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Oakland Museum of California Announces June Public Programs

Popular Friday Nights at OMCA, Pride Month Kick-Off, Juneteenth Celebration, Guest Artists, Performers, Presenters, Makers, and DJs; Personal History Archiving Event, Black Surfing Film Screening, and More

(Oakland, CA, May 11, 2023)--Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced its public programs for the month of June. Highlights include five popular Friday Nights at OMCA with Off-the-Grid food trucks, hands-on activities, guest artists, presenters, makers and DJs, a Juneteenth celebration with youth and families, a 2-two-part personal history archiving event, a Black and Brown surf culture film screening, and more. A full schedule may be found below, and more information at 

Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid
Reconnect with family, friends, and community every week during Friday Nights at OMCA. These free events provide a gathering place each week, including live music, hands-on activities, Off the Grid (OTG) food trucks, and late-night access to our galleries and special exhibitions with a Museum ticket.

Friday, June 2, 5—9 pm
Alphabet Rockers
DJ Danny Fathom with Skyline Siberia
Pride Month Poster Making
Come together to kick off Pride Month with poster making for all ages, sing-along with an always brave and beautiful performance by Oakland’s own Grammy-winning Alphabet Rockers and move and groove to DJ Danny Fathom and Skyline Siberia.

Friday, June 9, 5—9 pm
Archiving Gold with Gold Beams
Emcee King Langstyn, Dani Offline & Beatnik Scum, Photographer Dorean Raye, DJ Ignacia
Narrate your own history at OMCA with Archiving Gold in collaboration with Gold Beams and the Oakland Public Library History Center. Bring an object, a photo, a writing or just share a story that symbolizes your culture and wisdom as you experience it right now in Oakland. Guests are empowered to imagine: “What would you want future generations to know about life in Oakland today?” 

Gold Beams photographer Dorean Raye will photograph your object and develop a digital archive of the stories in a portal on the Gold Beams website and the Oakland Public Library History Center will produce a printed version for their shelves that will live on for generations to come. 
Meanwhile don’t miss electrifying emcee King Langstyn, live music by Dani Offline and Beatnik Scum, and high energy DJ Ignacia. Emcee King Langstyn creates a space for all to interact in a genuine, real-life way, bringing a lifetime of experience as a mixed-media artist, stand-up comic, and producer. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dani Offline is known for an elastic voice and smooth lyrical flow. Rap artist Beatnik Scum rocks the crowd with an emotionally raw, and vulnerable performance that hits the soul. Be ready to dance hard and listen closely to hear some remixes of your favorite songs and songs you may never have experienced before with DJ Ignacia.

Friday, June 16, 5—9 pm
ODUN AYO: A Juneteenth Celebration of Black Families, Students and Staff Thriving in Black Joy and Excellence in OUSD,
Organized by Spearitwurx
DJ Sake One
Join us for a pre-Juneteenth evening to celebrate and honor Black students, staff, and families in Oakland schools. Featuring live performances by Queen Iminah and African American Females of Excellence (AAFE), Kingmakers of Oakland, Spear of the Nation, interactive activities, and community resources to uplift Black Joy and Excellence in Oakland Unified School District. Organized by Spearitwurx with AAFE, African American Male Achievement (AAMA), and OUSD Office of Equity.

Friday, June 23, 5—9 pm
Let’s Lab! With host Moses Weedon and performing artists Katie Paige, Lyric, Cyd the creative and CIN
Gallery Activation with Associate Curator of History, Dania Jordan
DJ Sunflowerbaybee
OMCA is the place to be when Let’s Lab! lights up our outdoor garden stage with fresh new musical and lyric artists. Indoors, join OMCA’s Associate Curator of History, Dania Jordan, for a Gallery Activation of the History Gallery. Learn about how Black Americans migrated to California, their settlement patterns, the political and cultural influence(s) they have had in shaping California’s history.

Friday, June 30, 5—9 pm
Skip the Needle
DJ Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist
Oakland-based formidable female powerhouse quartet Skip the Needle brings a depth of personal insight and performing experience to their politically astute hard rock/funk songcraft. If Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Chrissie Hynde, and Chaka Khan all jammed together, this band would be the result. At Friday Night at OMCA, Skip the Needle will play an hour-long set of original music, including tracks from their upcoming EP, Octavia of Earth, Volume 2, a docu-musical inspired by the life of black feminist writer Octavia E. Butler. DJ Ren is widely known for his eclectic musical selections and is a highly respected and influential figure in the hip-hop and music community, known for his passion, creativity, and commitment to preserving the legacy of hip hop.

Archiving Gold: Everyday People in Oakland Storytelling Our History
Friday, June 9, 5-9 pm as part of Friday Nights at OMCA (Free)
Sunday, June 11, 2023: 1-2:30pm (Panel discussion), 2:45–4pm (Post-Event Café Conversations)
Sliding Scale $1-$30
What would you want future generations to know about life in Oakland today? Come narrate your own history at OMCA! Archiving Gold is a two-part program presented in collaboration with Gold Beams and the Oakland Public Library History Center inviting everyday people to narrate and archive their own history of Oakland for future generations. You’re invited to participate in either or both parts of this engaging two-part program.

PART 1 Friday, June 9, 5-9 pm – Part one is integrated into our popular Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid. Visitors are invited to bring objects, photos, writings or just share a story that symbolizes their culture, wisdom, and/or history as they experience it right now in Oakland. A professional photographer will be here to take a picture of the object, or the storyteller and visitors will be invited to submit a brief story that brings their offering to life. Gold Beams will develop a digital archive of the images and stories in a portal on its website. In addition, the Oakland Public Library History Center will create a printed version for its shelves that will live on for generations to come. 

PART 2 Sunday, June 11, 1-4 pm – This Sunday public program will offer a deeper dive into the practices of community partners who are doing the work of holding and shaping Oakland culture and history. We will showcase a visual display of the digital archive produced from the Friday Night event. 

The panel guests will include Elisha Greenwell, Founder & CEO of the Black Joy Parade, Carolyn Johnson, CEO of Black Cultural Zone Community Development Corporation, Sheilby Macena, photographer whose work focuses on intimacy and personal histories that document the past and honor the present and Travis Watts, Founder and ED at Afrocentric Oakland and Oakland Juneteenth Festival. The conversation will be moderated by Tayleur Crenshaw Founder and Co-owner of Gold Beams. 

After the discussion we invite visitors to join us to continue the conversation at the black woman and Howard University alumni owned OMCA’s Town Fare by Chef Michele McQueen. Come taste the hearty and delicious brunch menu and sip on the special edition “Archiving Gold” signature mimosa (regular menu prices apply).

Wade in the Water: A Journey Into Black Surfing and Aquatic Culture
Film Screening
June 17, 2023, 6 – 9pm
James Moore Theater (Reception in the Garden)
Tickets: $15
Join us for a pre-screening of Wade in the Water: A Journey into Black Surfing and Aquatic Culture and reception with/ Brown Girl Surf, Black.Surfers, and Black Surf Santa Cruz. Meet leaders of these organizations and learn about their work supporting Black and Brown people to experience surfing and gain access to the joy and power of the ocean. Learn how to get involved in the movement to diversify surf culture including upcoming events and opportunities around the Bay and beyond. Post-screening Q&A and Talk Panel with David Mesfin, Director/Writer/Producer; Beyin Abraha, Executive Producer; and Kayiita Johansson, Founder of Black.Surfers.

Gallery Activation Hour
Saturdays, 1-2 pm
OMCA Great Hall
Gallery Activation Hour puts a twist on the traditional museum tour. Using an informal approach, OMCA facilitators combine content knowledge with lived experience. Centering community voices and encouraging dialogue in our galleries provides meaningful and fresh interpretations of our special exhibitions.

Visitors can spend time with OMCA’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer Gallery Activation facilitators who will generate conversations and engagement throughout the hour, reimagining how OMCA activates its galleries. Occasionally Gallery Activation Hour will be hosted by a special guest facilitator. Current Great Hall exhibition: Angela Davis–Seize the Time, on view through June 11, 2023. A special exhibition ticket is required. No reservations necessary.

Gathering in the Garden With W. Kamau Bell and Ryan Coogler
Thursday, June 29
6–10 pm
OMCA Garden
Join us for a lively and fun benefit event focusing on our mission to inspire Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities. Gathering in the Garden will feature an engaging and thoughtful conversation with Bay Area visionary creators, activists, and thinkers W. Kamau Bell and Ryan Coogler.

Add drinks, food and friends and this promises to be a party brimming with humor and inspiration. Sliding scale tickets will allow a wide range of community members to join us and see the impact of OMCA’s mission and programming. Tickets, priced $50 to $1000, go on sale to members May 30 and to the public May 31. A number of free tickets will be available through OMCA’s community partners.

Event sponsorships are available by contacting Julia Ann Starke at 510-318-8516 or [email protected].

Summer Group Visits Self-Guided Tours
Come explore the many stories of California and its people, learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state, and investigate your own role in both its history and its future. Bring your summer school or summer camp group to visit OMCA’s Galleries of California Art, History, or Natural Sciences, or one of our special exhibitions. We’re currently scheduling through August 11, 2023.
Registration opens May 16.

Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD
Great Hall
Opening May 19, 2023
In collaboration with three profound Bay Area institutions, Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD celebrates myriad works from contemporary artists with developmental disabilities. From painting to sculpture to multimedia, these world-renowned artists are producing work of incredible power, exuberance, humor, complexity, and joy.
Into the Brightness presents a variety of dynamic perspectives from the artists’ personal experiences of the world. This original, collaborative exhibition is the largest museum exhibition in over a decade featuring artists from the three local organizations –Creativity Explored in San Francisco, Creative Growth in Oakland, and NIAD (Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development) Art Center in Richmond. 

Featured artists include: Saul Alegria, Peter Cordova, Tranesha Smith-Kilgore, Marlon Mullen, Dorian Reid, William Scott, Dinah Shapiro, Nicole Storm, and Marilyn Wong.

Angela Davis — Seize the Time
Great Hall,
Through June 11, 2023
Angela Davis — Seize the Time is an exhibition focused on Davis and her image. Organized in partnership with the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, the exhibition provides a compelling and layered narrative of Davis’s journey. Using the Angela Davis Archive in Oakland as both the heart of the exhibition and a source, visitors are given the opportunity to investigate how we remember, preserve, and activate radical Black history, while also allowing us to re-imagine the construction of the image of Davis as an icon of American Black radical resistance, female empowerment, and a threat to the white patriarchal status quo.

Beyond the archive and popular culture references, the exhibition positions Angela Davis as a continuing touchstone for contemporary artists referencing mass incarceration, Black Lives Matter, and economic disenfranchisement. Contemporary artworks assert Davis’s significance as a Black feminism intellectual and engage with her as a historical participant in a larger narrative, not simply as an unmoored image of radical chic.  

OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace
Gallery of California Natural Sciences
For children ages 2 to 5
Little learners can unleash their curiosity and imagination in the newly-created OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace. Located in the Gallery of California Natural Sciences, the playroom is focused on the unique needs of children ages 2 to 5, along with their families and caregivers. Play is critical to every child’s healthy development and the playroom offers something for everyone, from building materials and nature-themed puzzles to hands-on activities that spark creativity, wonder, and joy. Our youngest museum visitors can also discover the animals that make their homes in Oakland’s streams, hills, and backyards. The playroom gives families a fun, safe place to play and to build community with other families. Admission to OMCA is free for kids 12 and under.
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 multidisciplinary 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 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 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. For details and admission, visit our website.

As of November 1, masks are encouraged for visitors and Oakland Museum of California  staff. OMCA asks that anyone on campus be considerate of those in their immediate surroundings as we work together to keep our community safe. Masks are available upon request at the ticketing desk for those who would like one.