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Oakland Museum of California Announces Events & Programs for September & October 2019

(OAKLAND, CA) August 21, 2019The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announces upcoming events and special programs in September and October. It’s a season of celebration beginning with Friday Nights at OMCA: Hella Big 50th Birthday Party on Friday, September 20, celebrating the Museum’s 50th anniversary on the date it first opened in 1969. Join local musicians, artists, vendors, and community partners in celebration of Oakland’s vibrant community during this extra special Friday Night.

The festivities continue with a full weekend of programming during OMCA’s beloved 25th Annual Días de los Muertos Community Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20. This first-ever expanded two-day festival will feature traditional food, dance, live music, colorful ofrendas, a mercado of local artisans, family crafts, and the opportunity to view OMCA’s new exhibitions ¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of Days of the Dead and No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

For more details, visit


Friday Nights at OMCA
Every Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11, 18, 25
Sit back and unwind at Friday Nights at OMCA, bringing you the Bay’s best music, dance, drinks, food trucks, and late-night access to the entire museum. Enjoy hands-on craft activities for kids and a lineup of live music and dance from different local performers each week. Bring friends and family for a taste of local music, food, and culture at the Oakland Museum of California every Friday Night!

Highlights include:

Friday Nights at OMCA | Hella Big 50th Birthday Party
Friday, September 20
5–10 pm
Cheers to 50 years! On this day 50 years ago, the Oakland Museum of California was established as the “Museum of the People.” We’ve been learning, reflecting, creating, dancing, and bringing people together ever since. Don’t miss this very special birthday bash edition of Friday Nights at OMCA. Celebrate with us as we ring in our 50th birthday in style.

Special guests and activities include:

50th Anniversary Birthday Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, September 21 & 22
11 am–5 pm

Celebrate OMCA’s 50th birthday with us all weekend long! Visit on Saturday and Sunday for $5 admission to OMCA’s galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences. Show off your OMCA pride with a limited edition 50th anniversary tote bag, available to guests who sign up for OMCA e-news onsite. Purchase an OMCA Membership to receive a free 50th anniversary aluminum water bottle, while supplies last!

25th Annual Días de los Muertos Community Celebration
Saturday, October 19 & Sunday, October 20
124:30 pm
Join us as OMCA comes alive for the 25th annual community celebration honoring Days of the Dead traditions. Craft activities, tasty food, dance groups, live music, colorful ofrendas, and ceremonia bring the community together for this healing tradition. Celebrate this special two-day Días de los Muertos extravaganza with our newest exhibition ¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of Days of the Dead and learn about Chicano activists who introduced Días de los Muertos traditions to the United States in the 1970s.

Watch demonstrations of traditional Mesoamerican arts and cooking, and browse Days of the Dead merchandise by local artisans for your home altar at our garden mercado. Enjoy live music and dance performances ranging from contemporary popular music to folkloric dance to mariachi, and join in the opening procession led by Aztec dancers and Days of the Dead committee members. Tickets will be available at  

OMCA Festivals are made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and the Koret Foundation. 

First Sundays at OMCA
Sunday, September 1 & Sunday, October 6
11 am–5 pm
Spend your weekend with us at First Sundays at OMCA! Immerse yourself in the powerful video installatioQuestion Bridge: Black Males and learn about the impacts of immigration policies in pop-up exhibition U.S. Immigration: Who Is Let In, Who Is Kept Out? Experience all that our Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences have to offer. Pick up a treat for yourself or a loved one in the OMCA Store. Enjoy a lunch or snack in Blue Oak café. Spend a day with us and find out why East Bay Express calls OMCA “the best museum for the people, by the people.”

Suggested donation for general admission: $5 per person. No advance online tickets are available for First Sundays. Your contribution helps us provide access to other visitors in the community.

Tour | Architecture of the Museum
Sunday, September 1 & Sunday, October 6
1–2 pm
Experience OMCA’s remarkable mid-century modernist landmark building with the guidance of the Museum’s expert members of the Council on Architecture. This tour shares with you a few of the highlights of the incredible building, from views of Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland from atop a three-tiered roof garden to the serene Koi Pond, and a truly Californian indoor/outdoor landmark. Built in 1969 with a design by Kevin Roche, with landscaping by Dan Kiley, the Museum recently completed a major renovation and expansion project overseen by San Francisco-based firm Mark Cavagnero Associates, which honors Roche and Kiley’s original vision of a vibrant urban park and public space. Meet in front of the Ticketing Desk on Level 2.

Included with suggested donation of $5 as a part of First Sundays at OMCA.

*Final Exhibition Viewing*

Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell
Mildred Howard’s TAP: Investigation of Memory
Monday, September 2
11 am–5 pm
Don’t miss the final day of OMCA’s two remarkable exhibitions: Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell and Mildred Howard’s TAP: Investigation of Memory, located in the Gallery of California Art.

Bike Tours of Downtown Oakland
Sunday, September 15 & Sunday, October 20
10 am 
Explore Oakland’s diverse and rich patchwork of neighborhoods by cycling through them with an experienced guide from OMCA. On select Sundays from June through October, OMCA Docents lead bike tours of this eclectic city. Meet in front of the Museum’s Oak Street entrance at 10 am. Bring your own bikes, helmets, repair kits, and water.

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. Beginning April 3, Museum admission will be adjusted to $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, and there will be 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.


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