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Divided Loyalty: Being Chinese in America

March 13, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This event will be livestream on our YouTube channel, click below on Wednesday, March 13, 6:00–7:30 PM to watch remotely and interact with us!

Playwright David Henry Hwang and Curator Xin Wang in conversation about the challenges of being Chinese in Trump’s America. Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America, will moderate.

Wednesday, March 13, 6:00–7:30 PM
Speakers: David Henry Hwang, Xin Wang, Nancy Yao Maasbach
Event Fee: Members Free; Non-Members $15
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

What is it like to be Chinese in America these days? Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, author of M Butterfly, will be joined by art historian and curator Xin Wang, and Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), to explore complex questions of identity. As anti-China rhetoric rises, Chinese in this country – from long-time U.S. citizens to newly arrived students – are placed on the defensive, often having to publicly declare their political loyalties. At the same time, the Chinese government – playing on ethnic loyalty – pulls on their heartstrings, with messaging aimed at gaining support for China’s policies.

This event is co-presented by the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and is part of Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America Festival.


David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair, and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. He serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and was recently named Chair of the American Theatre Wing, which founded and co-presents the Tony Awards.

Xin Wang is an art historian and curator based in New York. Her writing has appeared in E-flux journal, Artforum, Kaleidoscope, Hyperallergic, and Leap. Currently pursuing a PhD in modern and contemporary art at Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Wang also works as the Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art and manages the discursive archive on Asian Futurisms at afuturism.tumblr.com. Upcoming project includes a keynote address at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Asia//Technics symposium on April 13, 2019.

Nancy Yao Maasbach is of Shanghainese and Manchu-ancestry born and raised in Flushing, Queens. She is the President of the Museum of Chinese in America. Nancy has devoted her professional career to the political, economic, and historic dynamics at the intersection of U.S. and Asia and Americans and Asians. She is the former executive director of the Yale-China Association, managing director of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Nancy is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Board member of the Tessitura Network, and an independent director of several Aberdeen Standard-managed closed-end funds. Nancy has a passion for theater; she appeared in dozens of community theater productions, including as Eling in The Golden Child in Hong Kong. She was an early cast member of the Here and Now Theater Company. She is a wife and mother of two pre-teens.

Founded in 1980, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States. The Museum promotes dialogue and understanding among people of all cultural backgrounds, bringing 160 years of Chinese American history to vivid life through its innovative exhibitions, educational and cultural programs. MOCA welcomes diverse visitors and participants to its broad array of exhibits and programs.

The museum’s current exhibition, Interior Lives: Photographs of Chinese Americans in the 1980s by Bud Glick explores photographer Bud Glick’s work in documenting the street life, people, and domestic scenes of Chinatown during a time of major changes in New York City Chinatown.


March 13, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States