Asian American Pacific Islander Month


 Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture in the United States. Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

South Orange Village and Maplewood Township have joined forces to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, 2021 and are offering a line-up of activities, projects and events that highlight the AAPI heritage in our community! Click the links below for complete listings of all SOMA events and keep scrolling for some highlights.

South Orange AAPI Events

Maplewood AAPI Events

Press Release | Full Activities List


SOMA Wishing Trees

SCCW_AAPI_WishingTree_03_10x10Make a wish for a bright future and to end to all anti-Asian racism and in honor of all in the AAPI community directly and indirectly affected by violence and hate. Make a wish. Write it on a tag. Tie your tag to the string on any SOMA wishing tree location. In South Orange Visit Spiotta Park. Wish ribbons available at Sparkhouse and Kitchen a la Mode. All Month Long - May 2021.  Ask your friends and family to do the same.

You can make our collective wishes come true by taking action to understand how the exclusion of Asians from racial discourse and community visibility leads to anti-Asian racism and enables the continued dismissal of Asian relevance in racial justice, community diversity, and school integration agendas.

Sponsors: SOMA Asian, Township of Maplewood, South Orange Village, SOMA Action Racial Justice, SOMA Action Religious Justice, SOMA Justice


Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Awakening - May 1 - May 31 

AWAKENINGSNai-Ni Chen Dance Company performing Awakening is available as Video On Demand through May 31 in honor of AAPI Heritage Month. Nai-Ni Chen is the founder, choreographer and Artistic Director of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. Born in Taiwan, she became a renowned traditional dancer and has served on several ambassadorial culture missions to nineteen countries around the world. Through "Awakening," Nai-Ni Chen hopes the dances will speak to viewers and provide a sense of joy and hope for the future. FREE with registration at

Enjoy Hula Dance performances in Spiotta Park with Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima o Nūioka 

Untitled design (1)

Don't miss this amazing opportunity for a Hula Dance performance from a nationally recognized Hula Dance Company on Saturday, May 22 from 3 to 5 pm in Spiotta Park! 

Grab refreshments from one of our many Asian restaurants or stay after the performances for dinner out. See a list of SOMA Asian restaurants below.Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the performances by this premier dance company. 

Sponsored by local realtor, CAROL VELEZ FARDIN | 917.450.8843, Cross Cultural Works, South Orange Village, and Maplewood Township. 


AAPI Heritage Month Family Pool Party

AAPI Pool Party ArtCanceled due to rain forecast. 

Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for making AAPI Month in South Orange and Maplewood so special this year.

I’m so grateful for all our community activists, volunteers and sponsors who helped us celebrate the month of May in a way that really highlighted AAPI culture, achievements and how fortunate we are to live in these diverse communities.

Unfortunately, we have to cancel our Family Pool Party which was scheduled for tomorrow, May 28 from 5pm-8pm, at the South Orange community pool.

I share in your disappointment, but our professional staff have been monitoring the weather and it’s not cooperating. Out of respect for the lifeguards, pool staff and vendors who were going to work the event, we need to make the call now.

While this event cannot be rescheduled at this time, I hope you are equally excited about the month of June as PRIDE Month in South Orange and Maplewood and don’t forget a big week of programs and activities leading up to our celebration of Juneteenth!

Visit for event listings.

Looking forward to seeing you soon and thank you again.

Sheena Collum, Village President