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Museum of Chinese in America launched its inaugural Performing-Artist-In-Residence program this summer, and welcomed a cohort of 4 performing artists to generate a theme-based project. This year’s theme, The Past in the Present, encourages the resident artists to explore the legacies and traditions they’ve carried on and to create a project that reflects their identity, creativity, and inspirations.

MOCA Performs – Emergence will present the resident artists’ works-in-progress. In this presentation, resident artists will share the vision for their projects and present a draft of the project. Audience will have the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with the resident artists on the projects, and learn about the cultural significance behind each of resident artists’ works.

In this performance, Visual Theater Artist/Director MARIA CAMIA will present a puppetry project influenced by the Filipino culture. Ari and Cama’s Liberation! is a story about the land of Aricama being liberated. Theatre Artist/Filmmaker Nancy Ma will present a narrative project that explores her relationship with her mother, grief, and Chinatown.


ABOUT the Artists


MARIA CAMIA (she/her) is a Filipino American Visual Theater Artist, Director, Fashion Designer, and Introspective Hypnosis Practitioner who creates Spiritual / Sci-Fi Theater with the intention to globally inspire liberation through her created world of Aricama, the land of practice, play, and healing. She performed original work at Chicago’s International Puppet Festival, Dixon Place, La MaMa, and Coney Island USA. She has puppeteered for Dan Hurlin, Chris Meyers, and CultureHub and created puppets for Leviathan Lab, Stairwell Theater, and Nana Dakin. Maria received The Jim Henson Workshop Grant ’20 and ’22, The Jim Henson Production Grant ‘23, and The NY Women’s Fund ‘23. The Healing Shipment’s world premiere will be at La Mama’s Puppet Festival November 2-5, 2023.



Nancy Ma is an actor, filmmaker, and teaching artist from Chinatown New York. She recently directed her first documentary short, 有一天,你不在 one day you are not here (NYFA Women’s Fund recipient, En Foco Media Arts Awardee) about her relationship with her immigrant dad, and is currently developing a narrative film & stage play, Sweatshop Melody, inspired by her mom’s work in the garment factory. Her solo show “Home,” produced by The Latino Theater Company, premiered at The Los Angeles Theater Center, and has been performed at festivals and schools around the country. Acting credits include Support (On the Verge, Ojai Playwrights), Three Little Girls Down a Well (UTR, The Public), Memorial (Pan Asian Repertory Theater), Barry (HBO), Hacks (HBO). She has facilitated workshops with The Moth, Girls Who Code, The Bramon Garcia Braun Studio, and Young Storytellers. She is thrilled to be part of MOCA’s inaugural Performing Artist-in-Residence Program.

December 1, 2023
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm