MOCA ANNOUNCES NEW EDUCATION CENTER, OUR CHINATOWN LEARNING CENTER AND COLLECTIONS ACCESS HUB

Download the PDF version of the press release.

 

[New York, NY] September 18, 2017 — Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) announces the opening of a new education center, Our Chinatown Learning Center and Collections Access Hub (“Our Chinatown LC”), located on the lower level of the Museum’s main building at 215 Centre Street. The launch of Our Chinatown LC coincides with the date of MOCA’s Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival, also on September 23, 2017. Our Chinatown LC is comprised of Learning Stations, a Collections Access Hub, a Reading Corner, and a Rest & Play area. MOCA is deeply grateful for the encouragement and support of New York City Councilmen Margaret Chin and Peter Koo, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

 

Our Chinatown LC is the first phase in an enhanced Museum experience for MOCA members and visitors of all ages. With expanded opportunities and innovative approaches to explore historical and present-day questions of diversity and inclusion, this new visitor-centered space reaffirms MOCA’s commitment to encourage dialog among visitors that transcends generational, geographical, and cultural boundaries.

 

The new center features:

 

Learning Stations

Through guided questions and hands-on activities at the Learning Center, even the youngest visitors will be able to explore facsimiles of materials from MOCA’s Collections and Archives and creatively explore what life was like for Chinese Americans in New York City’s Chinatown from the 1900s to the 2000s. Themed Learning Stations, including “Behind the Seams: Garment Workers in Chinatown” and “Studio Portraits”, complement the core exhibition, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, and further enrich the visitor-centered learning experience.

 

Collections Access Hub
MOCA’s role as a steward of Chinese American history is highlighted at the Collections Access Hub where teens, adults, and seniors can browse MOCA’s Collections Online and conduct basic genealogy research, with access to web-based programs that can be used for research, and FAQs for browsing MOCA’s Collections.

 

Rest & Play

As one of the most in-demand spaces at MOCA’s Family Festivals, Rest & Play is now a permanent fixture at the Museum. Rest & Play is designed for parents and caretakers to rest while their children play. Kids of all ages can enjoy free play with books, blocks, and more.

 

Reading Corner

A central part of the new center, the Reading Corner for toddlers and children aged 2-12 reflects the diversity of experiences and perspectives of authors and characters in Asian America. The reading corner will highlight Asian American authors, stories, and characters, while also serving as an outpost for books that represent people of color, the LGBTQIA community, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

 

In addition to existing family programs, MOCA will continue to activate the center with related programs, including:

 

MOCAKIDS Storytime!

This Reading Corner program takes place at MOCA every second and fourth Thursday at 3:30pm, and is pay-what-you-wish for the month of September. Visitors can engage with stories, finger-plays, and songs in English and Mandarin. A 30-minute combination of fun activities and language exploration will enhance children’s word skills and vocabulary, both of which are essential for developing strong, growing readers.

 

Coinciding with the launch of Our Chinatown LC, MOCA celebrates the Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival when visitors of all ages are invited to participate in celebrating the folk traditions of this Chinese holiday. The festival includes a fun-filled day of art-making, interactive storytelling, and shadow puppetry inspired by classic folk tales.

 

Sometimes referred to as “Chinese Thanksgiving,” the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is celebrated to give thanks for the summer harvest. Families gather for picnics by moonlight and admire the moon at its fullest and roundest. Lanterns are lit to celebrate the moon’s brightness. Traditionally, Mid-Autumn Moon Festival ceremonies were held to greet winter and to worship the Moon Goddess Chang-Er; her husband and famed archer, Hou Yi; and her friendly moon companion, the Jade Rabbit.

 

Visitors may choose from a selection of art-making activities, such as Light-Up Lanterns, Powerful Potions and Jade Rabbit Charms, and Make a Mooncake Print!, where they can use foam pieces and paint to design their own colorful prints inspired by the patterns on mooncakes. The offerings will also include workshops on ink brush landscape painting, led by guest artists from the New York Chinese Cultural Center.

 

At the bilingual Sing-Along Storytime!, hosted in Our Chinatown LC, guests can learn holiday-related vocabulary in English and Mandarin through interactive activities, songs, and movement. Attendees explore culinary traditions at Go Mooncakes for MOCA, a tasting of traditional mooncakes and sweet bubble tea, generously provided by Fay Da Bakery and Taiwan Bear House. This year will also feature the return of signature activities, such as the Over the Moon Gallery Hunt and make-believe Harvest Moon Picnic.

 

Chinese Theatre Works will perform its award–winning shadow puppet show, Chang-Er Flies to the Moon, based on the legend of Chang-Er and Hou Yi.* Afterwards, families and friends can create their own shadow puppets and produce an original performance at MOCA’s shadow puppet theater.

 

A complete festival schedule is available on the Museum’s website. For press images, email press@mocanyc.org.

 

*The Chinese Theatre Works performance is partially funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

 

Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival

Event Date: Saturday, September 23, 2017
Event Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Admission: $10 person; $8 for all MOCA Dual and Individual Level Members; Free for MOCA Family Level Members and above, children under 2, and Cool Culture families.
Location: Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
 

MOCA’s Family Festival Series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, along with the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Wells Fargo, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

About 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.

 

Hours:

Monday – Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and 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. 

 

Admission:

General Admission: $10

Seniors (65+ with ID), Students (with school ID), Children 2 and up: $5

Children under 2, Cool Culture Families, MOCA Members: Free

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