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Friday Nights at OMCA Honors and Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Culture and More

(Oakland, CA) July 7, 2023 – Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced its public programs for August 2023, featuring a month-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop culture with four different Friday Nights at OMCA programs. In addition to Off the Grid Food Trucks, Friday Nights in August will feature live music, DJs, hands-on activities and other attractions focusing on half a century of Hip Hop in all its facets. In addition, popular Gallery Activation Hours will expand. For updates and museum tickets, visit .


Friday Nights at OMCA
50 Years of Hip Hop – A Cultural Celebration in California

For the month of August, all four Friday Nights at OMCA honor, celebrate, and explore the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop culture and are curated by international Hip Hop artist Jahi, who has lived in Oakland for the last 23 years. This marks the first time OMCA will have a practitioner of Hip Hop culture curating its Friday Nights lineup. Each program takes a deep dive into the many facets, history, relevance, and joy of Hip Hop culture, right at home in Oakland! In addition to this special, celebratory programming, there will be plenty of signature Friday Nights features, including two streets packed with Off the Grid Food Trucks and the OMCA campus alive with music, dancing, OMCA’s award-winning galleries of art, history, and science and more!

Friday Nights at OMCA invites everyone to 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, and late-night access to our galleries, and special exhibitions with a Museum ticket. OMCA expands its Friday Nights programming to include Oak Street Plaza, with a chill, acoustic, and up-close vibe. Also expanding due to popular demand, Off the Grid food trucks are featured on both 10th Street and Oak Street, adding more trucks and cuisines to tempt and satisfy.

Friday, August 4, 5—9 pm
The Roots of Hip Hop Culture
Jahi, international Hip Hop artist and DJ
Let’s Lab with The Reef
If Cities Could Dance film screening
Diamano Coura drum circle

The root of Hip Hop culture is the African continent. As we salute and respect the pioneers of Hip Hop, many of their parents and families come from the Caribbean, by way of various western countries in Africa. As a way to begin our celebration of Hip Hop culture in an authentic way, we lift up the drum, the first instrument, and the power of drums being used as a form of communication. With drum circle, we share a sonic message with the community of culture, confidence, and celebration.

This high-energy evening features international Hip Hop artist and Oakland’s own Jahi, spinning an all-vinyl set of classic Hip Hop, breakbeats, Reggae, and African Rhythms. Let’s Lab with The Reef celebrate beatmakers with beloved Bay Area Hip Hop producers and all-stars Andrew Bearford, Ovrkast, OG Jarin, and Demahjiae inviting you to listen, dance, and freestyle. Enjoy film screenings from KQED’s award-winning If Cities Could Dance series showcasing Bay Area dancers and dance-makers. Oakland’s own Diamano Coura hosts a participatory drum circle in the Garden.

Friday, August 11, 5-9 pm
A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture
Jahi, international Hip Hop artist and DJ
Cameron “Cam-Man” Carraway
Telice Summerfield Turf Dance class
If Cities Could Dance film screenings
DJ Davey D
Bay Area Hip Hop Archives Induction Ceremony—A Celebration

Kicking off an evening marking the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, Jahi, an international artist based in Oakland, spins an all-vinyl set of classic Hip Hop, breakbeats, Reggae, and African rhythms. Join honorees and the Hip Hop community as luminaries are inducted into the Bay Area Hip Hop Archives in a public ceremony celebrating this historic moment. Young stock-car racing star Cameron “Cam-Man” Carraway welcomes you for a meet-greet and photo opp with him and his car. Telice Summerfield leads a Turf Dance class unlocking the keys to Oakland’s own dance style. Continuous screenings of KQED’s award-winning If Cities Could Dance film series will be on view, and legendary DJ Davey D will keep the energy and spirits high in celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th birthday.

Friday, August 18, 5-9 pm
Hip Hop Meets Jazz
International Hip Hop artist and DJ Jahi
Aimee Rose, TropiCali Dancehall artist and instructor
If Cities Could Dance film screenings
Destiny Muhammad, Harpist & Friends

Explore, honor, and celebrate two African American art forms that cross-pollinate and without which we would not have modern American culture: Hip Hop meets Jazz. The evening opens with Jahi, an international Hip Hop artist and DJ spinning an all-vinyl set of classic Hip Hop, breakbeats, Reggae, and African rhythms. Aimee Rose leads a TropiCali Dancehall class inspired by Jamaican Dancehall parties. KQED’s award-winning If Cities Could Dance film screenings featuring Bay Area dancers and dancemakers will light up the James Moore Theater. Harpist Destiny Muhammad & Friends give the harp treatment to Bay Area Hip Hop songs with special guests.

Friday, August 25, 5-9 pm
Beatmakers and Aerosol Artists Unite
International Hip Hop Artist Jahi
Let’s Lab with Afterthought
If Cities Could Dance film screenings
Beatmakers and Aerosol Artists Unite with SETI X and Refa 1

Learn about the close bond between Hip Hop beatmakers and visual artists through music, demonstrations, and hands-on activity stations. International Hip Hop artist and DJ Jahi spins an all-vinyl set of classic Hip Hop, breakbeats, Reggae, and African rhythms setting the tone and pace for the evening. Let’s Lab with Afterthought, part of the “Family Not a Group” collective, brings smooth sounds to Oak Street Plaza’s chill vibe. KQED’s award-winning If Cities Could Dance films screen in the James Moore Theater. Create your own beats and make your mark at hands-on activity stations hosted by beatmarker SETI X and aerosol artist Refa 1.

Gallery Activation Hour
Saturdays 1-2 pm, OMCA Great Hall
Expanding to select Wednesdays and Fridays later this Summer!

Due to popular demand, OMCA will be expanding Gallery Activation Hour beginning this month!

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 voice and encouraging dialogue in our galleries provides meaningful and fresh interpretations of our Special Exhibitions.

Gallery Activation Hour is every Saturday from 1 to 2 pm and is included with Museum and Special Exhibition admission. No reservation necessary.

In addition to Saturday Gallery Activation Hour and during the run of Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth and NIAD, artists from the show will host a Special Addition Gallery Activation Lunchtime Hour 12 pm- 1 pm every first Wednesday starting Wednesday, August 1. Look for Gallery Activation Hour during Friday Nights at OMCA beginning in September.

Registration for School Programs Begins August 1

OMCA’s variety of onsite school programs help K-12 students reflect, connect, and contribute to their communities. 

Students and teachers explore the many stories of California and its people, learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state, and investigate their own roles in both its history and its future.

Whether in OMCA’s Galleries of California Art, History, or Natural Sciences, or one of its special exhibitions, all of its cross-disciplinary programs are rooted in inquiry, dialogue, and creative expression, centering joy and justice.

Pre-registration for OUSD opens August 1, and general registration opens August 15. Current scheduling is through May 31, 2024.

Stay up-to-date through our teacher mailing list. Sign up here.


29th Annual Día de los Muertos Community Celebration
Sunday, October 22, 2023, 11 am – 4 pm

For the past 29 years, OMCA has transformed its campus into a sacred space for our annual community celebration each October.

This fall, OMCA comes alive for the 29th annual community celebration honoring Día de los Muertos traditions. Join in a procession to open the celebration led by Día de los Muertos Volunteer Community Committee members. Hands-on activities, tasty food, dance and music groups, colorful ofrendas, and ceremonia bring the community together for this healing tradition. View community-created ofrendas throughout the OMCA gardens paying homage to loved ones lost, and browse Day of the Dead merchandise by local artisans for your home altar at our mercado.

Check back later this year to buy your ticket in advance; limited tickets will be available at the door. ASL Interpretation for Garden stage will be provided. 

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 $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 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.