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Oakland Museum of California Receives Ford Foundation Grant to Support All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50

(OAKLAND, CA)—The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) received a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to support its new exhibition, All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, and public programs that support and enhance it. The exhibition, which opens October 8, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Party and continues OMCA’s commitment to examining topics and themes that are socially relevant and meaningful to the community through exhibitions, programs, and partnerships.

Organized by an award-winning team led by exhibition curator René de Guzman, All Power to the People explores the Party’s stories of human achievement and struggle to support the needs of the oppressed. The exhibition will delve into aspects of the Party that are not often told, such as its survival programs, the presence of women and rank and file members, its use of media and art, and its founding Ten Point Program that continues to inform and inspire contemporary movements of change today. All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 will open October 8, 2016, to coincide with the anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding on October 15, 1966, and will run through February 12, 2017, in the Museum’s Great Hall. 

“We are honored by the Ford Foundation’s support of this important exhibition and grateful for their significant funding. The exhibition themes and content align with many of the Ford Foundation’s interests, particularly issues of race and gender, and, of course, ties to the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the arts,” says OMCA Director Lori Fogarty.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to tell an important story of this movement to secure power and equality that 50 years later is still not well understood,” said Margaret Morton, Ford Foundation Program Officer of Creativity and Free Expression. “All Power to the People arrives at a unique moment in time when issues of racial inequality and gender inequality are at the forefront of our nation’s dialogue. Learning from our history is always a prerequisite to changing the present.”

In addition to funding the exhibition, the Ford Foundation grant will support the creation and promotion of public programs throughout the exhibition run as part of OMCA’s popular Friday Nights, teacher-training workshops, and a school guide.

All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 examines the Black Panther Party as a necessary, innovative, and human response to societal needs. Informed by insights from former Black Panthers, artists, scholars, and community members, the exhibition features art installations, historical photographs and media presentations, rare artifacts, and contemporary works of art. Designed to create empathy and emotional resonance, the exhibition will include an unprecedented variety of objects, art works, and materials from OMCA’s collections and other public and private sources that illuminate the historical and social contexts of the late 1960s that precipitated the founding of the Black Panthers, presenting the complex stories of the Party and its work to make revolutionary change possible. 

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For 80 years we have worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by our 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. 

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.

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 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 9 pm Fridays.
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