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About US

We are OMCA.

OMCA inspires Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities.

We explore the big ideas that shape California lives, then bring to life the untold and under-told stories of the people behind them—all with a distinctly Oakland point of view.

We are more than a museum. We’re a museum, garden, and gathering place.

With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together our multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science, all within our 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus.

OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.

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History of OMCA

OMCA opened its doors in 1969 and has always been a place where visitors can discover their place in California’s past, present, and future.

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Leadership & Board of Trustees

OMCA leadership consists of the 6 member Senior Directors Council and a Board of Trustees.

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2022-2023 Impact Report

This year has been an exciting and dynamic one, and building community has remained at the forefront of our work. We’re proud of what we accomplished thanks to your support.

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White Elephant Sale

The Oakland Museum Women’s Board started the White Elephant Sale over sixty years ago. The annual event is not-to-be-missed.

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Our Anti-Racism Journey

OMCA is on an ongoing journey to become a more equitable, anti-racist institution.

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Our work in service of Native Communities

Since the introduction of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990, OMCA has complied with the Act’s requirements and remains committed to ensuring continued compliance. The Federal law provides for the protection and return of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Any agency or institution that receives Federal funds must comply with NAGPRA requirements.

To further our work in service of Native communities, in 2006, OMCA established its Native Advisory Council (NAC), an advisory group formed to ensure accurate representation of Native peoples in all our programming. The seven members are Native Californian community leaders who are compensated for their efforts in providing advice on Museum collections and NAGPRA issues affecting the museum; helping develop temporary exhibitions and public programs; serving as key advisors in the ongoing work of the main galleries; and advising in other matters relating to Indigenous peoples of California. 

In January 2024, NAGPRA regulations were revised to require consultation with and consent from affiliated Tribes before organizations can display, access, or perform research on human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. OMCA’s administration and our Native Advisory Council have reviewed the objects from Native American cultures that are on view in the galleries and have no specific concerns regarding the display of these items. Based on our commitment to collaboration with Native communities, OMCA is working on steps to confirm this determination and will respect requests for display changes. 

As part of OMCA’s broader work towards accountability with Native communities, we are actively working with both our Native Advisory Council and with Sogorea Te’ in finalizing OMCA’s Native Accountability Statement and Land Acknowledgement. This statement not only acknowledges the wrongs done, but explicitly states what OMCA is doing to be accountable to our local Native community and across California. One of the actions listed is that we have paid—and are committed to continue paying—the Shuumi Land Tax, a voluntary annual contribution by non-Indigenous peoples living in the area of the Oakland Museum of California can make to support the work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.

OMCA’s history of partnership with and respect for Native communities is at the center of our ongoing journey to becoming a more equitable, anti-racist institution. We fully support the intentions of the new NAGPRA regulations and welcome them as opportunities for not just continuing, but expanding and deepening our relationships with Native communities. 

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2024 CAMMY Award winner Lori Fogarty

The annual CAMMY Award recognizes extraordinary museum supporters, professionals, and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to California museums. OMCA is elated to announce that this year, CAM has recognized one of our very own, Executive Director and CEO, Lori Fogarty! This award highlights her dedicated leadership throughout her extensive career, including within her role of nearly two decades at OMCA, an institution that centers community engagement, field innovation, and a commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Congratulations, Lori!

Winner of the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded OMCA one of only six recipients of the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries making significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

Winner of the 2019 Heart of Oakland Award

In 2019, OMCA was honored to receive the Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s Heart of Oakland award. Each year, the award is given to a local organization that exemplifies the city’s persistent spirit.

For the Field

Transforming the Gallery of California Natural Sciences

How Our Community Changed our Museum: Transforming the Gallery of California Natural Sciences Bringing a fresh perspective to the exploration …

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“This California Museum Gives the People What They Want” 

—The New York Times