[New York, NY] October 22, 2018 - The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce the honorees of its 2018 Legacy Awards Gala. This inspirational evening will honor the legacy of General Wen Ying Hsing, recipient of MOCA’s Generational Legacy Award; Thomas C. Ahn, civil engineer and vice president with The Mount Sinai Health System; Maxine Hong Kingston, celebrated poet, author, educator, activist, and recipient of the National Medal of Arts; and Nancy C. Lee, JP, distinguished arts and education philanthropist.


The 2018 Legacy Awards Gala will also inaugurate MOCA’s Breakout Artist of the Year award, which will be presented to Katherine Ho, who will perform the title song Yellow featured in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians on the evening of the Gala.


The evening’s Masters of Ceremony are David Henry Hwang, Tony Award-winning playwright, librettist, screenwriter and theater professor, and Melissa Lee (invited), CNBC Host of Fast Money and Options Action.


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


Taking place at the elegant Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle, New York City, the Gala begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner and awards at 7:00 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress in black tie or festive Chinese attire.


“MOCA’s Legacy Awards Gala is an incredible celebration of leadership and achievement in America, as well as an inspiring call to connect with one’s self and one’s community for all those who attend,” said Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America. “The proceeds from the Gala help to ensure that MOCA continues to flourish as both a national and local treasure, and grow as a home and place of dynamic inquiry and reflection.”



MOCA will present the Generational Legacy Award in honor of the legacy of General Wen Ying Hsing, represented by his grandchildren Harriet Tung and Alfred Wen. The first Asian graduate of West Point in 1909, Lieutenant General Wen Ying Hsing returned to China to serve in key military and civilian positions in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. He helped modernize the Republican government’s army to create a notable military unit and forged strong relations between the Republican government and the United States. After 1949, General Wen left his 40-year career in China and lived out the rest of his life in Washington, D.C. as a small-business entrepreneur. His gift for building U.S.-China relations has been memorialized and celebrated by generations of family members.

Honoree Thomas C. Ahn is a civil engineer with over 30 years of experience in engineering, construction and real state and has held leadership roles in a number of large institutional/corporate organizations. He currently serves as System Vice President of the Real Estate Division for The Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Temple University and a Certificate in Health Care Design from New York University. Mr. Ahn is a dedicated philanthropist and key facilitator in the development of the American Cancer Society’s Manhattan Hope Lodge, Charles B. Wang Chinatown Health Clinic Headquarters and the construction of the Museum of Chinese in America. He is member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Chinese in America, a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, member of the Real Estate Board of New York and member of the Architectural Review Board for the Village of Plandome Heights, Manhasset, NY. Maya Lin, artist and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Chinese in America, will present the award to Mr. Ahn.


Honoree Maxine Hong Kingston is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Creative Writing. For her memoirs and fiction, The Fifth Book of Peace, The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, and Hawai’i One Summer, she has earned numerous awards, among them the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the PEN West Award for Fiction, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the title of “Living Treasure of Hawai’i”. In July 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.


Honoree Nancy C. Lee, JP is a respected philanthropist in Hong Kong who has been the Chairman of the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art since 2005, a non-profit organization that supports Hong Kong’s main art museum through fundraising and community outreach programs. She helps to oversee the Endowed Chair Professorship for the Education University of Hong Kong in honor of her late husband, Peter Lee Ting-chang. Lee currently serves on the Board of Hong Kong Palace Museum Limited, the Advisory Council of Princeton University Art Museum, and the Freer-Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She is also a trustee of the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. Lee holds multiple degrees, including an MA in Art History from the NYU Institute of Fine Arts (1987), an MA in Physical Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University (1981), and a BA in Chemistry from Lake Forest College (1977).


This year’s Legacy Awards Gala will mark the inaugural presentation of the Breakout Artist of the Year Award to an emerging artist and will be awarded to Katherine Ho, an internationally renowned singer-songwriter who has appeared on NBC’s The Voice and whose rendition of Coldplay’s Yellow is featured in the hit film Crazy Rich Asians. Katherine Ho, 19 years old, is currently pursuing a major in Biology and minor in songwriting at the University of Southern California.


The evening’s entertainment will feature performances from honoree Katherine Ho, as well as the Joyous String Ensemble, an internationally recognized youth string quartet.


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 2018 Legacy Awards Gala, please visit the MOCA website at For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Neil Wu-Gibbs at 917.484.4142 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 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: $10
Seniors (65 and older with ID), Students (with school ID): $7
Children under 2 in groups less than 10: Free
Cool Culture families: Free
MOCA Members: Free