Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Programs in January to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in New York

Dragon in Chinese New Year Parade in New York Chinatown Photo by Lia Chang

Dragon in Chinese New Year Parade in New York Chinatown Photo by Lia Chang

From the Lunar New Year Festival Family Day, filled with activities like noodle-making and lion dancing, to hip new programs like Decoding the Chinese Almanac’s Predictions for 2011 with the authors of The Pocket Almanac, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) celebrates the Lunar New Year in its beautiful new facilities at 215 Centre Street (between Grand and Howard Sts) in New York.

Preparing for the New Year Walking Tour
Lunar New Year is the liveliest and most important celebration in Chinese culture and Chinatown is the place to experience it! MOCA’s walking tour takes visitors through Chinatown to learn about holiday traditions and customs observed by Chinese households. Witness how the neighborhood transforms itself in preparation for the New Year and discover the characteristics that make this holiday unique. Tours are rain or shine, so dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.

Sat, Jan 22 from 1:00 pm –2:30pm
Sun, Jan 23 from 1:00 pm –2:30pm
Sat, Jan 29 from 1:00 pm –2:30pm
Sun, Jan 30 from 1:00 pm –2:30pm
Sat, Feb 5 from 1:00 pm –2:30pm
Ticket: $18/adult, $15/ student or senior (65+), $8 for MOCA members, Free for children under 5.
Location: Tours leave from the Museum lobby at 215 Centre Street (between Grand and Howard Sts)
Advance reservation REQUIRED. Email
or call 212-619-4785. Tours fill up quickly so sign up now!

Lunar New Year All Access Senior Day
Sat, Jan 29 from 10am –5pm
In celebration of Lunar New Year, MOCA offers FREE admission, including the public gallery talks (in English and Mandarin), special programs for seniors 65+ all day.
FREE for seniors (65+ with valid ID).
Visitors accompanying seniors will be charged MOCA’s regular admissions price ($7/adult; $4/student; free for MOCA members and children under 12).

Lunar New Year Talk: Decoding the Chinese Almanac’s Predictions for 2011
Sat, Jan 29 from 2:30pm –3:30pm

Adorable mascot or evil rodent? What does the Year of the Rabbit hold in store? Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith (co-authors of the Pocket Chinese Almanac) return to decode the almanac’s predictions for 2011 and share a range of New Year’s traditions designed to protect your household. Their presentation highlights the work of UNESCO-recognized folk artist Tai Liping, a 20th-generation master of nianhua (“New Year’s pictures”), the paper wall hangings replaced each lunar year for good luck, and defense against any specific tribulations predicted by the almanac.
Admission: $15/adult, $12/student, Free for MOCA members and seniors (65+). Each participant will receive a free copy of the Pocket Chinese Almanac (valued at $7). RSVP required to or 212-619-4785.

Lunar New Year Festival Family Day
Sun, Jan 30 from 10am –5pm
Join MOCA for a full-day of family festivities in celebration of the Lunar New Year. MOCA will ring in the year of the Rabbit with storytelling with Kam Mak, celebrated children’s book author, and artist of the Lunar New Year Stamp Series, a noodle-making workshop, a special lion dance performance and workshop, and family-friendly gallery talks through MOCA’s core exhibit as well as through our newest exhibit, Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and the Mind. There will also be arts and crafts activities throughout the day. Ages 4 and up.
Admission: $10 per person; Free for MOCA members and children under 1 year of age.

Major support for MOCA’s Festival Family Day Series is provided by: MOCA’s Festival Family Days series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is the leading national museum dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of people of Chinese descent in the United States. From its Maya Lin-designed home on the border of Chinatown and SoHo in New York City at 215 Centre Street, MOCA collects and displays historical and cultural artifacts, and organizes traveling exhibitions, classes, discussions, and events that explore all aspects of the Chinese American experience in the United States. MOCA began as a community-based organization founded in 1980 by Chinese American artists, historians and students who felt that the memories of first-generation “old-timers” in Chinatown would be lost without oral history, photo documentation, research, and collecting efforts. Now a resource for historians and community members alike, the Museum has evolved into a national keeper of cultural information and an influential voice in the ongoing history of Chinese and Chinese American culture across the country. The Museum’s original location at 70 Mulberry Street, currently the Collections and Research Center, is in the heart of Chinatown on the second floor of the historic, century-old school building that was once Public School 23. For more information, visit

Monday: 11am-5pm
Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am-5pm
The Museum is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except for prescheduled group tours and special programs.

General Admission: $7
Seniors (65+ with ID) and
Students (w/school ID): $4
Children under 12 in groups less than 8: Free
MOCA Members: Free
Target Free Thursdays: Free gallery admission every Thursday through the generosity of Target

Other Articles by this Author:
Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka & Friends celebrate Lunar New Year at Metropolitan Museum of Art on 2/5
Photos:The Working Theater’s Off-Broadway production of HONEY BROWN EYES by Stefanie Zadravec at The Clurman -2/6/11
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI- 1/2/11
Kevin Anderson, Catherine Dent, Tracee Chimo, John Earl Jelks in Neil La Bute’s The Break of Noon at the Geffen 1/25-3/6
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet,Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
André De Shields leads cast of Charles Smith’s Knock Me A Kiss at Abrons Arts Center
STORIES FROM CHINESE AMERICA: The Arthur Dong Collection, Vol. 2 as 4 disc DVD Box Set
Photos & Video Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas-In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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