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Oakland Museum of California Awarded Competitive Grants from National Foundations to Support Community Engagement, Diversity and Leadership in the Museum Field

(Oakland, CA) January 29, 2018— The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is the recent recipient of three significant grants, including support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation, and Koret Foundation. These grants will enhance the Museum’s continued efforts to support community revitalization through its programming, diversify museum leadership, and provide internship and fellowship opportunities.

In December of 2017, the Koret Foundation announced a new $10 million, multi-year Arts and Culture Initiative supporting 13 Bay Area cultural institutions, including the Oakland Museum of California. The new initiative was established to better address the changing landscape of cultural participation in the San Francisco Bay Area. As one of the grantees, OMCA will receive funds to support free community and family programs that reach new audiences, specifically those in local neighborhoods.

The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation together announced a $6 million commitment to support innovative strategies and programs across the sector through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative. The Oakland Museum of California is one of 20 grantees to receive funding, including many other esteemed institutions such as The Art Institute of Chicago, Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. With this grant, OMCA will receive support for a three-year summer internship, cohort-learning and leadership development program for undergraduate and graduate level students. The Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded OMCA a grant of $400,000 to support postdoctoral curatorial fellowships. The grant is a new fellowship awarded to OMCA for use over a five-year period. This grant will support the Museum’s first ever curatorial fellowship designed to provide training, experience and mentorship in 21st century curatorial skills and competencies to two scholars at the post-doctoral level over the next several years.

“These new grants will allow the Oakland Museum of California to continue serving our community through free programs and events, providing a space for people to come together and connect with one another, be inspired, and express themselves creatively,” said OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty. “The grants also support OMCA’s commitment to provide opportunities for students and scholars of diverse cultural backgrounds to enter the art museum field and to be supported through training and mentorship with the skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the cultural sector in the 21st century. 

“To best reflect and engage the community that we serve, it is extremely important to ensure that we provide opportunities to leaders and students of all backgrounds. OMCA considers and embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and access at all levels of the organization – from programming and audience development to Board and staff composition. These grants are affirmation of our significant progress in these areas and we are honored to have support from local and national foundations for our work to create truly inclusive cultural spaces.”


Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation is committed to strengthening the Bay Area community and nurturing the continuity of the Jewish people worldwide. Since its founding in 1979, Koret has awarded over $500 million in grants to an array of outstanding organizations doing important work in these areas. For more information about the Koret Foundation, please visit

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  Additional information is available at

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. OMCAs groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on firstperson accounts by people who have shaped Californias 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 Californias dynamic cultural and environmental heritage.


The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $4 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitionsOMCA offers onsite underground parking 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 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.

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