On May 21st, 2022, the Chinese American Parent Association held its 4th annual AAPI Heritage Month Art Contest award ceremony at the Museum of Howard County History. This year’s theme was “Renew and rebuild: our community and beyond.” Each meaningful artwork in display during this ceremony was filled with symbolism and detail, as presented by the winning artists.

Ellen Flynn Giles, the president of the Howard County Historical Society, was one of the guest speakers present at the ceremony. “I’m very excited that we were able to highlight the artwork of the Asian American and Pacific Islander students who participated in this contest,” she said later in an interview. Other guest speakers included Angela Cabellon, the Howard County Chief Innovation Officer & Deputy Chief Administrative Officer; Katie Fry Hester, a Maryland State Senator, Dr. Yun Lu, a member of the Howard County Board of Education and CAPA-HC Board, and Yu Chen, the Board Chair of CAPA-HC.

The Howard County Historical Society was founded in 1958 to collect historical artifacts in order to preserve and learn more about the history behind Howard County. “If we really want to tell our story, we have to tell everyone’s story,” Giles said. “[History] is really all those voices, and we want to make sure that’s what we’re able to represent.”

The annual AAPI Heritage Month Art Contest is also a part of that history. Each talented student submitted a piece that described what the theme meant to them. At the ceremony, the winners all presented a brief artist statement on their pieces. Each student interpreted the theme uniquely, ranging from various topics relating to the Asian community.

This is the first time that AAPI art has been exhibited at the Museum of Howard County History, inspiring inclusion and healing amongst our neighbors. The winning artworks will be on display at the Museum through June 19th. Anyone interested in seeing the artwork can visit the museum, which is open from 1 PM to 5 PM on Fridays to Sundays.

“We just made history today!” Giles said about the ceremony. CAPA hopes to continue its collaboration with the Howard County Historical Society so the AAPI Heritage Month Art Contest can occur again in the coming years.