Cafe Cà Phê Invites You to Celebrate AAPI Heritage at AAPICONIC 2023

By: Nicole Mitchell

Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê is hosting another iconic festival this spring at Columbus Square Park, and you’re invited. Join the party on May 20 for the second annual Kansas City AAPI Festival, presented by Fresh Karma Dispensaries.

The theme is ICONIC: A Throwback To 1999—a time where music, fashion, and pop-culture were at their finest. Fresh Prince was on the TV and Britney Spears ruled the world. The aesthetic for the event is “1990s Magazine Cover,” so dig out your favorite tube tops and acid-wash jeans and join for a day of live entertainment, booths by local makers and artisans, and nostalgic vignettes designed specifically for photo ops.

All are welcome to attend, and AAPI attendees specifically are invited to wear traditional garments from their culture to show off AAPI pride during a mini-runway fashion show. In celebration of May being Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, every performer and vendor will be AAPI.

“Cafe Cà Phê’s mission has always been to uplift local AAPI folks, particularly those with a smaller reach who might be overlooked for other opportunities,” Jackie Nguyen, owner of Cafe Cà Phê says. “During AAPI Month in particular, we want to showcase the hella talent our Kansas City AAPI community has to offer and invite folks in to witness their brilliance.”

Featured performers for the event include DJ Kay Fan, Three Trails Taiko, traditional Balinese dancer Wenny Grant, and many more. Local business Umeshiso will be selling their “gay” utensils, along with over 20 other AAPI-owned small businesses. If you’ve been missing blowup furniture with brightly-colored pop art backgrounds, look no further, because this festival will be flush with it. 

Cafe Cà Phê celebrated the highly-anticipated opening of its brick and mortar location in Kansas City’s historic Columbus Park neighborhood August 2022. Central to its mission, Cafe Cà Phê has celebrated a different small business almost weekly since opening day through popup events and social media promotion. The 2023 AAPI Festival will be representative of this mission.

Other sponsors of this event include Rancilio Group, Torani, Oatly, Boulevard Brewing, Made in KC, and more.


Columbus Square Park

Saturday, May 20

Nicole Mitchell (she/they) is a writer and social media manager who graduated December 2020 with a degree in strategic communication. A few of her favorite things include cuddling with cats, listening to Bon Iver, making lattes, and running her book club (even though sometimes she forgets to read the books.)

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