Cultural Commissions – Oakland Museum of California

The Wallace Initiative commissioned  working papers/artistic responses from Bay Area artists about deepening, expanding, and diversifying cultural participation, hoping to generate new ideas and spark conversations between regional artists and arts organizations.

One of the most exciting developments in the museum world today has been the re-installation and reopening of the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA).  On June 29, 2010, staff from the 11 Wallace Excellence Awards recipient organizations visited the museum and heard first-hand about the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the revitalization of the 42 year old organization. To help capture this excitement and share it with the public, two lead staff from OMCA were commissioned to give their perspectives on the massive $62.2 million undertaking of the past few years.

  • Lori Fogarty, executive director, walks us through the exciting and groundbreaking process of the museum’s recent renovation and community engagement efforts. Click here to download a PDF of An Uneven March Across Bumpy Terrain: Gallery Reinstallation as Organizational Change.
  • Barbara Henry, chief curator of education, gives us a first hand look at the process of developing interactive exhibitions for the museum’s recent renovation. Click here to download a PDF of Art Gallery as Public Space: A Work in Progress for the 21st Century.

To view these PDFs, you will need Adobe Reader. Please visit the Adobe website to download the latest version for free.


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In 2008, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) embarked on a four-year funding partnership to encourage systemic and sustainable structural change in the relationships of Bay Area arts organizations to their audiences, supported by the Wallace Foundation. Community offerings during the grant period (2008-2011) included seminars, workshops, large public convenings, implementation grants, development of a regional shared mailing list, and expansion of the website.




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