Press Release

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 10:03am

Scott Horton


Public Invited into Transformed Museum for 31 Hours
of Free, Continuous Events Celebrating the Creativity and Cultures of
California, the 31st State

Energized Visitor Experience Tells the Many Stories of California and Fosters
Discovery, Dialogue, and a Forum for Community

New Museum Café, Store, Hours, and Visitor
Amenities Announced

 Oakland, CA, March 25, 2010 - Thirty-one
hours of continuous, round-the-clock, free public programs will officially
launch the reopening of the transformed Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)
after a two-year, $58 million renovation and re-envisioning of the presentation
of its art and history collections May 1 and 2, Lori Fogarty, OMCA Executive
Director, has announced. The Oakland Museum of California Opening Celebration
Weekend is presented by Target and will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 1, with
a public ceremony on the steps and in the street in front of OMCA's 1000 Oak
Street entrance with a Native American Ohlone blessing, marching band, spectacular
site-specific aerial dance performance by Project Bandaloop created especially
for the opening, and more. The festivities continue through 6 p.m. Sunday, May
2. Saturday afternoon activities center on the innovative and creative spirit
of California, while Saturday evening and overnight activities take on a more
adult flavor with dancing, food and beverages, participatory conversations and
classes merging into early morning yoga and bubble magic, followed by
family-themed events all day Sunday. The thirty-one hours of programming are
designed as a thank you to Oakland voters who supported
Measure G, which provided funding in part for OMCA's transformation. All
events are free of charge and open to the public. [EDITOR NOTE: Complete hours,
pricing and information about public amenities may be found at the end of this

"We are excited to welcome the public back into the Oakland Museum of
California, home of our state's art, history, and cultures," says Fogarty. "Our
newly transformed art and history galleries offer an energizing and
participatory re-envisioning of how we present our collections and programs to
better serve the needs and expectations of today's museum-goers. The newly
renovated galleries and public spaces feature stunning new exhibitions from our
permanent art and history collections, including selections from nearly 2,000
new acquisitions."

Created in 1969 as a "museum for the people," OMCA is reviving its foundational
premise by developing innovative exhibition and programming strategies, setting
a new paradigm for the way a museum engages the public. Visitors to the
reinvented Museum will find multiple entry points for exploring the state's
past; learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that continue to
shape it; and investigate their own role in both its history and its

Reopening the Doors to Californians'
Stories in Art, History, and Culture

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, OMCA will
officially reopen to the public with a ceremony on the 1000 Oak Street Steps
(between 10th and 11th Streets). The program will include
a Native American Ohlone blessing by tribal member and artist Linda Yamane,
welcoming remarks by Museum leadership and elected officials, and the premiere
of a stunning aerial dance work created by Oakland's Project Bandaloop on OMCA's
façade set to a soundscore of natural sounds from OMCA's California Library of
Natural Sounds. After the premiere, OMCA's gates will be opened for the public
to experience the exciting new transformations inside. While awaiting entry,
the visitors will be entertained by performances of California "firsts" by the
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band, Holistic Hooping hula-hoop
performances, Yo-yo champion Dazzling Dave, master whistler Sean Lomax, and hip-hop
dancing with Oakland Hip Hop Dance Institute through 6 p.m. when the
celebration's evening programs begin.

Evening and Overnight Programs With a Grown-up,
Social Flavor

As the 31-hour Opening Weekend Celebration continues, Saturday evening events
from 6 p.m.  through 6 a.m. Sunday,
May 2, transition to a more adult flavor with participants invited to
socialize, participate, and enjoy OMCA's all-night party-pajamas are
encouraged. Featured will be live DJs and radio broadcasts, a dance music
showcase from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., "California Futures" ongoing conversations and
group experiences about California's cultures, creativity, food, and more;
screenings of California films, personalized gallery tours with curators, food
and drink until 2 a.m.-all this and fire dancers, too!

Sunday Events for Families

After OMCA shakes off the night and wakes up with early morning yoga in the
gardens and coffee, Sunday welcomes visitors for family events until 6 p.m.
Featured will be bubble magic with Mike Miller, juggling and dance performances
with Capacitor Dance, Oakland School of the Arts' Jazz Band, the Oakland
Interfaith Gospel Choir, A'Dunyae Lee rap music, community drumming with Drummm
Rhythmic Events, games, and other events presented in collaboration with DEAF
Media, Our Family Coalition, MOCHA, and Laney College.

New OMCA Café and Store

The newly transformed OMCA features exciting new amenities that enhance the
visitor experience. A new café, Blue Oak, and an exclusive on-site catering
service will open shortly after May 1. Award-winning California chef Robert
Dorsey III (formerly of Bay Wolf, Firefly, Kuleto's, and Blackberry Bistro)
will be the operator of Blue Oak on site at OMCA, and celebrated chef Karen
Bevels will provide California-inspired catering services through Karen Bevels
Custom Catering and Events.

California arts, crafts, books, and other unique items will be found in a new
2,000-square-foot museum store that will provide an extension and continuation
of the stories begun in the galleries. The expanded store provides a new social
space that will greatly enhance the visitors' experience. The Museum Store
will feature a curated collection, edited and presented in a way that expands
upon and supports the work exhibited in the galleries; an events series
including author book signings, artist demonstrations, and trunk shows;
functional art and merchandise by local artists and artisans, and more.  A
new feature of the store is an area completely devoted to changing
presentations of local artists and designers' works.  The store will be a "hands on" experience for the visitor in
a space where art, history, and science come together. New ideas, cultural
trends and current events will be reflected in the merchandise. The store will
showcase edgy, culturally diverse, and relevant art, just-released books by
Californians, and contemporary 
research in the natural sciences and ecology, providing OMCA's community
base with another connection to the many stories of California.

New Museum Hours

OMCA is introducing new expanded hours, including Thursday and Friday evenings.
OMCA's popular late night Friday programming will move to the 2nd
Friday of the month beginning June 11. OMCA will continue to offer free
admission to the public on the first Sunday of each month, beginning in June
and made possible by Wells Fargo. New hours are as follows:









11 am - 5 pm



11 am - 8 pm



11 am - 8 pm



11am -  5 pm



11 am - 5 pm

Second Friday
of the Month


11 am - 9 pm

Admission is $12 general; $9 students and seniors with valid ID, $6 youth ages
9-17, and free for children 8 and under, and members.

OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one
block from the Lake Merritt BART station between 8th and 9th streets at Oak
Street. OMCA is at the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility
ramp is located at the new 1000 Oak Street main entrance.

Programs during the Opening
Season of the Oakland Museum of California are made possible by the Clorox
Company, the Oakland Museum Women's Board, Target, Wells Fargo, and Chevron.

For more information and visuals, please contact:

Scott Horton
Oakland Museum of California