Our History Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival began in 2016 as an idea sparked by Ace Marasigan, now the organization’s Founder and CEO, and quickly grew from a shared vision between he and his wife, Jackie, to a community-wide initiative that extends beyond a single event to year round activities that honor Asian traditions.
Ace, who emigrated from Manila, Philippines in 1993 and has made Grand Rapids, Michigan his home since 1998, desired for his son, Redd, to feel both pride in and connection to his Filipino heritage.
Since those early conversations in 2016 to today, GRAPF has grown from a small team of eight to a legion of volunteers, advocates, and ambassadors, all working tirelessly to highlight Asian culture in West Michigan.
Our Mission In its early stages, one of the primary goals of the Festival was to raise awareness about the many different countries and cultures that make up Asia—and to make our city a place where Asian people can feel belonging and celebrate their food, traditions, dress, music, dance, and lives with their neighbors.
Now, with those initial goals met, the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival team has expanded its aspirations to becoming a resource for learning, a force for good, and a platform to rally ALL people to do amazing things in the community.
The team encourages everyone, no matter their ethnicity, to focus on enrichment, inclusion, unity, respect, and, above all, kindness in every action.
Our Vision Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival seeks to inspire today’s younger members to become tomorrow’s leaders; to take ownership of this endeavor and make it sustainable for years to come.
The first generation has created the framework and built the momentum. How will you keep the spirit of Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival alive?