Lunchtime Sessions: Music, Dance, and Storytelling in the Garden

A girl does a cartwheel on the OMCA garden lawn, while her guardian points at her.

This October through December, we’re welcoming you back to gather on campus for our new free program series “Lunchtime Sessions: Music, Dance, and Storytelling in the Garden.” Grab your favorite picnic blanket, bring your lunch, and join us as we come together to delight in the joy of live performance outside in our newly renovated garden.

Every week, local artists and performers spanning multiple genres will engage with visitors and guests through music, dance, and storytelling. Lounge on the lawn, discover a new favorite artist, catch up with friends and family, and enjoy our picturesque garden setting during this brand new program series at OMCA. 

Lunchtime Sessions are free and open to the public; tickets and reservations are not required. Food and beverages are not included. In order to maintain safety for all guests and staff, capacity may be limited. Please review our Safe Community Agreements in advance of your visit. 

Limited food and beverage offerings are available in our cafe, Town Fare. We encourage you to bring your own lunch and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy.

December Performances

Thursday, December 2 
12 pm 
Kristin Damrow & Company (KDC): Perspective

Kristin Damrow & Company’s (KDC) work has been nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award and has been commissioned by FOG Design + Art, Airbnb Design, Oakland Museum of California, Plat du Jour Project, Lindenwood University, and Iowa State University. KDC has been featured in Dance Magazine, Fast Company, Backstage Magazine, KQED Arts, and SF/Arts Monthly. Our mission is to share the art form of dance through collaboration, performance, and outreach. We are a diverse group of dancers, musicians, and creatives who come together to inform each other’s craft and influence the stories we share. Our live performances are developed from the physical exploration of design concepts, such as patterns in architecture, then brought to life with dynamic movement, original soundscapes, and scenic design. KDC invites people of all ages and abilities to explore dance as a powerful tool of expression in our classes, workshops, and “Bodies of Empowerment” program that embraces a holistic approach to the empowerment of youth through movement, meditation, and storytelling expressed within the body.

Saturday, December 4
12 pm 
Official Release: Tarot in Pandemic and Revolution
Co-produced in partnership with Nomadic Press

Through publications, events, and active community participation, Nomadic Press collectively weaves together platforms for intentionally marginalized voices to take their rightful place within the world of the written and spoken word. For more information please visit

Thursday, December 9
12 pm
Duniya Dance & Drum Company

Formed in April 2007, Duniya Dance and Drum Company creates dance and music from Punjab, India, and Guinea, West Africa, as well as unique blends of these forms and beyond. The word duniya means “world” in a wide array of languages, including Punjabi, Arabic, Susu and Wolof. Duniya’s work embodies this word, as it explores the forces that have brought together the members of the company and their dance and drum styles, including, but not limited to, colonization, globalization, immigration, art, dance, music and love.

Saturday, December 11
12 pm
Shane Evans & Friends

Shane W. Evans children's book author, illustrator, painter, storyteller, and musician born in Oakland and raised in upstate NY where he attended Schools of the Arts in both Buffalo and Rochester NY. He attended the Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and majored in illustration. Post Syracuse Evans worked at Rolling Stone Magazine and then took a position with the greeting card giant Hallmark Cards. Evans' work has been featured on global stages including over the years, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Reading Rainbow, and Late Night with David Letterman. Evans has illustrated close to 50 titles, his most recent illustrated book “My Friend“ (written by long time friend and actor Taye Diggs) is quickly making a media impact a book Shane is coining “an instant classic”. Some of the notable projects that have made a special impact of recent have been “28Days” “LILLIAN’S RIGHT TO VOTE” (awarded the Jane Addams Peace award) “We March” (featured on the NETLIX special BookMarks), Underground (that was awarded the coveted Coretta Scott King Award), “I Love You More Than...” “Mixed Me!“ “My Brother Charlie“ (which received The NAACP IMAGE AWARD), and “Chocolate Me!” Evans also is creator and illustrator of “The Shanna Book” series by Jean Marzollo, which was adapted into a Disney cartoon and then spun off into a television show called The Shanna Show and Shane's Kindergarten Countdown. He has a long time base in Kansas City as well his Dream Studio LLC that has had an amazing history of bringing community together. Evans is currently working on a musical and art concept that was inspired by the meeting of Malcom X and Martin Luther King called MM2000 this work has been underway for more than 4 years with a book in the making as well as over 400 art portraits and an album that is comprised of 10 plus songs that show how this impactful meeting moment remains relevant in today’s time not only in the US but globally.

Thursday, December 16
12 pm
Philip Graulty Trio featuring Neelamjit Dhillon and James Waterman

Saturday, December 18
12 pm
Thrive Choir

The Thrive Choir was born to sing the music for the revolution. Based in Oakland, California, they are a diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers, and community organizers who join together in big harmony. They celebrate the confluence of their many cultures & identities, including african-american, latinx, asian-american, native american, middle-eastern, immigrant, jewish, & queer. Their music illuminates the joy, pain, and beauty of what it means to be human in this time of systemic transformation.

They have performed with grammy-award winning and nationally-acclaimed artists for social change including Esperanza Spaulding, Rising Appalachia, Climbing Poetree & MaMuse. They have shared the stage with progressive heroes of our time, such as Bernie Sanders, Ericka Huggins, Joanna Macy, and Fania Davis. Their music has inspired thousands at marches, conferences and festivals across California, most recently at Bioneers, Lightning in a Bottle, Institute for Noetic Sciences, the North America Permaculture Convergence, the Women's March, & the Rise for Climate March. 

The Thrive Choir is a part of the Thrive Network, a community and movement devoted to love in action by building equitable systems where we can flourish as individuals, as communities, and as a planet. Since Thrive’s founding in 2015, the choir lifted up the house at Thrive Sundays at 4pm PST every first Sunday in downtown Oakland and virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Performances are subject to change.