SEATTLE, WA – Today, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that it has designated the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience as an affiliate area of the NPS, thanks to the work of a coalition headed by Representative Jim McDermott. With this designation the museum will gain prominence by becoming part of the nationally recognized system of America’s natural and cultural resources, as well as receive protection and technical support from the NPS.

A formal request letter was sent to the NPS on May 9, 2012 by Congressman McDermott and co-signed by eight members of Congress, including Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and Representatives Norm Dicks (D-WA-06), Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) and Adam Smith (D-WA-09).

Founded in 1967, the Wing Luke Museum is the only museum in America which focuses on showcasing the stories and cultures of Americans from Asian and pan-Asian Pacific origins. “We are very lucky to have a nationally recognized cultural center in our backyard, especially one that invests so much in our city and our Pan-Asian Pacific community,” said McDermott, “It’s a piece of our history and I couldn’t be more proud to play a part in helping to protect and preserve it.”

Beth Takekawa, Executive Director of the Museum, praised Congressman McDermott for spearheading the effort, saying, “We are ecstatic about this historic step! It is the culmination of years of exploration with Congressman McDermott, whose leadership has been pivotal for advancing our community and museum.”

Representative McDermott and other supporters, including U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, will attend the Wing Luke Museum’s celebration to commemorate the designation on Sunday, February 10th.