.Best of the East Bay 2022 – Arts & Culture

Friday Nights Off the Grid

Oakland Museum of California 

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has been a staple of the Oakland community since its foundation in 1969. OMCA’s collections span art, natural science and the history of California, making it a unique, ever-growing time capsule of the Golden State. 

They also host a great shindig, including every Friday night, when Oakland residents and visitors alike can head over to the garden and amphitheater for a community-oriented good time.

Friday Nights at OMCA include dancing; crafting; local food; a bar with beer, wine and spirits; giant lawn games; and the chance to meet someone, or a bunch of someones, new. 

As a newbie on the Oakland scene, crushing an old-fashioned glaze from Johnny Doughnuts at a garden picnic table and playing Giant Jenga—infinitely more fun than the table version—before a Caribbean dance party was an amazing way to connect with a new city. Spend Friday nights at OMCA; it’s never a disappointment. 

—Jane Vick

Readers’ Picks

Best Record⁄CD Store
Amoeba Records

Best Large Music Venue
The Fox Theater

Best Small Music Venue
Freight and Salvage

Best LGBTQ Event
Oakland PRIDE

Best Museum
Oakland Museum of CA

Best Festival
Black Joy Parade

Best Outdoor Art Event
First Fridays

Best Film Festival
Oakland International Film Festival

Best Theater Company
Berkeley Repertory Theater

Best Performing Dance Company

Best Outdoor Music Venue
The Greek Theatre

Best Music Festival
Mosswood Meltdown

Best Theater Troupe⁄Performance
Central Works/Escape from the Asylum

Best Media Personality: TV, Radio, Print
W. Kamau Bell

Best Dance Company
Axis Dance Company

Best Small Theater Company
Shotgun Players

Best Ballet School
Conservatory of Classical Ballet

Best Performing Arts Center
CalPerformances Zellerbach Hall

Best Cover Band
Tainted Love

Best Jazz/Blues Club
Yoshi’s Oakland

Best Symphony
Oakland Symphony

Best Comedy Night
Comedy Oakland

Best Art Gallery
SHOH Gallery

Best Dance Studio
Hipline Dance & Fitness Studio

Best Karaoke
The Melodee

Best Comedy Club
Alameda Comedy Club

Best Local Band
Shannon and the Clams

Best Small/Quirky Museum
Pinball Museum

Best Dance Instructor
Momo LeBeau

Best Latin Music Club
La Frontera Night Club

Best Ballet Company
Oakland Ballet Company

Best Dance Club
Ashkenaz Berkeley


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