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Oakland Museum of California Surpasses Five-Year Capital Campaign Goal, Exceeding $85 Million

(OAKLAND, CA) August 17, 2021The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announced today that it has raised more than $86 million towards its $85 million capital campaign, which concluded on June 30, 2021. The campaign, titled All In! The Campaign for OMCA, is part of a long-term vision, spearheaded by OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty, to expand the Museum’s role as a public gathering place, creating new spaces for the community to convene and connect. The campaign also includes funds for important architectural and landscape improvements to the Museum’s campus, and the creation of new amenities to support the Museum’s community engagement initiatives.

Major gifts were received from Kaiser Permanente and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation specifically for the Museum’s capital improvements. A grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation will provide $2 million to support free admission for children 12 and under, supporting OMCA’s goals to provide greater accessibility to its community.

“Osher Foundation trustees are honored to be associated with OMCA, a grantee institution that is true to its mission of providing ever greater service to a robust and diverse community.  OMCA’s commitment to accessibility is a mark of its singular relevance and value,” noted Mary Bitterman, Foundation president. “Barbro and Bernard Osher, along with the Foundation’s other Board members and staff colleagues, applaud the success of the All In! campaign and the outstanding leadership of CEO Lori Fogarty.”

Over the last ten years, OMCA has deepened its commitment to serving as an institution of the people, organizing exhibitions and programs that illuminate the stories of individuals and communities who are often under-represented in the country’s cultural, social, and political dialogues. This includes presentations on the Black Panthers, marijuana legalization, the genocide of Native populations in California, and the LGBTQ+ community. The All In! campaign will ensure the continued growth of this programmatic approach into the future, and support OMCA in advancing its vision to serve as a town square and place where Californians can build a sense of belonging, together.

“With our newly reimagined gardens and campus, and re-opening to the public after 15 months of sheltering-in-place due to COVID-19, it’s incredibly gratifying to see our community enjoy the amenities that this campaign helped to support,” said OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty. “We are so grateful for the tremendous level of support from so many in our community, and look forward to expanding our focus on engagement by physically opening up our campus to the surrounding neighborhoods, creating new spaces for people to convene and connect.” 

Campus Improvements

Led by the landscape architect Walter Hood (Hood Design Studio) and project architect Mark Cavagnero (Mark Cavagnero Associates), along with project manager and financing consultant Equity Community Builders (ECB) and general contractor Cahill Contractors, OMCA’s campus renovation focused on enhancing access to the multi-terraced campus, improving visitor amenities, and significantly updating and refreshing the planting scheme in order to make these outdoor spaces an even better destination and community gathering place. Completed work includes the removal of an exterior border wall along the Museum’s northern side, facing Oakland’s Lake Merritt, and the creation of a new entrance on 12th Street which physically opens the campus to this major pedestrian corner, opening later this year.

Alterations have also been made along 10th Street, to the south, providing direct entry into public event space as well as OMCA’s new cafe, Town Fare by Tanya Holland, further creating better pedestrian access. Two new ADA-accessible ramps have also been added onto the campus. These exterior changes, along with improved wayfinding, will also improve visitors’ ease of access to the Museum’s galleries, creating a more unified experience on campus. Just over $15 million of the All In! campaign funds have been earmarked to support the campus and garden renovation. 

The Museum’s curators have also brought a fresh eye to the public sculptures on view throughout the gardens, featuring work by 24 internationally renowned California artists such as Ruth Asawa, Bruce Beasley, Beniamino Bufano, Mark di Suvero, Viola Frey, George Rickey, and Peter Voulkos. Alongside the sculpture is the creation of a new, permanent stage that will support the Museum’s expanded outdoor performance, music, and film programs. The new stage includes built-in lighting and audio/visual components that will improve the live performance experience for both audiences and those on stage. These improvements—along with additional enhancements to the terraces and patios, central courtyard, and seating options throughout the campus—support the Museum’s vision to provide visitors with a welcoming and comfortable environment that serves a wide range of leisure and community needs.

OMCA: Building Social Cohesion

Approximately $32 million of campaign funds will support general operations over a five-year period, including OMCA’s curatorial, educational, and public programming initiatives. This includes OMCA’s ongoing social impact research and evaluation work, which measures the Museum’s success in its efforts to foster understanding and connection between diverse Bay Area residents and communities.

A portion of the funds raised from All In! will support this ongoing evaluation process so that OMCA can better fulfill its mission by creating exhibitions and programs that deeply engage the diverse communities that comprise the Bay Area. The social impact evaluation initiative will provide critical data points that will inform the work of its curatorial and educational departments moving forward.

Endowment: Securing the Future of OMCA

The remainder of the campaign funds, approximately $39 million, will go towards growing OMCA’s endowment and securing the Museum’s financial stability into the future. The endowment supports OMCA’s future operations as an independent nonprofit. Following a several-year strategic planning and financial modeling process, the Museum shifted from being a city entity in 2011. OMCA plans to continue to serve as a civic center in a greater capacity, with artistic, educational, and social components geared to engaging a diverse audience and the broader ongoing shifts within the community it serves.

The campus plan is funded through a five-year $85 million comprehensive fundraising effort, All In! The Campaign for OMCA. In addition to private philanthropy, this project is funded in part by Capital One Commercial Bank, Oakland Renaissance NMTC, Inc. and the City of Oakland.


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 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 recently  celebrated its 50th anniversary 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.


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 13 to 17, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $5 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA 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. An  accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.

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