After 15 months of closure the Oakland Museum of California is finally reopening its doors on June 18.
After more than a year of temporary closure due to the impacts of COVID-19 (plus an aborted attempt to reopen in November with a free weekend that needed to be canceled at the last minute) the OMCA will welcome back members on June 11–13, followed by free weekend access for the general public on Juneteenth weekend from June 18 to June 20.
In its initial phase, the Museum will be open to the public Friday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm in order to manage capacity and prioritize safety. In addition to the newly-redesigned outdoor gardens, which will be accessible for free, the Museum’s Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences will all be open for visitors to enjoy with a reserved ticket.
Oakland Museum of California / Free Reopening Weekend
June 18-20, 2021 | 11a-5p
FREE – Timed Tickets Required
During the Museum’s closure, the newly-formed safety re-opening team has been dedicated to making adjustments for the health and safety of OMCA staff and visitors, designing and implementing new protocols, adjusting on-campus experiences to meet the health recommendations of Alameda County, and creating additional signage that will help visitors navigate safely through the Museum.
Among the changes visitors will experience: implementation of timed entry procedures, capacity limitations, increased cleaning and sanitation, physical distancing practices including a one-way path of travel, and touchless transactions for onsite purchases. To help ensure the Museum does not exceed capacity, all visitors, including Members and children, are encouraged to purchase or reserve a ticket in advance. Tickets for specific time slots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on OMCA’s new protocols, please visit museumca.org/reopening.
What Visitors Will Experience
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. Alterations have also been made along 10th Street, to the south, providing direct entry into public event space and further creating better pedestrian access, including two new ADA-accessible ramps onto the campus. The new entrances will be open later this year.
Additionally, OMCA has commissioned local Oakland-based artist Binta Ayofemi to create sculpture and artists edition furniture for the exterior spaces of its newly renovated campus. Supporting the Museum’s vision to provide visitors with a more welcoming environment, Ayofemi’s works, which are inspired in part by the culture and history of Oakland, are intended to encourage a more comfortable and longer visitor experience. Her seating, tables, and other furniture – which she refers to as “Portals” – will be positioned in the garden and other outdoor public spaces on the Museum’s campus. The renovated campus will also include a new café by Tanya Holland, the celebrated Bay Area chef and restaurateur, founder of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen, and former Top Chef contestant.
Visitors will be able to see the special exhibition You Are Here: California Stories on the Map, which opened just before the Museum closed in March 2020. You Are Here showcases a diverse range of maps from Oakland, the Bay Area, and California—from environmental surroundings and health conditions to community perspectives and creative artworks—to demonstrate how maps can be a powerful tool to share unique points of view and imagine a better future. Visitors will also be able to see the ongoing exhibitions Dorothea Lange: Photography as Activism and Black Power.