What is the Asian American Coalition of Florida or (AACF)?
The Asian American Coalition of Florida is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1982 with the mission to promote understanding of Asian culture, to narrow the gap between the East and the West, to preserve Asian heritage and culture for future generations, and to contribute and work in harmony to maintain this great nation of multicultural heritage.
What is Asia Fest?
Asia Fest is an annual celebration of "National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month" which has been held in downtown Tampa since 1982. Each year the event has been coordinated by the Asian Coalition of Florida (AACF).
The goal of Asia Fest is to share Asian culture with the public and promote the bond of friendship and better understanding between the East and the West.
The event is FREE to the public and supported by sponsors. Asia Fest presents a colorful, festive celebration that features cultural entertainment and Asian ethnic food representing Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Several key local Asian Pacific restaurants are on board as food vendors.
Asia Fest is held annually during the same day and time as the International Dragonboat Race. Attendance to the event is well over 10,000.
What is the history between the Tampa Bay Asian-American Community, the County Office, and Asia Fest?
The Asian-American Coalition of Florida (AACF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Florida corporation whose history traces back to 1982 when the leaders of the Tampa Bay area Asian-American community met in an effort to share their culture, promote friendship, and founded the Asian-American Heritage Council (AAHC).
Later, AACH was changed to AACF to expand activities. Based upon noble ideas and beliefs, the AACF leaders put their efforts together and led the Asian American community for almost three decades. The Asian-American community is comprised of 17 distinct ethnic groups (people from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam).
Due to our activities, the Asian community was recognized by government officials and the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners approached the AACF in 1994 to establish an Asian American Affairs Liaison Office in the County Center. Thirteen Asian-American community leaders unanimously elected Kimi Springsteen to represent the Asian American community and she has been serving as their liaison since 1994.
The Asian-American Affairs Liaison Office of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and AACF have co-hosted the annual Asia Fest celebrations since the inception of the office in 1994. The event is held in concert with the annual celebration of the National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The Asia Fest program presents a festive celebration that features cultural entertainment and Asian ethnic food from participating restaurants.