Press Release

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 1:53pm
Oakland Museum of California Announces Groundbreaking Exhibition Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party
Opening in Fall 2016, Exhibition Partners with Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Fall 2014 Bay Area Premiere of Party People with Site-Specific Installation

(Oakland, CA)—In the fall of 2016, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will present a major exhibition to coincide with the 50th anniversary the Black Panther Party’s (BPP) founding on October 15, 1966 in Oakland. This project will present a contemporary view of the BPP legacy from multiple perspectives and show how the Party continues to inspire grassroots social justice and community empowerment efforts locally, nationally, and internationally. Curated by OMCA Senior Curator of Art René de Guzman, the project will in part consider the relevance of certain aspects of the Ten Point Platform today. This exhibition will include gallery displays of art, artifacts, and material culture in addition to off-site artist-driven community engagement projects in various locations in the East Bay.

The Oakland Museum of California announcement coincides with the fall 2014 Bay Area premiere of Party People, a new play at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The Oakland Museum of California is partnering with the Berkeley Rep to create a site-specific installation at the Theatre using archival materials from the era of the BPP from the Museum’s Collection.

ABOUT BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE’S PARTY PEOPLE

In fall 2014, Berkeley Repertory Theatre presents the Bay Area premiere of Party People, a high-wattage fusion of story and song about the legacy of the Black Panthers and Young Lords. In the 1960s these revolutionaries fought injustice, provided free food and medical care for their communities—and struggled against a government determined to suppress them. Written by UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz) and based on dozens of interviews, Party People imagines the Black Panthers and Young Lords reuniting today at an art opening curated by a couple of young counterculturists, where old wounds open and generations collide. Helmed by Liesl Tommy associate director at Berkeley Rep, and developed in The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work, Party People asks, what is the price of being a revolutionary, and what happens to those who come after? Get ready for a hyperkinetic mix of live video, hip hop, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, Latin rhythms, and spoken word as the explosive theatre ensemble UNIVERSES rocks and unlocks the radical and complicated legacy of the Black Panthers and Young Lords. Party People begins previews Friday, October 17, opens on Friday, October 24, and runs through Sunday, November 16. Press night for Party People will be held on Friday, October 24, 2014. Individual tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by phone at (510) 647-2949 or online at berkeleyrep.org.

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA's groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California's cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. With more than 1.9 million objects, 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 more on OMCA’s upcoming exhibitions and programs, visit museumca.org.

ABOUT BERKELEY REP

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed nearly 400 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities —which include the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley —are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org.

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