Museums in New York

Visit MOCA: Uncover Chinese American Legacy

Ever curious about the deep cultural roots and history of Chinese Americans in the U.S.? At the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in , you can dive into their stories. Known as the Chinatown museum, it shows the Chinese American journey with exhibits and programs. MOCA reveals a rich legacy that will change what you thought you knew and make you think deeper.

MOCA’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

In 2020, MOCA celebrated 40 years. They honored the moment with events, shows, and new collections. These highlighted Chinese Americans' great impacts over the years. The celebration let guests explore MOCA's rich history and learn new things.

The museum has a busy schedule full of exciting events. There are workshops, performances, and talks for all. These events help visitors deeply understand Chinese American culture and history, adding new insights.

MOCA offers many educational programs for different ages. Whether you're learning, teaching, or just curious, you can dive deeper. You'll discover the vast heritage of Chinese Americans.

Visiting MOCA means more than seeing exhibits. It means joining a community that values diversity and conversation. The museum works hard to make experiences engaging. It is a key part of the Chinese American community and a treasure for everyone.

The Origin of MOCA

In 1980, Jack Tchen and Charlie Lai started the Center for Community Studies. Today, it's known as the New York Chinatown History Project. They aimed to keep Manhattan's Chinatown history alive amid major changes.

MOCA has gathered many firsthand stories and historical records. Through interviews and research, they highlight the lives of Chinese Americans in the area. These archives are open for everyone, giving insights into Chinatown's past.

These archives are very important. They help us understand the Chinese American journey better. Through personal stories and events, they show the struggles and achievements of Chinese Americans.

Exhibitions at MOCA

MOCA has been showcasing exhibitions that highlight Chinese American culture and history. They've had a wide variety of shows that connect and teach visitors. This lets people understand the Chinese American experience better.

Eight Pound Livelihood

The museum's first exhibition, Eight Pound Livelihood, started in 1983. It looked into the lives of Chinese laundrymen in New York's Chinatown. It showed their struggles, successes, and how they impacted the community. With stories, items, and photos, it made visitors feel like they were stepping back in time. This helped appreciate the hard work and drive of these individuals.

The Chinese Women of America

The Chinese Women of America, put together by Judy Yung, tells the stories of Chinese women in America from the 19th century till now. It celebrated their roles and successes but also showed their fights for equality and justice. Through personal accounts, photos, and accounts, it shared the varied and inspiring paths of these women.

In the Shadow of Liberty: Graphics of Chinese Exclusion

The show In the Shadow of Liberty: Graphics of Chinese Exclusion, from 1986, looked at the unfair Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the model minority myth. With a mix of graphics, photos, and historical stuff, it showed the challenges and racism Chinese immigrants faced here. It got people talking about immigration, race, and identity. It also helped fight stereotypes and push for a more open society.

These shows and others have been key in increasing awareness and starting discussions about the rich Chinese American community. MOCA keeps creating exhibits that make us think more about the Chinese American culture and history, past, present, and future.

MOCA’s Collections and Research

If you love learning about Chinese American history, MOCA has a lot to offer. It has tons of artifacts, documents, photos, and stories. These items help show what life was like for Chinese Americans.

MOCA has over 60,000 letters and documents, plus clothes and other things. They tell the story of Chinese Americans. Anyone can use these resources at MOCA's center. It's a place for studying and finding out more.

The museum works hard to keep its collections safe for the future. They preserve, write down, and digitize their materials.


Collection Contents
Letters and Documents Personal letters, legal stuff, and historic documents that show Chinese American lives
Business Records Archives from businesses run by Chinese Americans, showing their industry roles
Oral Histories Interviews that record Chinese American stories, keeping them for others to learn
Clothing and Textiles Traditional clothes and textiles that share Chinese American fashion and culture
Photographs Photos that capture important moments in Chinese American history and show their triumphs and trials
Artifacts Various items that represent the cultural and everyday life of Chinese Americans

Whether you're a researcher or just curious, MOCA's collections are full of insights. Dive into these treasures and find the stories of Chinese Americans at MOCA.

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MOCA’s Expansion and Accessibility

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) now has a bigger, better space. It can show more and dive deeper into 160 years of Chinese American history. This makes the museum a top spot for all visitors to learn and have fun.

Interactive exhibits are a key part of MOCA's new look. They let you see and feel the history and culture up close. Now, you can touch, play, and see the Chinese American journey from the start to now. It's a full-on, fun way to learn.

“MOCA's interactive exhibits truly make history come alive. The museum's approachable and engaging displays offer a unique opportunity to connect with the stories, struggles, and triumphs of Chinese Americans throughout history.” -Visitor Testimonial

More than just exhibits, MOCA has educational stuff for everyone. Whether you live in New York or are visiting, alone or in a group, there's something for you. There are tours, workshops, and talks that help everyone learn more about Chinese American achievements.

Besides being educational, MOCA is for everyone. It wants all kinds of people to come and connect with Chinese American history. The new design is all about including everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from.

With its big new space and open heart, MOCA shares Chinese American history with everyone. It's about bringing people together, no matter their differences. MOCA celebrates the shared story of all Americans.

Highlights of MOCA's Expansion and Accessibility Benefits
Interactive Exhibits Hands-on engagement with 160 years of Chinese American history
Educational Programs Diverse programs catering to New Yorkers, domestic and international visitors, students, and school groups
Commitment to Accessibility Inclusive design elements and accessibility for visitors of all abilities
Diverse Visitors Fostering dialogue and understanding among visitors from different backgrounds

Come see the new MOCA and explore Chinese American history. Learn about this community's rich stories and achievements in a new, engaging way. It's a chance to see, learn, and think together.

MOCA’s Fire Recovery and Conservation Efforts

In 2020, MOCA faced a huge challenge. A disastrous fire hit its Chinatown site, where collections and archives were kept. This fire put the precious Chinese American history at risk. But, thanks to hard-working volunteers and community support, MOCA saved 90% of its 85,000 items.

Right after the fire, MOCA acted fast to save and fix what was left. They set up the MOCA Workshop. It's a place where they work on saving and fixing artifacts. Thanks to this, the museum can keep these important pieces safe for the future.

The MOCA Workshop is top-notch for storing collections. It has the best climate control, shelves, and security. This helps keep the items safe from damage and the environment.

MOCA also added high-tech digitization stations to the Workshop. This lets the museum make digital copies of the collection. Now, more people can see and study these items, from researchers to the public.

There's also a library in the MOCA Workshop. It's full of resources for those studying Chinese American history. This library holds lots of books, documents, and archives. It helps with research and understanding of Chinese American stories.

The MOCA Workshop shows how strong and determined MOCA is. It's all about saving and taking care of Chinese American history. The museum is dedicated to keeping this culture and history alive. They want everyone to know and celebrate the contributions of Chinese Americans.

Despite tough times, MOCA remains focused on saving its legacy. Their work makes sure we don't lose this valuable history. MOCA's efforts respect the past and help future generations learn.

MOCA's Fire Recovery and Conservation Efforts
fire recovery

Behind the Scenes: MOCA Collections and Research Center

Explore the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) at its Research and Collections Center. This center is open to the public. It shows how Chinese American history is kept safe and studied.

Go behind the scenes with a special behind-the-scenes tour. You'll see how MOCA looks after its collections and does important research.

On your tour, you'll also get to talk with Yue Ma, who leads the center. In a Q&A session, they'll describe how they keep and share Chinese Americans' cultural stories.

See for yourself the hard work and love put into protecting the tales and items. They tell us about Chinese American history. This adds to America's rich culture.

MOCA’s Role in Cultural Dialogue

MOCA plays a key role in sparking conversations that go beyond borders. It highlights contemporary voices and tackles present-day issues in the Chinese American community. The museum is a space for artists, scholars, and the community to share their views on arts, culture, and identity.

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By showcasing the variety of Chinese American arts and culture, MOCA honors the contributions of Chinese Americans. With its exciting exhibitions, workshops, and online resources, MOCA helps people understand and value the Chinese American story.

MOCA is dedicated to bringing modern voices to the forefront. It features the work of artists and thinkers influencing today's culture. This encourages dialogue and helps visitors see the Chinese American experience from various viewpoints.

MOCA also uses digital tools to involve more people. Even those who can't visit in person can explore virtual exhibitions and programs. This lets individuals worldwide connect with Chinese American arts, culture, and history.

Moreover, MOCA works with other cultural organizations to broaden the conversation. This partnership strengthens the voice of Chinese Americans. It also creates opportunities for exchange and collaboration between different communities.

Key Takeaways:

  • MOCA serves as a platform for cultural dialogue, encouraging conversations and exchanges that transcend boundaries.
  • The museum showcases contemporary voices and addresses current issues within the Chinese American community through its series programming and multi-year projects.
  • MOCA celebrates the contributions and experiences of Chinese Americans by promoting Chinese American arts, culture, and history.
  • Through exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and online resources, MOCA aims to shape the future of the Chinese American legacy.
  • The museum actively engages with diverse audiences and leverages digital platforms to reach a wider community.

cultural dialogue

MOCA’s Community Engagement

MOCA stands as a beacon for diverse groups of people. It partners with educators, artists, and locals to create meaningful exhibits. These exhibits celebrate Chinese American arts, culture, and history.

“By ensuring that the stories and experiences of the Chinese American community are shared and celebrated, MOCA plays a vital role in promoting understanding and appreciation among diverse audiences,”

MOCA is a key educational tool thanks to its vast network. It offers learning chances for all, regardless of age or background. MOCA's interactive displays and workshops teach about Chinese American heritage and achievements.

Community Support: Ensuring a Sustainable Future

Volunteers, community, and professional groups are MOCA's backbone. They help preserve Chinese American history and culture. Their hard work keeps MOCA's vision alive and enriches its offerings.

“The collaborative spirit and community support are instrumental in advancing MOCA's vision and fostering a sense of belonging and pride within the Chinese American community,”

Volunteers are crucial, helping with events, research, and welcoming guests. Their dedication ensures MOCA's projects run smoothly.

Community members also play a big part. They join MOCA's activities, share stories, and talk with others. Their support boosts MOCA's cultural identity and community ties.

Professional institutions provide their skills and resources to MOCA. These partnerships lead to research opportunities and promote Chinese American arts.

Embracing History, Empowering Communities

MOCA has become a key center of inspiration and pride for the Chinese American community. It ensures their cultural heritage is recognized and preserved. MOCA encourages understanding and connection.

As a community hub, MOCA highlights the Chinese American community's stories and achievements. It offers resources and a friendly space for all. MOCA helps people explore their identity and celebrate Chinese American culture.

Help MOCA in its quest to boost cultural understanding and honor Chinese Americans. Let's build a more welcoming and diverse community together.

Plan Your Visit to MOCA

Planning your trip to the Museum of Chinese in America lets you dive into exciting exhibits and programs. You'll get to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Chinese Americans. The museum's displays are truly thought-provoking.

Prefer staying home? MOCA offers virtual tours. These tours let you explore exhibits from your living room. You'll understand more about the Chinese American legacy this way.

Want a guided tour? MOCA has those too. Their expert-led tours give more insight into their collections. You'll discover fascinating stories and artifacts with the help of knowledgeable guides.

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No matter how you visit, MOCA welcomes you to explore Chinese American history. Plan your visit for an enlightening experience. Discover the captivating world that MOCA showcases, whether in person or online.

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