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Oakland Museum of California Announces Events & Programs for May & June 2019

(OAKLAND, CA) March 27 2019—The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announces its lineup of events and programs in May and June, including special programs for major exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories, opening April 13. Don’t miss OMCA’s annual fundraiser, Ziggurat, followed by Ziggurat Late Night, on Saturday, May 11, including food by award-winning chef Reem Assil of Dyafa and Reem’s, access to Queer California, specialty cocktails, and a soon-to-be-announced late-night headlining performance.  

Beginning Friday, May 3 and continuing every Friday through May and June, Friday Nights at OMCA will feature a special Queer California Film Series, a late-night screening of rare films exploring untold stories of California’s LGBTQ+ communities. On Saturday, June 15, public program In Conversation: Black Trans Women of Resilience and Strength will feature two generations of black trans women discussing transgender rights, policies that affect the trans community, and what it means to image a safe and equitable queer future.

The Friday Nights at OMCA Summer Season kicks off April 12 and continues through October with late-night gallery access, food trucks, live music, and more. Don’t miss special exhibition tours for Queer California: Untold Stories and Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell, as well as the return of the family-friendly Gold Panning Hoedown in OMCA’s gardens. For more details, visit



Friday Nights at OMCA Summer Season

Every Friday from 510 pm

May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

June 7, 14, 21, 28

Start your weekend off right with Friday Nights at OMCA! Enjoy a picnic in the garden, live music, hands-on art activities, and after-hour gallery access until 10 pm. Grab a bite at the Off the Grid food truck market and enjoy a lineup of live music and dance from local performers. Bring friends and family for a taste of local music, food, and culture at the Oakland Museum of California every Friday Night.

Friday Nights at OMCA | Queer California Film Series

Every Friday at 5 pm

May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

June 7, 14, 21, 28

Join us for special late-night screenings of rare films exploring untold stories of California’s LGBTQ+ communities, included inside special exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories. Check the schedule for show times and film descriptions at


Through the Lens: Tongues Untied
Saturday, May 4
2–3:30 pm
In Tongues Untied (1989), filmmaker Marlon Riggs gives a voice to communities of gay black men, presenting their cultures and perspectives on the world as they confront racism, homophobia, and marginalization. Join guest curator of Queer California: Untold Stories, Christina Linden, and local artist Blackberri who is featured in the film for a special screening of Tongues Untied, followed by a short Q&A. Members receive free admission. Program ticket included with gallery admission. RSVP required.
First Sundays at OMCA
May 5 and June 2
10 am–6 pm
Spend your weekend with us at First Sundays at OMCA! Explore the art and history of California’s LGBTQ+ communities with Queer California: Untold Stories and travel back in time inside Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell, on view in the California Gallery of Art. Discover Mildred Howard’s TAP: Investigation of Memory and explore how dance and activism intertwine. Experience all that our Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences have to offer.

Queer California: Untold Stories Exhibition Tour
May 5, 12, 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
12 pm
Come explore California’s diverse LGBTQ+ history and culture with an OMCA Docent. Hear about connections between important milestones and lesser-known stories, and powerful examples of social activism. Discover stories, contemporary artwork, and historical materials that contribute to California’s shared history. Included with Museum special exhibition admission.
Saturday, May 11
6–9 pm
Mix and mingle with cocktails on the garden terrace and enjoy exclusive access to our newest exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories, followed by gourmet dinner featuring lounge-style seating and a program that includes an exciting live auction and paddle raise. Stay to dance the night away at Ziggurat Late Night, including live entertainment, food by award-winning chef Reem Assil of Dyafa and Reem’s California, specialty cocktails, and more.

Ziggurat Late Night
Saturday, May 11
9 pm–12 am
Experience OMCA after dark and enjoy late-night bites by award-winning chef Reem Assil of Dyafa and Reem’s California, open bars, a photobooth, djs, and live entertainment. Dance and celebrate with friends and community, and get special access to Queer California: Untold Stories.

OUT/HERE: Bay Area Asian American LGBTQ Filmmakers Panel
Friday, May 17
5:30 pm
Join OMCA and the Center for Asian American Media Festival (CAAMFest) for a special panel with some of the Bay Area’s most exciting Asian American LGBTQ filmmakers. This intimate and thought-provoking discussion will explore topics of identity, experiences, and the art of storytelling. This event is free and open to the public.

CAAMFest 2019: Leitis in Waiting
Friday, May 17
7 pm
Join OMCA and the Center for Asian American Media Festival (CAAMFest) for the Oakland premiere of the award-winning documentary, Leitis in Waiting. This film tells the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga Leitis, an intrepid group of transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. Filmmakers expected to be in attendance. Tickets available soon.

Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell Exhibition Tour
May 18, June 1, June 15
12 pm
Join an OMCA Docent to travel back in time through Andrew J. Russell’s epic photography of the Transcontinental Railroad’s western expansion, completed 150 years ago in 1869. Learn about Russell’s legacy as one of the most important photographers of the 19th century through his documentation of the economic and technological advances of the Railroad and its impact on western lands and Native peoples. Included with Museum admission.

OMCA Family | Gold Panning Hoedown
Sunday, May 19
1–4 pm
This special edition of OMCA’s family favorite gold panning activity turns up the fun with folksy flair! Spend an afternoon with the little ones in the Museum gardens and experience a 49er- style shindig you won’t forget. Enjoy live folk music, a picnic lunch, and panning for real gold in OMCA’s own Gold Rush town. Discover some of the different techniques the miners used to find the precious metal. Learn how to tell the difference between real gold and fool’s gold, and keep all you find. Activity recommended for ages 4 and up; younger children are also welcome. Separate ticket required. Tickets available soon.

Presented by Oakland Public Library: Oakland Youth Poet Laureate 2019 Finale

Friday, June 7

6–7:30 pm

Join the Oakland Public Library for the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finale, an evening of truth and talent. All 2019 Finalists will perform and the 2019 Laureate will be announced. This event is free and open to the public.

In Conversation: Black Trans Women on Resilience and Strength
Saturday, June 15
2–3:30 pm
Join us for a panel featuring two generations of black trans women discussing transgender rights, policies that affect the trans community, and what it might mean to imagine a safe and equitable queer future. This panel will feature Sharyn Grayson, activist and Chief Operations/Financial Officer of the Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center, Valerie Spencer, social services specialist and Capacity Building Consultant, and Ebony Ava, Program Associate at The California Endowment.

The discussion will be moderated by Aria Sa’id, Executive Director of Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in a thoughtful discussion with this family of activists and learn more about supporting LGBTQ+ communities. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $16 for Members. Tickets do not include gallery admission.


The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents Friday Nights at OMCA, a weekly evening series every Friday from 5 to 10 pm, in partnership with Off the Grid: Lake Merritt at OMCA—the first major food truck market in the East Bay. Friday Nights at OMCA features extended Museum hours, in-gallery programming, a beer garden from Blue Oak café, live music, dancing, hands-on family activities, and more. Outdoor performances are free and accessible to all, including OMCA’s Go Local stage, featuring top Bay Area musicians and performers. Gallery admission is free for Members and ages 8 and under. Event parking in the Museum garage is $7. Friday Nights at OMCA is presented in partnership with Off the Grid: Lake Merritt at OMCA. Friday Nights at OMCA is made possible in part by generous support from Bank of America, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Koret Foundation.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is committed to being a welcoming and lively place for multi-generational Bay Area families to visit, learn, and engage through OMCA Family, with art activities, storytelling, and hands-on, drop-in projects throughout the Museum. OMCA’s other family-friendly offerings include free Family Guides to the Galleries available at ticketing desks, free activity Books & Blankets available for check-out anytime the Museum is open, and three large annual festivals: Lunar New Year in February, the Summer Reading Celebration in August with the Oakland Public Library, and the Days of the Dead Celebration in October. Free admission for children provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation. The Lunar New Year Community Celebration is made possible in part by generous support from Macy’s and the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multi-disciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with the first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019 as 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.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $16 general, $11 seniors and students with valid ID, $7 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for children 8 and under and Museum Members. There is a $5 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA offers onsite underground parking, with validation for Museum visitors, and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the new 1000 Oak Street main entrance. Regular hours are 11 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm Fridays.