MAYOR BLOOMBERG, CULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER LEVIN AND
New $8 Million, Green Venue is More Than Four Times the Size of Previous Location
Features Multiple Exhibition Galleries, Interactive Visitor Kiosks, a Multipurpose Auditorium and Classroom,
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and
“It’s fitting that the long and rich story of Chinese culture in
“This terrific public-private partnership has provided the
“From its community-based roots, The Museum of Chinese in
“The Museum of Chinese in America was established nearly 30 years ago by two Chinese Americans, co-founders Charles Lai and John Kuo Wei Tchen, who knew it was important to document and preserve the history of our Chinese American heritage and experience,” said Museum of Chinese in America Director S. Alice Mong. “Our new location will allow the Museum to look at that experience through many different lenses and bring 160 years of our history to vivid life through innovative art and history exhibitions, films, panels, and educational and cultural programs. We’re thankful to our Board of Trustees, to the City and State of
The new Museum features multiple exhibition galleries, interactive display kiosks, a multipurpose auditorium and classroom, a research center, and a flexible space for multidisciplinary public programs. The Museum expects to achieve LEED Silver certification through the incorporation of two environmentally sustainable design solutions throughout the building. At the heart of the Museum is a historic sky-lit courtyard, which evokes traditional Chinese courtyards. The core exhibition wraps around the courtyard and short biographic films telling the stories of Chinese Americans through history – from the 1850’s to the present day – are projected onto the facing glass windows.
The Museum’s new home is the result of a public-private partnership among the Museum, the City and private funders. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs provided $2.5 million in funding for the project in partnership with the New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President. The agency also provided extensive technical assistance to the Museum as plans for this ambitious expansion developed. Additional support was provided by the September 11th Fund and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Located just inside the main entrance is the Journey Wall, which features individual bronze plaques donated in honor or in memory of people of Chinese descent. Each tile is engraved with the name of a Chinese American family, highlighting both their Chinese place of origin as well as their current home in the
“The Museum of Chinese in America’s new space focuses attention on individuals and families of Chinese heritage who have made their homes throughout the country, and who are very much a part of the fabric of this nation,” said artist and Museum designer Maya Lin. “The space was designed to show the dynamic presentation of the Chinese American story, as an integral part of the greater, and continually evolving, American story.”
The tradition of “eye-dotting” originated in
Mayor Bloomberg and Museum officials also unveiled the Museum’s new core exhibition, “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America,” a history of the Chinese American experience. The exhibition presents the diverse layers of the Chinese American experience while examining America’s journey as a nation of immigrants – an overview of Chinese in the United States from the 19th century to the present, individual stories that reveal what it has meant to be Chinese in America at over time, and the physical traces and images of past generations left for us to consider, reflect on and reclaim.
Admission to the Museum is free this week through Saturday. Thereafter, it is $7 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors. Children under 12 are admitted for free. Through the Museum’s Target First Thursdays program, Museum visitors will receive free admission every Thursday. For more information, visit www.MOCA.org.
Contact: Stu Loeser/
Kate deRosset / Danai Pointer (Cultural Affairs) (212) 513-9323
Julia Kirchhausen (