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History



Asia Institute – Crane House (AICH) celebrates and brings to life the cultural diversity of Asia to Kentucky and southern Indiana residents and visitors. AICH provides educational and cultural programs and services to the public and works to increase the capacity of our local Asian communities to share and preserve their heritage.



Founded in 1987 as Crane House, The China Institute, Inc. by Helen Lang, the Institute developed into the premier Asian cultural center in mid-America. In 1996, the name was changed to Asia Institute to recognize and enfold all Asian cultures. Asia Institute-Crane House now provides programs on China, Japan, India, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal, Taiwan, the Philippines and Central Asia.

AICH annually reaches over 50,000 schoolchildren and adults throughout the Commonwealth and Southern Indiana through educational programs, business programs, lectures, exhibitions, performances and organizational partnerships. The business membership program connects Kentucky Asian businesses with AICH members and communities creating new opportunities for business growth and development.

Programs targeted to K-12 students and teachers are a core of AICH educational outreach. The Teaching in Asia program, sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, sends Kentucky teachers to Asia to work with high school English teachers and students. This year, over twenty teachers will travel to six different sites in China to provide English language and American culture training. The exchange increases cultural understanding and gives teachers new insights to share with their students at home.

In 2001, Asia Institute-Crane House opened its first gallery featuring objects from the AICH collection. Recent exhibits include ceramics, paintings, photographs and installations from Asian and Asian American artists as well as collectors in the community. In 2011, AICH and the Vietnamese community received a Kentucky History Award from the Kentucky Historical Society for the Vietnam Oral History Project, which seeks to gather, record and preserve the story of the local Vietnamese community.
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