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Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Awards $5M Donation To The Museum of Chinese in America


MOCA will reopen to the public on July 15 with a new exhibition titled “Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Awards $5M Donation To The Museum of Chinese in America

The Museum of Chinese in America announced Wednesday that a capital fundraising campaign aimed at providing a permanent home for Chinese American history in New York City has received a $5 million donation from leading philanthropist Mackenzie Scott.

Scott announced the investment in MOCA alongside similar commitments to 285 other historically underfunded yet critically important cultural, civic, education and social justice organizations across the country.

"For 41 years, MOCA has sought permanence in a home and in the American narrative. Mackenzie Scott's unrestricted gift amplifies MOCA's dream to contribute to broadening the American narrative to include marginalized and excluded narratives. Like too many histories in America, Chinese American journeys have been fundamental to the making of America yet have been sidelined, neglected, or forgotten. MOCA's mission has never been more urgent. As we continue to recover from a devastating 5-alarm fire that damaged the largest collection of Chinese American artifacts in the U.S. and resist the tides of racism against the backdrop of increased anti-AAPI hate crimes stoked by references of a 'Chinese virus,' the MOCA team is buoyed by Mackenzie Scott's belief in our work, " shared MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach. "MOCA's permanence will open the door to research, genealogy, explorations of identity, dialogue, art, and so much more as it contributes to fortifying the true potential of the American dream."

The investments focus on, "high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked," said MacKenzie Scott. "Discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities has been deepening, so we assessed organizations bridging divides through interfaith support and collaboration. Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health, so we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions and identity groups that donors often overlook."

Since its founding in 1980, MOCA has celebrated the Chinese experience in America by preserving and presenting more than 200 years of history, ancestry, culture, and perspectives. As a social history museum, MOCA presents this largely untold narrative and content through four programming arms: the curation of seasonal exhibitions; the creation and presentation of educational initiatives; the preservation of the United States' largest collection of Chinese American artifacts; and the production of public programs.

The past two years have been among the most difficult in the museum's history. With a team of thirteen full-time members yet a global reach of over four million and a visitorship of 50,000, MOCA serves a great need. On January 23, 2020, MOCA experienced a five-alarm fire at its storied Chinatown building. The fire nearly destroyed the museum's collection of more than 85,000 Chinese American heirlooms yet also shined a bright light on the need for collection and preservation. COVID-19's devastation has been particularly hard on cultural institutions forced to close their doors to the public. MOCA is pleased to announce that it will reopen to the public on July 15, 2021, with a new exhibition titled "Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism." Mackenzie Scott's generous gift will allow MOCA to provide free admission to all.

Stay up to date at MOCA's website

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