The Museum of Chinese America (MOCA) is a hidden gem. Tucked away on Centre Street between Grand and Hester streets in a striking space designed by acclaimed artist Maya Lin, it’s a breath of fresh air in a neighborhood known more for its turn of the century warehouse buildings than cutting edge cultural institutions.
Once inside, the fun begins. With world-class facilities and access to fresh, innovative exhibits and programs, there is something for everyone. You’ll find their core exhibition featuring 160 years of Chinese American history, interactive programs for families, Free Thursday Talks, the signature film series, Chinatown Film Project, and live music evenings titled MOCAMIX.
The museum has grown tenfold from its beginnings as a community-based New York Chinatown history project, founded by community and student activists in 1980. It’s become a national home for the stories and living history of the diverse Chinese experience in America, as well as a model among interactive museums.
This Friday, MOCA presents a fun night of music: “MOCAminiMIX,” A Prince Tribute. MOCAMIX was launched in 2012 as a format for creating dialogue between traditional and experimental musicians through cross-genre musical exchanges. According to Nancy Bulalacao, Director of Public Programs at MOCA, “MOCAMIX is about championing and bringing together incredibly creative musicians and artists from the worlds of jazz, traditional Asian instrumental music, rock, hip-hop and dance.”
MOCAminiMIX, A Prince Tribute features two Lower East Side phenoms, P.I.C, and multi-genre artist Taiyo Na, with guest vocalist Rona Figueroa. P.I.C has been a staple of the Lower East Side music scene for the last 10 years. Their wildly successful debut album, “HIPHOPUNKFUNKMAMBOSKA!!!” (2000), was played by 300 radio stations nationwide and reached #1 on CMJ charts nationally. Taiyo Na’s critically acclaimed music video for “Lovely To Me (Immigrant Mother)” from his 2008 debut album “Love is Growth,” was heralded by MTV Iggy as “the realest thing seen in a while.”
Inspired by the “month of love” this Prince tribute will include a mix of his rock, funk and slow jam music from the 80s. Smash hits including “Purple Rain,” “Kiss” and “When Doves Cry” are perfect for a post-Valentine’s Day belt-out. Dance your heart out to the band. The specially concocted MOCAMIX cocktail will help to make the night even sweeter.
MOCAminiMIX: A Prince Tribute Featuring P.I.C., Taiyo Na and Rona Figueroa / Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), 215 Centre Street / Friday, February 15, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. / $15 non-members; $10 MOCA members/students/seniors / RSVP required to firstname.lastname@example.org