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OMCA Announces Public Programs and Events for May 2024

Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced its schedule of public programs for May 2024, including the continuation of Friday Nights at OMCA, a special iteration of Ritual on Road with Puri Arts and ARU, Conversation and Book Release with Adian Burrel, and Gallery Chats of which Members will have access to special Member Gallery Chat: California AAPI History. The full calendar may be seen below with details at


Friday Nights at OMCA
Every Friday |  5–9 pm | OMCA Campus

Friday Nights at OMCA are jam packed with exciting events and activities sure to enhance your night out in the Town! Gather with family, friends, and community every Friday at 5 pm for free live music and hands-on activities, Off the Grid food trucks, and late night access to our galleries and special exhibitions, with a Museum ticket.

Bring your own or grab dinner from any one of the 8 Off the Grid food trucks on 10th Street between Oak and Fallon Streets. Beer, wine, mixed and non-alcoholic drinks are available for sale. After grabbing a meal from a wide and weekly changing menu of culinary creations, head to the OMCA Garden where you’ll find picnic tables and blankets to enjoy your local eats. Play lawn and table games, enjoy weekly rotating Museum programming, and create new memories at one of the Town’s most treasured spaces right in the heart of Oakland.

No outside alcohol permitted. Performances are subject to change. Limited $10 flat rate parking for Friday Nights is available in the OMCA Garage until 10 pm.

Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid is proudly supported by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and Bank of America.

Friday, May  3  |  59 pm

 Live Music with Alphabet Rockers, Drag Storytime with Per Sia, Sculpture Making, Gallery Chats, and set with DJ Siyah

The Oakland Museum of California invites guests to come pump up the joy this first Friday at Friday Nights at OMCA! The Garden Stage will be filled with positivity as the intergenerational hip hop group, Alphabet Rockers, explores elements of hip hop and leads audiences to shared moments of joyful expression, uplifting affirmations, and celebratory movement. Drag Storytime keeps the empowering energy flowing as drag artist Per Sia brings Tyler Feder’s preschool picture book, Bodies are Cool, to life with an exuberant read-aloud alongside bright and friendly illustrations to captivate all. 

Further opportunities to feel inspired are offered via the change makers highlighted in the OMCA  collection, with a hands-on wire sculpture activity inspired by Ruth Asawa’s Untitled, 1974 piece on display in Oak Street Plaza, and the insightful Gallery Chats being held in OMCA’s  Special Exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya. And as the night unfolds, the seasoned musical stylings of Siyah are sure to keep the good vibrations flowing high.

Friday, May 10  |  59 pm

Live Music by Fantastic Negrito & Friends, Poetry and Hip Hop by Let’s Lab with KD The Poet!, Gallery Chats, and set with DJ Mani Draper 

Friday Night’s at OMCA presents an electrifying evening with Oakland’s own Fantastic Negrito as he takes the stage alongside some of his favorite musicians in the Bay Area. OMCA invites visitors to come out for an immersive performance that plays with the boundaries between funk, rock, soul, and blues to produce a unique and captivating experience. More boundaries are broken as Let’s Lab with KD the Poet makes the mundane fantastic as he centers everyday life in his blend of soulful lyricism and tempered production. The night will be further filled with the groovy blend of rap, soul, R&B, and Afrobeats emanating from Bay Area DJ Mani Draper, all excellent energy to intercut with moving discussion facilitated by the Gallery Chats taking place in OMCA’s Special Exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya.

Friday, May 17  |  59 pm

Live Music by Awesöme Orchestra, K-Pop Dance Lesson with Groobeu & Robin Lee, Gallery Chats, and set with DJ Peter Lo

Join OMCA this Fright night as we host Awesöme Orchestra and 100+ musicians for a Friday evening serenade filled with internationally acclaimed guest artists and local composers! Bringing music out of the concert hall and into the wider Bay Area community parks, streets, and rock venues, Awesöme Orchestra takes film and video game scores and brings them to life. Both a performance and an invitation the Awesöme Orchestra invites you to their website for info about how to participate. This Friday Nights at OMCA further invites guests into the performance with K-Pop Dance Lessons with Groobeu & Robin Lee as they teach one of NewJeans’ choreography to one of their most popular songs,Hype Boy”! This will be a supportive space as they walk through each movement, try the choreo many times, and split into smaller groups to give everyone a chance to showcase their new moves!

Gallery Chats held in OMCA’s  Special Exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya will give visitors even further opportunity to engage as this twist on the traditional museum tour centers community voice and knowledge to bring fresh perspectives on the gallery content. This night of creativity will be held down with a fun and energetic K-Pop set by DJ Peter Lo. 

Friday, May 24  |  59 pm

Bolo Music Group Presents Live Music by Ruby Ibarra & Ian Santilliano, Live Figure Drawing with Sketchboard, Gallery Chats, and set by DJ Sake One

In this edition of Friday Nights at OMCA, the Garden Stage will host not only a colorful blend of hip-hop, rock, and jazz, but a movement of Filipino-American musical storytelling that cuts through the norm like a bolo! The Bolo Music Group led by Ruby Ibarra and producer LASI are set to light up the stage and pull audiences into authentic Filipino musical storytelling that engages with Ruby’s identity as both a woman and as a 1.5 generation immigrant and encourages global connection. 

Further connection is to be had as OMCA invites back a quickly growing classic, Sketchboard Live Drawing! OMCA welcomes guests to bring sketch pads and perspective to the Museum’s Gallery of California Art and be inspired with live drawing sessions.

OMCA welcomes all skill levels, including those who have never drawn before and want to try drawing. Art supplies and clipboards will be available for use, and your artwork will be yours to take home or exchange with others. A costumed model representing the diversity of the Bay Area will be posing in the Gallery of California Art for times ranging from 2 to 20 minutes. Since drawing will take place in the gallery, please be mindful of the space and bring only the following media from home: sketchbooks (max size 9×12 inches) and pre-sharpened enclosed graphite or charcoal pencils.

Sketching in the gallery is included with the price of general Museum Gallery access and free for Museum Members. In addition, Gallery Chats will be activating our Special Exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya, with facilitated community conversations that bring a new light to the work with every iteration. All this creative engagement will be framed with the rhythmic stylings of DJ Sake One.

Friday, May 31  |  59 pm

Carnival Takeover with MasFX and VibeHauss, Soca Meets Samba Dance Workshop, Cardinal Calypso Steel Pan Band, Alameda County Community Food Bank First Annual Spring Community Event, and Vibe Hauss DJ Set

Friday Nights at OMCA kicks off Oakland Carnival weekend with a bang! In celebration of the vibrant cultures of the Bay Area, the night starts at the Garden Stage with a Soca Meets Samba Dance Workshop, a fun, all-levels, all-ages dance class highlighting some of the most popular moves from each genre. Immediately after, the MasFX Carnival Dance Experience will perform a portion of their 2024 showcase that leads into a party worthy blend of Soca, Reggaeton, Dancehall, Afrobeats, Baile Funk, Hip-Hop, House and more with a set from VibeHauss DJs. The Amphitheater will be activated too and will transport visitors to Trinidad and Tobago with the smooth vibrations of Cardinal Calypso Steel Pan Band. 

As OMCA celebrates the vibrant cultural tapestry of the Bay Area, OMCA also welcomes the Alameda County Community Food Bank as it brings its mission to end hunger to Friday Nights with OMCA and Off the Grid! Guests are welcome to come meet the Food Bank and get hands-on with its breadth of programs and services, including grassroots advocacy, nutrition education, and CalFresh (food stamp) enrollment assistance. Staff and volunteers from across the food bank will be on hand all night sharing about their work–which also includes providing 1 million meals worth of food every week–and the ways to access their services, volunteer, and other ways to give back.

Lastly, throughout the night Gallery Chats in Special Exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya provides another opportunity to be inspired by the social fortitude that holds our vibrant community together as facilitated community lead conversations allow guests to dive deep into the gallery content.


Spotlight Sundays: Puri Arts & ARU Present: Ritual on the Road
Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 1–4 pm  | OMCA Garden

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)  is excited to welcome Oakland based artist Dohee Lee Puri Arts (DLPA) for their Ritual on the Road series. On Sunday, May 19 OMCA invites guests to a powerful offering in OMCA’s beautiful Garden that will center the healing rituals of Korean indigenous practices from Jeju Island, Korea, where Lee was born and trained. Using visual art and traditional instrumental soundscapes, this interactive performance will be rooted in deep engagement with the Asian Diaspora immigrant refugees community represented by Asian Refugees United (ARU)  and in educational collaboration with indigenous partners around loss, harm, and resilience of ancestral and homelands.

Puri Arts & ARU Present: Ritual on the Road is supported by The New England Foundation for the Arts, California Arts Council, The Center for Cultural Power, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Stupski Foundation, and East Bay Community Foundation. 


Conversation and Book Release with Adrian Burrel
Saturday, May 4, 2024 | 1–2:30 pm | Jame Moore Theater 

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is honored to welcome third-generation Bay Area filmmaker, artist, and author, Adrian L. Burrell, to present select works from his first monograph, Sugarcane & Lighting (Minor Matters, 2023), and his latest short film, The Saints Step in Kongo Time.

The book and film, along with two recent solo exhibitions in 2023 in San Jose and San Francisco, respectively, are all part of an ongoing research project visualizing Burrell’s family’s experiences with plantocracy and sugar production after the Louisiana Purchase. Images span Senegal to Jim Crow Louisiana to modern-day Oakland through archival and contemporary photographs, dispelling long-held tropes of the realizations of the American Dream.  

Burrell is motivated by possibilities of healing the past, as well as realizing what may be envisioned in the present and future. 

A conversation with OMCA’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Makeda Best, will follow the presentation. Burrell’s book will be available for purchase and signing. 

Gallery Chats at OMCA
Saturdays, 1–3 pm | OMCA Great Hall and Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences

Gallery Chats at OMCA takes an informal approach to the traditional museum tour. Following OMCA’s tradition of hands-on learning, visitors are invited to chat, ask questions, and connect in the galleries with our OMCA facilitators who combine content knowledge with lived experience to encourage meaningful dialogue and fresh interpretations of our Special Exhibitions and Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences.

Weekly Gallery Chats take place in our Special Exhibitions and our Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences every Saturday from 1 to 3 pm and are included with Museum and Special Exhibition admission. No reservation necessary.

OMCA Members have access to special Member Gallery Chats every second Saturday of the month from noon to 1 pm.

Member Gallery Chats at OMCA
Member Gallery Chats: California AAPI History~
Second Saturdays, 12–1 pm | Gallery of California History 

Members of the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) are invited to participate in this month’s Member Gallery Chat which presents an opportunity to come share questions and reflections on key moments in California Asian American history and explore how the causes and consequences of these events still reverberate today. What are the many ways Asian Americans have contributed to the “Becoming California” story? How might more Asian American stories be uplifted and heard? These are just a few lines of inquiry waiting to be explored in community and OMCA award winning galleries and trained facilitators as a guide.

Please join our knowledgeable and enthusiastic Member Gallery Chats  facilitators this second Saturday, May 11 from 12 to 1 pm for this special OMCA membership offering: California AAPI HIstory

FAMSF and OMCA Bonus Reciprocity Weekend 
May 10–12 pm | OMCA & FAMSF

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) in tandem with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) are excited to welcome guests to a bonus reciprocity weekend, May 10th to 12th! OMCA members will enjoy free admission to the Legion of Honor including access to their new exhibition, Japanese Prints in Transition: From the Floating World to the Modern World, for themselves and up to two guests (plus children under 18).

Museum visitors are invited to explore the late 19th-century shift from the delicately colored ukiyo-e, ‘floating world,’ images of actors, courtesans, and scenic views to the brightly colored images of Victorian fashion and custom, Western architecture, technology, and modern military warfare. In addition, guests will have full access to the Legion of Honor’s permanent collection spanning thousands of years, from Ancient Greek artifacts to Classical European paintings. OMCA members are only required to present an OMCA membership card or the Bonus Reciprocity email at the Membership Desk in order to enjoy. No reservation is required. 

OMCA Architecture Walk and Talk
First Sunday of each month at 1 pm

Walk through OMCA’s landmark building and gardens with members of the Council on Architecture, and learn about the history, design, and evolution of this award-winning structure with guides who are passionate about OMCA and Oakland.

No reservations or tickets are required. Walk and Talk begins near the Mid Level ticketing desk and lasts approximately one hour.

If you’d like to visit OMCA’s Galleries or Special Exhibitions, please purchase a ticket online in advance or at the ticketing desk on the day of your visit.


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. Museum admission is $19 general admission; $16 for seniors; and $12 for youth ages 12 to 17 as well as for students and educators with valid ID, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $6 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions in the Great Hall. 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.