Visit Philadelphia Celebrates AAPI Heritage Month with ‘Common Threads’ Series

Kazumi TeunKazumi Teune, executive director at Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia /Submitted Image, Photo by Visit Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA — In light of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Visit Philadelphia has launched its latest undertaking as part of the “In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union” series. This time, the focus is on recognizing and celebrating the rich and diverse AAPI community of Philadelphia through an eight-part video series titled “Common Threads”.

“Common Threads’ gives viewers insight into how participants remember and uphold their unique cultural festivals and familial customs. The series begins with an inaugural video presenting all interviewees, which then leads to seven videos, each concentrating on individuals from seven extensively represented AAPI cultural backgrounds in Philadelphia.

“Over 120,000 Philadelphians, who identify as part of the AAPI community, truly reflect the depth and diversity of our city’s AAPI community. This video series sheds light on the ways they keep their traditions and heritage alive in our city,” said Angela Val, president and CEO at Visit Philadelphia. Val also emphasized that these stories, set against the backdrop of Philadelphia’s iconic neighborhoods and landmarks, aim to make everyone feel welcome and at home.

The video series highlights unique personal experiences and the shared narratives that unite these diverse groups: family, traditions, and the sense of home they find in Philadelphia. This was the animating force behind the series name, “Common Threads”.

In preparing these videos, Visit Philadelphia worked closely with local AAPI leaders and organizations, including the Asian American Chamber of Commerce. All videos were shot at culturally significant neighborhoods and locations in Philadelphia, with each participant selecting their filming location.

The video lineup includes accounts from a collection of individuals representing various AAPI communities: Kazumi Teune, executive director at Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; Kiki Aranita, a chef, food writer, and sauce entrepreneur of Chinese and Hawaiian descent; Sindoor Shah, Visit Philadelphia Director of Design, her husband Alok and son Neev who identify as Indian; hospitality consultant Roland Bui who identifies as Vietnamese, among others.

Neil Frauenglass, chief marketing officer at Visit Philadelphia, admitted that creating a series that resonated with such a broad audience, encompassing nearly 50 ethnic groups and over a hundred languages, was a considerable challenge. However, he pointed out: “We were constantly reminded of the importance of traditions and celebrations for all community members. Our series presents America’s birthplace as a welcoming destination that respects and celebrates AAPI culture in May and all year long.”

The “Common Threads” videos will be released twice a week throughout May on Visit Philadelphia’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels. It is the most recent installment of the “In Pursuit of A More Perfect Union” series by Visit Philadelphia aiming to position the city as the leading inclusive and welcoming destination in the U.S.

As part of this project, Visit Philadelphia is incorporating three new books by AAPI authors into the Little Free(dom) Library project. The books – Under My Hijab by Hena Khan, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, and Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed – will be added to the 14 libraries located at sites and attractions across the city.

Visit Philadelphia, the official destination marketing organization for the city, constantly works to honor the nation’s history, while acknowledging that our values have significantly evolved from those of the Founding Fathers.

For more information about “Common Threads,” people are encouraged to visit

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