On January 23, 2020, a fire destroyed the iconic building at 70 Mulberry Street in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown. The building was home to MOCA’s collections and research center, where the entirety of the 85,000+ objects comprising our archives were stored. Fortunately, the fire never reached our archives but the thousands of gallons of water needed to put out the flames did. Initially, we feared that everything was lost but with the guidance, support, and aid of several New York City agencies and over 400 volunteers, MOCA was able to recover 95% of our archives. However, we estimate that over 73% of the collections will need restoration. The materials, which have been professionally dried, are now housed and being cared for at the MOCA Workshop, our newly renovated collections and research center located at 3 Howard Street.

We would like to acknowledge and express our immense gratitude to all the volunteers and institutions who reached out to us, answered our call and generously offered their time in MOCA’s time of need. Special thanks to the NYC Department of Records & Information Services (DORIS), Alliance for Response – New York City (AFRNYC), NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), A.M. Art Conservation, Polygon, and TERS.

Help Support MOCA’s Post-Fire Recovery: Sponsor an Object!

The scale of the restoration and conservation work ahead of us will require considerable resources. Please consider supporting MOCA in this work by sponsoring an object from MOCA’s collections that was salvaged from the fire. You can choose from a selection of MOCA’s artifacts, photographs, textiles, signages, instruments, furniture, art pieces, documents, books, and newspapers that are in a state of fragility, damage, or disrepair. With your donation, the item you sponsored will receive professional conservation treatment, be restored to its utmost condition, and be well-preserved for the future.

MOCA’ mission is to preserve and present Chinese American history, and your support is very important. We will gratefully credit you in accordance to the amount of contribution you make to the conservation of your sponsored object.

Please click to navigate to MOCA’s Sponsor an Object page to see available objects. Each week, MOCA will make available a new object and will publish a profile detailing the conservation treatment and fundraising level needed to repair and restore the object.

To make a general donation towards MOCA’s fire recovery, please visit MOCA’s general Donation page and select “MOCA Fire Recovery” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Every donation helps and we greatly appreciate your support!