The UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE will be joining the MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA (215 Centre St New York, NY 10013, Located between Howard and Grand St one block north of Canal St) during their festivities (11 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) of the Lunar New Year Saturday, February 2, to celebrate the launch of the 2013 addition to the CELEBRATING THE LUNAR NEW YEAR SERIES.

Lunar New Year artist to make appearance this Saturday, Feb 2 at the Museum of Chinese in America at 1:00 p.m. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

Lunar New Year artist to make appearance this Saturday, Feb 2 at the Museum of Chinese in America at 1:00 p.m. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Postal Service)

This year’s stamp features one of the primary ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated. For the YEAR OF THE SNAKE, which begins on Feb. 10, the illustration depicts firecrackers commonly used to greet the New Year with a bang.

The Postal Service introduced the CELEBRATING LUNAR NEW YEAR SERIES in 2008 and this is the sixth stamp in that series, which will continue through 2019 with the Years of the Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. The current series builds upon the Postal Service’s original LUNAR NEW YEAR STAMP SERIES, which was issued from 1992 through 2003.

A postage stamp enlargement will be on display on Saturday and Illustrator and artist KAM MAK will be present for interviews and autographs beginning at 1:00pm. MAK, an artist who was born in Hong Kong, grew up New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn, has designed each stamp in the series and will continue through the remaining six in the 12-year series through to 2019. The Museum gift shop will have a supply of the limited edition Lunar New Year Forever stamps for sale. Visitors and philatelist wishing to have the stamps autographed by the artist may do so at the event.

Click here for a full listing of activities for the event: www.mocanyc.org/visit/events/lunar_new_year_preview 

Founded in 1980, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, MOCA_logo_fullcolorculture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States.  The greatly expanded MOCA at 215 Centre Street is a national home for the precious narratives of diverse Chinese American communities, and strives to be a model among interactive museums.

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.  MOCA’s expansion accommodates its range of visitors which include: New Yorkers, domestic and international visitors, neighborhood residents, students and school groups from local and regional schools.

Central to its mission is its goal to make Chinese American history accessible to the general public, ranging from scholars to young children, from community members to international tourists.  Through its thought-provoking work, the Museum not only encourages the understanding and appreciation of Chinese American arts, culture and history, but also informs, educates and engages visitors about Chinese American history that is in the making.  With the opening of the new MOCA, the Museum continues to encourage dialogue among its visitors that will transcend generational, geographical and cultural boundaries.  MOCA continues to be a platform for cultural dialogue: a self-renewing exchange that brings to life the multiple journeys, memories and contributions of the past and present, woven into a collective narrative that shapes the future of our Chinese American legacy.

On-site, audiences have access to fresh, innovative exhibits and culturally rich programs, including a core exhibition featuring 160 years of Chinese American history, interactive educational opportunities for families, children and school groups.  The Museum’s previous gallery space on 70 Mulberry Street is retained and transformed as an archival centre and serves as a research centre open to anyone with a desire to learn or research Chinese American history.  Online, the general public, students, educators, and scholars alike can find a host of features, such as Web-based versions of gallery exhibitions (including the core exhibit, The Chinese American Experience); and a comprehensive, interactive timeline of Chinese American history; downloadable resources on topics such as immigration and diversity will become available.

MOCA’s core exhibition, rotating and touring exhibitions, educational services and public programs draw from the collections.  The collections are comprised of more than 60,000 letters and documents, business and organizational records, oral histories, clothing and textiles, photographs and precious artifacts – an important assemblage of materials documenting Chinese American history outside of a university.  Scholars, writers, filmmakers, students, the media and the general public can consult this unique resource.

Today, MOCA’s diverse professional constituency includes educators, scholars and journalists, as well as artists such as designers, photographers, playwrights, filmmakers, actors and musicians who help conceptualize, implement and participate in exhibits and programs.  Through the Museum’s initiatives and caliber of work, Chinese American arts, culture and history are shared with pride and celebrated by all.

Customers may view the LUNAR NEW YEAR FOREVER STAMPS, as well as many of this year’s commemorative stamps, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at www.beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. BEYOND THE PERF is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Follow the Postal Service on www.twitter.com/USPS and at www.facebook.com/USPS.