Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Waldorf Astoria New York


[New York, NY – November 2016] – The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce its program for the 2016 MOCA Legacy Awards Gala. This year’s benefit honorees are The Wah Family, recipient of the Generational Legacy Award; Cecilia S. Chiang, author, chef, and founder of the Mandarin Restaurant; and BD Wong, renowned actor in theater, television, and film, and winner of a Tony Award® for his Broadway debut role in M. Butterfly. The evening’s Masters of Ceremony are CNBC’s “Fast Money” and “Options Action” host, Melissa Lee; and playwright, David Henry Hwang.


This year’s Gala Honorary Co-Chairs are Tim and Nina Zagat of Zagat Survey.


Taking place in the Starlight Roof at the Waldorf Astoria (301 Park Avenue, 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. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous dinner inspired by multi-regional flavors from the Waldorf Astoria’s Chinese restaurant, La Chine. The event will feature hip-hop artist Jason Chu and the Joyous String Quartet--both acts performed at the White House this year. A curated silent auction of dining experiences will be offered.


“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. MOCA’s nationally-recognized Collections and Research Center is sustained by the support we receive this evening.”


MOCA will present the Generational Legacy Award to The Wah family, represented by Mrs. Edward Wah of Oregon, Mr. David Wah of New York City, and Dr. Robert Wah of Virginia. The first Wah to arrive in America was Ing “Doc” Hay. In the 1880s, Doc Hay founded Kam Wah Chung, a Chinese medical clinic and general store. Kam Wah Chung is considered the best preserved and oldest collection of a traditional Chinese medicine store in the U.S. Located in John Day, Oregon, Kam Wah Chung was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005. John Day was home to thousands of Chinese transcontinental railroad workers. MOCA will present an exhibit centered on traditional Chinese medicine in fall 2017.


Honoree BD Wong is a beloved actor and activist. Wong is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York Theater awards for a single role – namely, his performance in M. Butterfly: the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award, the Clarence Derwent Award, and the Tony Award®. He recently played the role of Dr. Hugo Strange on the television series Gotham, Whiterose on the much heralded series Mr. Robot, and starred in Jurassic World. Wong has been awarded many community service recognitions from organizations like the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian AIDS Project, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Asian Arts Alliance. His award will be presented by David Henry Hwang.


Honoree Cecilia Chiang is among 33 chefs featured in MOCA’s 2016 fall exhibit, Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America, on view October 6, 2016, through March 27, 2017. Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy challenges how Chinese food is defined and interpreted through the personal stories of 33 revered Chinese and Asian American chefs—from Michelin ranked to generational home cooks. The featured chefs are Danny Bowien, Peter Chang, Nancy Chen, Chris Cheung, George Chew, Cecilia Chiang, Philip Chiang, Sally and Gilroy Chow, Susanna Foo, Jeff Gao, Ken Hom OBE, Vivian Ku, Yvette Lee, Leonard Liao, Anita Lo, Biying Ni, Doniyar Sobitov, Cara Stadler, Wilson Tang, Yvonne and Mike Thompson, Kimmie Lee Tie, Michael Tong, Ming Tsai, Jason Wang, Doron Wong, Frank and Tommy Wong, Jonathan Wu, Cori Xiong and Heng Chen, Martin Yan, Ho-chin Yang, Chris Yeo, Grace Young, and Wenbin Yuan. The chefs will be recognized and acknowledged at the Legacy Awards Gala.


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 2016 Legacy Awards Gala, please visit the MOCA website. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Gee-Wey Yue at 917.484.4152 or email