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[New York, NY] November 9, 2017 The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce its program for the 2017 MOCA Legacy Awards Gala. This year’s benefit honorees are The Eugene C. and Gail V. Sit Family, recipient of the Generational Legacy Award; Chieh Huang, technology entrepreneur, philanthropic innovator, and founder of Boxed, Inc.; Gish Jen, nominee of the National Book Critics Circle Award and acclaimed author of six books; and Phillipa Soo, recipient of the Performer of the Year Award, renowned actor who originated the Broadway role of Eliza in Hamilton and the title role of Amélie. The evening’s Masters of Ceremony are CNBC’s Fast Money and Options Action host, Melissa Lee; and MSNBC and NBC anchor, Richard Lui. The Gala’s auctioneer is BD Wong, acclaimed actor and Tony Award winner.



Mary HL Chen, Michelle Koo Hayashi, and Patricia Pei are this year’s Gala Co-Chairs.


Taking place at the historic and elegant Cipriani 25 Broadway (25 Broadway, New York City), the MOCA Legacy Awards Gala begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards program at 7:00 p.m. Attire is formal black tie. A MOCA Giving Pop-Up Shop featuring items from the Museum will allow guests to kick-start holiday shopping while supporting the Museum’s work. An appeal moderated by BD Wong will welcome guests to support MOCA’s Education work and new addition: Our Chinatown: Learning and Collections Access Hub.


“MOCA’s Legacy Awards Gala is a stunning evening of celebration, reflection, and performance,” said MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach. “The proceeds from the Gala will allow MOCA to present world-class exhibits and dynamic programs accessible to all. MOCA’s nationally-recognized education programs, archives, and collections are sustained by the support we receive this evening.”


MOCA will present the Generational Legacy Award to The Eugene C. and Gail V. Sit Family, represented by Ms. Gail V. Sit and the extended Sit Family of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The late Eugene C. Sit started Sit Investment Associates in 1981. Today, Eugene’s children lead Sit Investments Associates, a firm that manages more than $14 billion in assets. Beyond the Sit family’s commitment to its investment philosophy is its unyielding commitment to philanthropic endeavors in the arts, education, and veterans appreciation. In the 1860s, Eugene’s grandfather emigrated from China to the U.S. to help build the transcontinental railroad.


Honoree Chieh Huang is the CEO and Co-Founder of Boxed, Inc. He is a leader in management and technology as well as a dynamic and innovative philanthropist. As part of his commitment to empowering upward mobility, Huang provides financial support to his employees for major life events, including contributing toward full college tuition scholarships for employees’ children and covering part of the cost of employees’ weddings. Huang also advocates for price equality for consumer products by covering the difference in the cost for certain women’s products that are priced more expensive than the equivalent product for men. Last year, Boxed, Inc. won the ‘Emerging E-Retailer of the Year’ Award and was added to ‘2016 Best Places to Work in New York City’ list by Crain’s New York Business and Best Companies.


Honoree Gish Jen is a highly acclaimed American fiction and non-fiction writer and spokeswoman whose parents came to the United States in the 1940s. In her noteworthy and widely taught works, Jen writes of the multi-cultural experience in the United States and discovering personal and national identity. Jen was awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. A celebrated author of six books, Jen has also contributed to esteemed publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and The Best American Short Stories of the Century.


Honoree Phillipa Soo played the title role in the 2017 Broadway musical adaptation of Amélie. Soo received a 2016 Tony Awards nomination for her Broadway debut as Eliza in Hamilton, an Off-Broadway role she originated at the Public Theater. Soo also starred as Natasha in the off-Broadway run of the immersive musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.


The special evening will also feature the exceptionally-talented Joyous String Ensemble and the special works of artist Dingding Hu.


Individual tickets to the event are $1,000 and $2,500. Table sponsorships range from $10,000 to $100,000. For information about purchasing tickets and tables to the 2017 Legacy Awards Gala, please visit the MOCA website at For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Gee-Wey Yue at 917.484.4152 or email



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.

MOCA is a proud partner of the New York City IDNYC card benefit program.



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: $10

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

Cool Culture families: Free

MOCA Members: Free

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