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[New York, NY] January 7, 2019 – The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is excited to announce MOCA FEST 2019, an 8-week Lunar New Year celebration at MOCA to welcome the Year of the Pig and the start of year 4717 on the Chinese calendar. Festivities will include the launch of MOCA’s new shop in partnership with Pearl River Mart; Lunar New Year-themed programs, speakers, and children’s activities; MOCA’s popular Night Market showcasing cuisine from famed Asian American chefs; a Family Festival; and a glamorous Lunar Soiree. The Museum invites people of all ages to take part in its uniquely designed celebration aimed at providing a genuine and deep understanding of this famed holiday and what it means in American society.


All proceeds go towards supporting the Museum of Chinese in America, the largest institution of its kind. Through its critically acclaimed exhibitions and collection of over 65,000 artifacts, the Museum provides an immersive approach to learning about the multi-faceted identity and untold stories of Chinese people in America and their contributions to the American historical and cultural narrative.


MOCA FEST 2019 also marks the official launch of MOCA’s new shop specially curated by Pearl River Mart. An exclusive Press Preview of the new MOCA Shop by Pearl River space will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30, before the shop’s Grand Opening Ceremony at 7 p.m. when Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America, and Joanne Kwong, President of Pearl River Mart, will unveil a curated collection of items that hold great meaning in Chinese American culture; rotating merchandise from up-and-coming Asian American designers and makers; and limited edition memorabilia highlighting major MOCA exhibitions and artists. Media should RSVP to press@mocanyc.org to attend the Press Preview and cover the Grand Opening Ceremony.


“MOCA is proud to organize a Lunar New Year celebration at the Museum as a place for all to gather,” said Nancy Yao Maasbach. “It is a time-honored tradition that evolves every year to offer new, meaningful ways for visitors to deepen their appreciation of Lunar New Year beyond the stereotypes and clichés and understand the holiday’s contribution to history and culture in America.”


On Friday, January 11, visitors can get a head-start on making precious Lunar New Year memories by preserving their family histories through the Museum’s Preserving Family Heritage Workshop held at MOCA’s Collections and Research Center at 70 Mulberry Street. Attendees can reserve an hour-long session to digitize their most precious photos, paper documents and 2-D mementos. From 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. oral historian Richard Cheu also will conduct a hands-on workshop on how to conduct an oral history, the recording mechanics and the interviewing techniques involved so that every family’s history can be preserved.


Celebrate the Lunar New Year at MOCA’s popular Night Market, which returns on Thursday, February 1. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Museum will transform into a night market with food, drinks, live music and performances. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the chefs and taste innovative culinary creations from restaurants including Nom Wah Tea Parlor, East Wind Snack Shop, Hey Hey Canteen, Ming River, Saffron 59, Tea Drunk, and Silk Cakes. Television personality and chef Danielle Chang will present the Season Three premiere screening of her PBS show Lucky Chow followed by a Q&A and book signing. The night also will include music performances from some of the best emerging local performers and culminate in a traditional Lion Dance. Individual tickets to the Night Market are $99 for the general public, and $88 for Museum members. Tickets include Museum general admission, a one-year individual membership to MOCA, a “passport” book to sample all food vendors, and two free drinks.


Interwoven throughout MOCA FEST 2019 is a series of curated talks related to Lunar New Year, featuring:


- Stephen Gong discussing stories about the prominence and history of the traditional Lion Dance, which originated before the Tang Dynasty period in China (618-907), on Thursday, February 7 at 6:30pm;


- Chinese American activist, author, and former journalist Helen Zia who will discuss her book, Last Boat Out of Shanghai, a fictional account of four young Shanghai residents wrestling with the decision to abandon everything for uncertain lives in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. Helen Zia will be at MOCA on Friday, February 8 at 6:30 pm;


- Authors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith joining us to translate and decode the almanac's predictions with daily listings for 2019, the Year of the Pig, on Thursday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m.


Families can enjoy a special lion dance activity Lucky Lions showcasing the history and craftsmanship behind traditional Chinese lion heads, and liven up MOCA in our annual Museum Makeover on Saturday, February 2 and Tuesday, February 5, when they can make their own handmade decorations that will be displayed until our Lunar New Year Family Festival on Saturday, February 16.

On Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. visitors are invited to attend a special dumpling making demonstration. Watch and learn as chef Kay Ch’ien from Hey Hey Canteen prepares traditional Chinese dumplings, a most popular way to ring in the New Year.

MOCA’s celebration of the Lunar New Year will culminate with a Lunar Soiree, one of the Museum’s most important and intimate fundraisers of the year, on Wednesday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Rice & Gold. Guests will enjoy a pre-dinner theater performance and an inventive Lunar meal inspired by Chef Dale Talde, hosted in the restaurant’s premises at Hotel 50 Bowery before heading up to the hotel’s rooftop bar The Crown for a Lunar New Year after-party of drinks and music. Individual Citrine Piglet Tickets are $1,000; Ruby Piglet Tickets are $1,500; a Golden Pig Table for 6 guests is $8,000; and a Jade Pig Table for 8 guests is $10,000. To purchase tickets, visit www.mocanyc.org/LNY.

All MOCA FEST 2019 visitors to the Museum receive fortune cookies, and every 8th visitor gets a red envelope to celebrate the New Year. All event ticket prices include admission to MOCA and its main exhibitions, Radical Machines: Chinese in the Information Age and Interior Lives: Photographs of Chinese Americans in the 1980s by Bud Glick, on display until March 24, 2019.

Visit the Museum’s website at mocanyc.org for a full MOCA FEST 2019 schedule and other updates regarding upcoming programs and events. Follow MOCA on Facebook at www.facebook/mocanyc or on Twitter and Instagram at @mocanyc.


For media inquiries, please contact press@mocanyc.org.


About the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) aims to engage audiences in an ongoing and historical dialogue, in which people of all backgrounds are able to see American history through a critical perspective, to reflect on their own experiences, and to make meaningful connections between: the past and the present, the global and the local, themselves and others.

MOCA is a proud partner of the New York City IDNYC card benefit program and Culture Pass, a program for cardholders of Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library in which New Yorkers 13 and older can reserve passes and get free admission to dozens of NYC cultural institutions.

Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am-6pm
Thursday: 11am-9pm
MOCA Free First Thursdays: Free gallery admission on the first Thursday of each month, made possible through the generosity of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation.


General Admission: $12
Seniors (65 and older with ID), Students (with school ID): $8
Children under 2 in groups less than 10: Free
Cool Culture families: Free
MOCA Members: Free