Cleveland's St. Clair Superior Development Corporation started branding the area between East 30th and 40th between Perkins and St Clair (along with a strip on Rockwell from old Chinatown) as AsiaTown about 5 years ago.
The 2000-2010 US Census revealed that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in Cleveland (the 7 county area) with a 42% growth rate from 2000 to 2010. (Hispanics grew by 39% and Whites decreased 6%)
There are 67,000 Asian Americans in Cleveland (2% of the population) and more than 2,200 NHPI. In Cuyahoga County alone there are 39,136 Asian Americans or 3%. That's a 32% growth from 2000-2010 and 19% growth for NHPI while the total population of Cleveland continues to decline.
The largest Asian American communities in Cleveland are Indian (31%), Chinese (22%), Filipino (12%), Korean (8%), Vietnamese (6%) and Japanese (5%). And these groups are creating an economic impact.
The US Census Bureau 2007 Business Owners Survey indicates that Asian Americans owned over 18,000 businesses in Ohio. 34% of these businesses had paid employees and the 51,000 employees earned nearly $1.4 billion in payroll. That's more than any other racial group except Whites.
Asian Americans are the only racial group in Cleveland that is majority (64%) foreign-born. About 69% of Asian Americans in Cleveland speak a language other than English at home, a rate higher than any other racial group. (The top five Asian languages spoken in Cleveland are Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean.)
There are, of course, other Asian countries (Russia for example) and Eurasian countries (Turkey, Armenia, etc.) and some overlap with the Middle East (Lebanon, Iraq) but this section will primarily cover the Eastern and Southeast Asian communities. The following specific sections are currently available on ClevelandPeople.Com:
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online 1,000 Chinese rare books produced before 1796. The Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection includes the most valuable titles and editions housed in the Library’s Asian Division, some of which date as far back as the 10th century and are the only extant copies in the world.
Mu shi zong pu
This new digital collection brings together printed books, manuscripts, Buddhist sutras, works with hand-painted pictures, local gazetteers and ancient maps, encompassing a wide array of disciplines and subjects in classics, history, geography, philosophy and literature.
Asian Heritage Night in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda
After not being able to gather because of Covid the last 2 years people were excited to gather again for Asian Heritage Night at Cleveland City Hall. Chia-Min Chen, Asian Liaison/Project Coordinator, Community Relations Board, City of Cleveland put together the evening which featured speeches, performances and food.
The annual Cleveland Asian Festival was back live after being virtual during Covid and over 30,000 people came to AsiaTown to enjoy it.
The Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) is a grassroots festival that highlights Cleveland's AsiaTown, Diversity, and Asian Culture in Northeast Ohio. It was organized in 2010 by volunteer community leaders to celebrate Cleveland's diversity and Asian Pacific American Heritage month (May).
The mission of CAF has remained the same over the years:
Strengthening the identity of AsiaTown and supporting its economic growth
Educating and promoting Asian culture and traditions
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Cleveland's Diversity
Cleveland Asian Festival at Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
The Cleveland Asian Festival participated in the 2022 Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade. This included the OCA Cleveland Dragon Dance Team and the Glory Drum Team of Cleveland. The 2022 Cleveland Asian Festival is May 21 and 22, 2022.
May Chen inducted in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
May Chen and her family immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong. She started Asian Services in Action (ASIA Inc.) to advocate for immigrants, especially Asian American immigrants, and it has grown to be the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) focused health and social services 501(c)(3) organization in the State of Ohio. ASIA has taken on the most challenging tasks to help the underserved, low-income, and immigrant communities across the state.
Due to the Covid pandemic there could not be the usual Hall of Fame induction ceremony with 500 people attending so May Chen was inducted in the office of her longtime friend Margaret Wong who was an inductee in the inaugural class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2010.
Michael Byun, her successor as CEO of ASIA Inc., sent his congratulations from Seattle and then May Chen gave her inspiring acceptance speech.
Congratulations May Chen!
Street named for Cleveland Chinese leader Stanley Eng
Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones spearheaded a posthumous honor for Mr. Stanley Eng, a community leader, with the addition of an honorary street name to E. 30th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ceremony took place Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Asia Plaza.
Mr. Stanley Eng (1926-2004) was selected for this honor by many leaders in the AsiaTown community. He founded and led several organizations including the Cleveland Chinese Senior Citizens Association, which still exists today, and he was best known for his work on behalf of the poor and elderly residents of Cleveland’s Chinatown (now known as AsiaTown). He spearheaded efforts to provide much-needed housing for elderly Chinese Americans that resulted in the Asian Evergreen Apartments on Payne Avenue, launched a meal program serving over 50 seniors per day at Li Wah, and led English language classes at the Cleveland Chinese Christian Church.
Community leader Wayne Wong served as MC for the ceremony honoring the late Stanley Eng.
Asian flavored pickles from Cleveland Pickle at Night Market
Cleveland Pickle chef Josh Kabat brought out some Asian inspired gourmet pickles for the August 2019 Night Market in Old Chinatown in Cleveland Ohio. Some of the flavors included Wasabi, Spicy Sriracha and Sweet Ginger pickles.
Cleveland Asian Festival creates ongoing Free Library for AsiaTown
Since inception ten years ago, the Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) has had more of an impact than just the two days of the event. The financial and community benefits of the Cleveland Asian Festival continue throughout the year.
The CAF Activities Committee suggested a free book giveaway at the Festival. Volunteers Mike and Oanh Powell spearheaded the effort to create an Asian architecture design for the library box. This is now a permanent free book library in AsiaTown.
The 10th annual Cleveland Asian Festival was held on the weekend of May 18 and 19 in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood on Payne Avenue. It has become a not-to-miss annual event with great entertainment, food, shopping and fun.
Street to be named for Stanley Eng in Cleveland's Asiatown
Wayne Wong, MC of the 2019 Cleveland Asian Festival, and Basheer Jones, Councilman of Ward 7, announced that a street would be named to honor (posthumously) Stanley Eng . Mr. Eng was a champion especially of the poor and elderly of the Chinese community in the neighborhood.
MotivAsians for Cleveland at International Cleveland Community Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art
International Cleveland Community Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art is a celebration of the rich diversity of our region's multiethnic communities, featuring traditional music and dance performances, cultural displays, and ingallery experiences. MotivAsians for Cleveland was represented with a banner and an information table.
MotivAsians May Luo and Neng Wang
8th annual Ohio Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Day
The 8th annual Ohio Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Day, Ohio's largest statewide AAPI advocacy event, took place on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus. Over 300 Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders from across the state, including at least 70 high school and college students, attended the event.
The annual Asian Pacific Heritage Day Celebration was held in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda on May 30, 2018. Chia-Min Chen, Asian Liaison for the City of Cleveland was the MC for the evening. Besides food and networking the offical program included remarks from Chias and Gia Hoa Ryan, Community Relations Board Member and leader of the Vietnamese community. The keynote speaker was Peter Paik, Teacher & Debate Team Coach of University School who told stories showing how is truly a wonderful thing to be a teacher.
Amit Ghose, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District teacher from Joseph M. Gallagher School, spoke about the culture and history of Nepal and Bhutan. He introduced a few of his students who performed Nepalese cultural dances.
Asian Highlands Exhibit Opening at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Asian Highlands, the new state-of-the-art destination at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, is now open to the public.
The immersive addition is home to Amur and snow leopards, red panda and a new species to the Zoo, takin.
Along with the ribbon cutting ceremony, several Asian groups performed including the Paj Tawg Tshiab ("blooming flower" in Hmong) traditional dance group and a Bharatanatyam dance from Tamil Nadu in southern India by 7th grader Deepa Manikandan.
Asian Lantern Festival Preview at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced Asian Lantern Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s that will light up the zoo for five weeks this summer. The limited engagement will take place evenings, Thursday thru Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., from July 19 to August 19, 2018.
Guests will enjoy more than two dozen large-scale, colorful lantern installations placed throughout the zoo that will illuminate starting at dusk. Guests will be immersed in Asian culture, dining on Asian inspired cuisine, watching Asian performers on the Fifth Third Bank stage, and shopping an authentic marketplace sponsored by T-Mobile.
The 2018 Cleveland Asian Festival was another huge success. The 9th annual Cleveland Asian Festival was held on the weekend of May 19 and 20 in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood on Payne Avenue. It has become a not-to-miss annual event with great entertainment, food, shopping and fun.
The Ohio Asian American Economic Summit took place November 14, 2017 at Ariel International Center in Cleveland. Ariel International and Margaret Wong & Associates LLC were the event sponsors. Ariel CEO Radhika Reddy had worked toward this event for years and with the support of Margaret Wong was able to fill the room with people interested in doing business in and with Asia and a stellar group of speakers and panelists including the Consul General of India who flew in from New York and the Consul General of Japan who came in from Detroit.
Radhika Reddy and Consul General of Japan in Detroit Mitsuhiro Wada
Honorable Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India
Asian Services In Action, Inc. 21st Anniversary Gala
Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA, Inc.) is the largest Asian American & Pacific Islander-focused (AAPI) health and social service 501(c)(3) agency in the State of Ohio. For more than 20 years, they have taken on the most challenging tasks to help the underserved, low-income, and immigrant communities in Northeast Ohio and all across the state. Serving over 28,000 individuals and families annual, ASIA is committed to the AAPI community through the various health and social service programs they offered.
On October 20, 2017 ASIA, Inc. held their 21st Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser at Cleveland State University.
Asian Highlands Groundbreaking at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo officially broke ground on Thursday August 17 on Asian Highlands, a new state-of-the-art exhibit that will enhance animal habitats as well as create a more engaging guest experience focusing on conservation.
Central Chinese influenced architecture and other elements of Asian culture will be incorporated.
The Snow Leopard is from Western China, the Red Pandas from more Central China and the Amur Leopard from the Eastern coastal regions.
Cleveland Dragon Boat Association at Cleveland Asian Festival
Gary Baney and Renae Dabney from the Cleveland Dragon Boat Association told about dragon boat racing, the organization and how to get involved. This was at the 2017 Cleveland Asian Festival.
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 2017 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH, 2017
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This month, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and we recognize the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that enrich our Nation.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have distinguished themselves in the arts, literature, and sports. They are leading researchers in science, medicine, and technology; dedicated teachers to our Nation's children; innovative farmers and ranchers; and distinguished lawyers and government leaders.
Dr. Sammy Lee, a Korean American who passed away last December, exemplified the spirit of this month. Dr. Lee was the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal, becoming a platform diving champion at the 1948 London Olympics only 1 year after graduating from medical school. To fulfill his dreams, Dr. Lee overcame several obstacles, including his local childhood pool's policy of opening to minorities only once per week. Later in life he was subject to housing discrimination (even after 8 years of military service). Dr. Lee nevertheless tirelessly served his country and community, including by representing the United States at the Olympic Games, on behalf of several Presidents.
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung also embodied the spirit of this month. In 1932, she became the first Chinese American woman to earn a pilot license. At the time, only about 1 percent of pilots in the United States were women. As a member of The Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots, she paved the way for thousands of women to take to the skies.
There are more than 20 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Each day, through their actions, they make America more vibrant, more prosperous, and more secure. Our Nation is particularly grateful to the many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces, protecting the Nation, and promoting freedom and peace around the world.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Congress, by Public Law 102–450, as amended, has also designated the month of May each year as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month." I encourage all Americans to learn more about our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Asian Services in Action ASIA Inc Friendraiser 2017
Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA, Inc.) is the largest Asian American & Pacific Islander-focused (AAPI) health and social service 501(c)(3) agency in the State of Ohio. For more than 20 years, they have taken on the most challenging tasks to help the undeserved, low-income, and immigrant communities in Northeast Ohio and all across the state. Serving over 28,000 individuals and families annual, ASIA is committed to the AAPI community through the various health and social service programs they offered. On April 27, 2017 ASIA held their 2nd annual Friendraiser event at Ariel International.
Michael Byun and May Chen, ASIA, Inc. Founder
The keynote speaker was Loi Dang-Nguyen, Ph.D. who came to the US in 1975 fleeing Vietnam with her family of 12 siblings.
Health Disparities in Asian Populations November 10, 2016
Margaret Wong and Associates and Case Western Reserve University joined together to create an evening reception to promote health, education, and awareness to the Asian community in Cleveland. The event featured an educational seminar by Li Li, MD PhD, Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Professor and Director. Dr. Li spoke about Acculturation and Health Disparities in Asian Population.
Cleveland's Asian Immigrant Communities August 10, 2016
On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, Global Cleveland hosted a panel discussion at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage titled: Begin the Conversation: Cleveland's Immigrant Communities Today: Pan-Asian Community.
Four members of the Cleveland Asian community spoke and answered questions from moderator Jeffery Allen: Gia Hoa Ryan who came to the US from her native Vietnam in 1971, Asim Datta who came from India, Johnny Wu who has lived in Panama, Taiwan and other places and represented the Chinese community and Nupur Goel who is in the 11th Grade at Gilmour Academy. Her parents emigrated from India 20+ years ago.
Jeffery Allen, Asim Datta, Nupur Goel, Johnny Wu and Gia Hoa Ryan
Cleveland Asian Festival marches in St Patrick's Day Parade
March 17, 2015
The Cleveland Asian Festival, including the Dragon Dance team, marched in the 148th Cleveland St Patrick's Day Parade. The 6th Annual Cleveland Asian Festival will be May 16 and 17, 2015.
ASIA's International Community Health Center Grand Opening
Asian Town Center - February 25, 2015
The new International Community Health Center (ICHC) on the 2nd floor of the Asian Town Center on East 38th Street fills the need for what ASIA's Executive Director Michael Byun called "Culturally Competent Medical Care" in Cleveland's AsiaTown.
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Ariel International Center - January 28, 2015
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) held a Community Listening Session at Ariel International Center on January 28, 2015. The event was coordinated by City of Cleveland Community Relations Board Asian Liaison Chia-Min Chen.
About 1000 people celebrated the Annual Mass and Gathering on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 12 noon at St. Clarence Church. This is the 17th year the event was hosted by the Asian Ministry of the Diocese of Cleveland. It was an afternoon of family celebration of Asian culture and spirituality beginning with the celebration of the Mass with the Most Rev. Roger W Gries, OSB along with priests from the different Asian Catholic communities.
The cultural and ethnic diversity of the Asian Catholic communities assembled at the Mass was reflected throughout the celebration. Members of the various Asian communities came together with their own traditions, dressed in colorful ethnic clothes: shimmering saris, kimonos, karawangs, hanboks, barongs, and ao dai. The entrance procession included Vietnamese drums. During the Mass there was an incense ceremony by the Vietnamese, and the Indian aarti. Hymns were sung by the choirs in various Asian languages: Tagalog (Filipino), Korean, Vietnamese and Hindi (Indian).
The readings and the prayers of the faithful were also said in various Asian languages.
Sesuraj Family at the Asian Catholic Mass and Gathering
The City of Cleveland Community Relations Board, led by Asian Liaison Chia-Min Chen, hosted an Asian Heritage Day Celebration on May 28, 2014 in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda. After a keynote address by Margaret Wong, representatives from over 60 Asian organizations came on stage and told about their group.
The 4th annual Cleveland Asian Festival attracted 38,380 attendees over the weekend of May 18-19, 2013. They spent over $2 million in the AsiaTown neighborhood. There were dozens of performances from local, regional, and national performing groups including headliner Cheesa from NBC's The Voice.
People enjoyed Asian cuisine from over 20 different restaurants and shopping in the World Market which was filled with merchants of Asian themed products while sponsors had informational displays at their tent.
2013 Cleveland Asian Festival recap from Johnny Wu
Johnny Wu is one of the founders of the annual Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF). He gave a recap of the popular event in Cleveland's AsiaTown at the annual meeting of the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation at the Ariel International Center.
Martial Arts demonstration in Cleveland City Hall
Martial Arts demonstration with flags, swords and other instruments in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda at the 2013 the annual Asian Pacific Heritage Day celebration.