The Asian American Resource Center: celebrating our cultural heritage and history

October 8, 2014 Austin, Ideas & Inspiration

The Asian American Resource Center in Austin (AARC) celebrated its first birthday in September of 2014.

Located at 8401 Cameron Road in Northeast Austin, the center represents a long-awaited dream for many people in Austin’s Asian-American community. It’s a place to hold cultural gatherings, to help children connect with their families’ heritage and to showcase work by Asian and Asian-American artists.

For young and old

During a weekday visit to AARC, we saw children at a Korean-language summer camp (“Discover Korea”) laughing and chatting during a break from their lessons. AARC provides a variety of art classes, workshops and camps for children and teenagers. This past summer, the camps for kids included “Passport to Asia” and “Comic Art: Ink and Digital Techniques.” Children came from many different parts of the city to attend.

There were also many senior citizens from different Asian countries who came to eat lunch at the center (a nearby Asian restaurant provides the food). Transportation to the center is available for seniors. Fun activities such as tai chi, table tennis, meditation, crafts and yoga are held throughout the week.

At the center we saw many interesting photographs and displays about the history of Asians and Asian-Americans in Central Texas. Different art and photography exhibits will rotate through over time; each one highlights an aspect of Asian cultural heritage or history.

Host your event here

The AARC is a unique and attractive location for an event. The center’s grand ballroom is 4,800 square feet and can accommodate 300-400 people. The great lawn outside would work well for a festival or concert. There is also a spacious foyer, a conference room which seats 25, and classrooms which can fit 15-20 people (great for breakout sessions at a conference.) All of these spaces are available for rental. The AARC takes reservations a minimum of two weeks before an event, and up to a year in advance.

Amenities include a warming kitchen, the ability to use your preferred caterer and vendors, convenient parking, audio and visual equipment and customizable spaces.

Free meeting room

In addition, there are two community rooms available at no charge for Austin residents and organizations. (Meetings must be for a non-commercial purpose and held not more than twice a month.)

A relaxing courtyard with a Japanese design forms the interior of the center and can be used for meditation or reading.

The AARC is part of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

To find out more about the AARC, visit www.austintexas.gov/aarc, call (512) 974-1700 or email aarc@austintexas.gov.

Photo courtesy of austintexas.gov