family, sweet, affable.
Scene set in 2002. In the wake of the discrimination he’s faced since the recent events of 9/11, a young Sikh man reveals his recent enlistment to his older sister, who is shocked and upset he would violate Kesh in order to serve. Actor must be able to grow a beard and keep hair longer for performances. Must know how to, or learn to, tie a Dastar.

Female political candidate. Appears to be early 30s - 40s. Second-generation Indian American. Elegant, charismatic, thoughtful, cares deeply about social justice.
Set in present day, the candidate delivers a speech in which she addresses the media fervor over her decision to wear saris to campaign events and what the sari means to her.

Auditions are Monday night, June 15 and Tuesday night, June 16. Request an audition time here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1F5FDMh79TdCqzIZNK-gtBfYdIUS294aI9DwJ__7lf-0/viewform

Email [email protected] with questions.

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for 'Living Beyond Bollywood.' The South Asian Performing Arts Network is seeking actors to join our award-winning production, which brings the Smithsonian's groundbreaking 'Beyond Bollywood' exhibit to life in six short scenes. Our dedicated and talented p…

We asked for Indian American stories from states not represented in #BeyondBollywood. You sent in more than 100 submissi...
05/26/2015
Indian Americans are #APAEverywhere

We asked for Indian American stories from states not represented in #BeyondBollywood. You sent in more than 100 submissions. Thank you so much for all of your input! Here are three stories our curator Masum Momaya selected to share with you on our blog:

In April, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center issued a national call for Indian American stories and photographs from people in states we hadn't yet traversed while curating Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation. More than 100 entries were generously submitted from nearly...

Scenes for Friday's opening of #beyondbollywood at Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey.  On view until July 12, 2015.  ...
05/04/2015

Scenes for Friday's opening of #beyondbollywood at Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey. On view until July 12, 2015. #APAEverywhere

Our #BeyondBollywood curator needs your help! She's looking for Indian American individual stories and photographs from ...
04/20/2015
Seeking Indian American Stories Across America

Our #BeyondBollywood curator needs your help! She's looking for Indian American individual stories and photographs from certain states. Learn how you can share yours here:

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is looking for Indian Americans to share a unique memory and photograph related to their lives. #connecticut #delaware #georgia

"Indian Americans represent an important and growing community here in New Jersey," said Linda Moore, Executive Director...
04/09/2015
Morris Museum to host Smithsonian traveling exhibition , May 2-July 12

"Indian Americans represent an important and growing community here in New Jersey," said Linda Moore, Executive Director of the Morris Museum. "This wonderful exhibition offers the opportunity to deepen our awareness of the Asian Pacific American experience and foster cross cultural understanding."

The traveling exhibition of "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation" will be on display at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey starting May 2.

The first-of-its-kind exhibition from the Smithsonian will be on view at the Morris Museum from May 2 through July 12. The Morristown presentation of "Beyond Bollywood" will be complimented by an installation featuring twentieth century paintings by Indian American artists, a display showcasing Indi…

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS)'s next D.C. Art Science Rendezvous will feature a performa...
03/17/2015
D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER)

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS)'s next D.C. Art Science Rendezvous will feature a performance and discussion on "Mathematics and Kolam, a Women's Ritual Art Form from Tamil Nadu, India: Performance and Discussion" in an evening based around the theme of mathematics, art, and culture.

Vijaya R. Nagarajan, Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco. Pichammal Nagarajan, a kolam-maker for more than 70 years in India and the United States, performs the ritual art form. The event is free and open to the public with RSVP and begins at 5:30 on March 19.

D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER) is a monthly discussion forum on art science projects providing a snapshot of the cultural environment of the region fostering interdisciplinary networking. This month, DASER explores the theme of mathematics, art, and culture in conjunction with The Phill…

Join our curator Masum Momaya at the Missouri History Museum for a talk on "Curating Race and Immigration in America." T...
03/13/2015
Curating Race and Immigration in America

Join our curator Masum Momaya at the Missouri History Museum for a talk on "Curating Race and Immigration in America." The talk is free and open to the public so join her there on Tuesday, March 17 and, for those of you who can't make it to Missouri, catch it via live streaming at mohistory.org/streaminglive

Join Smithsonian curator Masum Momaya as she speaks about the complexities, consequences, and contemporary relevance of curating exhibitions on race and immigration in America. She’ll draw upon her cu

Newly confirmed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is one of a long line of Indian American physicians who have made their mar...
12/17/2014

Newly confirmed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is one of a long line of Indian American physicians who have made their mark on American history. Learn more in #BeyondBollywood, which closes in 242 days. — at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Address

Capital Gallery, Suite 7065
Washington D.C., DC
20024

General information

In 2009, the Asian Pacific American Center established the Indian American Heritage Project (IAHP), which will chronicle the story of immigrants from India and their descendants in America. This is the first Smithsonian initiative focused on the Indian American experience.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 633-2693

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Indian American Heritage Project posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

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As the National Co-Chair of Outreach for South Asians for Biden, I would humbly request you to consider the message below as we think about our civic engagement duty this November. While Trump was saying “namaste" to India, behind our back his team was putting together a xenophobic plan to damage the Indian American community and U.S India Economic Relations. 1. He has blocked engineers, programmers, and doctors — overwhelmingly from India (72%) — from entering the United States. These are jobs that even U.S. industry agrees cannot be filled organically. The backlog will be virtually unrecoverable. 2. He has previously imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel from India, citing vague ‘security threats’. 3. He even kicked India out of the trade preference program. Add to this, he offered to assist Pakistan in Kashmir and fabricated a fake call to India on China, which was rejected by Modi. It is clear why 80% of Indians vote Democrat. https://www.politico.com/…/trump-undercuts-campaign-minorit… https://youtu.be/AyXITLa6Boc "I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary…” —President Donald Trump Yet, Joe Biden believes that America is great because of the endless waves of immigrants that come to our nation, bringing new ideas and ways of thinking. He will restore roadblocks to naturalization, create a Task Force on New Americans, and remove bottlenecks caused by VISA caps that result in the current backlog.
Join a weekend of Indian events, Sept. 14-15 in Newport RI, including USA vs. India!
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So, the wait is over. Heartthrob of Hindi poetry, Dr Kumar Vishwas tours US this July. Get connected!