A Little Piece of History in Chinatown: The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)


“The location is interesting to say the least. We cater to many different types of people. On some days, we get a lot of international tourists, on others, we get a lot of second, third, even fourth generation Chinese Americans.” –Lauren Nechamkin, MOCA Education Manager

Located in the cross of Chinatown, Little Italy, and Soho, the Museum of Chinese in America began as a Chinatown History Project to promote a better understanding if the Chinese American experience. As an institution designed to preserve Chinese American culture, I visited the MOCA to find out more about what they were doing to attract millennial Asian New Yorkers.

According to Ms. Nechamkin, the museum is doing a great deal to reach out to the millennial population. From discounted memberships for students to special educational programs to movie screenings at Columbus Park, MOCA has increased their efforts to inform the millennial generation about the Asian American Experience. Some of these special education programs include a walking tour around Chinatown, one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, and workshops that address where stereotypes come from. When asked what some of the most common misconceptions were, I was told there is this false impression that there are certain stereotypes of Chinese Americans which MOCA intends to remedy.

If you are interested about in learning more about your heritage, here are some things you’ll find at MOCA:

  • Memory Prints by Mid-west artist Phillip Chen: is an exhibit where individuals can learn the basics of relief printing, an old printmaking process which consists of etching a printing surface, as well as experience the emotional landscape of an Chinese American family. These haunting prints explore the relationships between objects and images, history and memories.
  • MOCAEATS: is one of MOCA’s new program series on food and culture. MOCAEATS in particular is a conversation about food culture and family businesses where individuals can learn more about how Jason Wang of Xi’an Famous Foods and Lou Di Palo of Di Palo Selects succeeded in making their businesses thrive in New York City’s oldest and most famous neighborhood, Chinatown. This discussion will be followed by a sampling of their delicious dishes and treats.This event is free and open to the public.