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The Oakland Museum of California Public Programs

The Oakland Museum of California in 1998, presented this series of public programs that highlighted the Gold Rush as California's formative event which seemingly overnight brought people to the region from around the world and began a multicultural society.

Every Weekend
1998,
Jan. 24 - Jul. 26
Gold Panning Experience
Saturday, Jan. 31
2-5 pm
Ethnic Diversity and Conflict in the California Gold Rush
Sunday, Feb. 1
2-4:30 pm
African American Roots in the Gold Rush
Sunday, Feb. 8
2-4:30 pm
Beneath San Francisco--Gold Rush Stories Unfold
Saturday, Feb. 14
2-4:30 pm
Genealogy Series
Sunday, Feb. 22
2-4:00 pm
We Were There Too: African Americans in the Gold Rush
Friday, Mar. 6
7 pm
The Gold Rush Sisters, A Musical Performance for Families
Sunday, Mar. 8
2-4:00 pm
Mining Gold in California
Sunday, Mar. 15
2-4:30 pm
Women of the Gold Rush: Juana Briones and Mary Ellen Pleasant
Friday, Mar. 20
7 pm
Antonio Garra: A California Indian Civil Rights Activist
Saturday, Mar. 21
2-4:30 pm
Genealogy Series
Sunday, Mar. 22
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Dame Shirley's Days of '49
Friday, Mar. 27
7 pm
Friendly Fire: A 49er's Life with the Miwok People
Friday, Apr. 3
7 pm
Friendly Fire: A 49er's Life with the Miwok People
Sunday, Apr. 5
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Lecture: The California Environment--Before and After the Gold Rush
Friday, Apr. 17
7 pm
The Dicovery of Gold in California: Paintings by Harry Fonseca
Saturday, Apr. 18
2:00 - 5:00 pm
California Indians and the Gold Rush
Saturday, Apr. 18
2-4:30 pm
Genealogy Series
Sunday, Apr. 19
2:00 - 4:00 pm
The Art of the Gold Rush
Friday, Apr. 24
7 pm
Camillo Ynitia: A California Indian Traversing Three Cultures
Saturday, Apr. 25
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Panel Discussion - Laws and Politics Affecting People of Color in the Gold Rush
Sunday, April 26
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Kick Up Your Heels: There's Gold in Them Fields! Performance Day
Saturday, May 9
2-4:30 pm
Genealogy Series
Saturday, Jun. 13
2-4:30 pm
Genealogy Series

Every Weekend from January 24 - July 26, 1998
Gold Panning Experience
Saturdays - 11 a.m. to 5 pm
Sundays - Noon to 5 pm
Last admissions sold at 4:30 pm
Rishell Court, Museum Garden

Will your gold panning efforts pan out or end up a flash in the pan?

Find out how hard it was to pan for gold in this specially-designed hands-on activity area in the museum gardens. Discover some of the different techniques the miners used to find the precious metal. Cost is $1 per person, free for museum members and for children 5 and under and for parents helping their young children.


Saturday, January 31
Ethnic Diversity and Conflict
in the California Gold Rush

Lecture and CCH Chautauqua Program
2:00 - 5:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

2:00 p.m. Ethnic Diversity and Conflict in the California Gold Rush
Scholar Dr. James Rawls talks about the experiences of diverse peoples during the Gold Rush, including Black Californians, Spanish-speaking Californians, Asian Californians and Native Americans. Rawls, Instructor of History at Diablo Valley College, is the author of numerous books on California history, including California: An Interpretive History and Indians of California: The Changing Image.

3:30 p.m. Biddy Mason: From Slave to Philanthropist - A CCH Chautauqua Program
Following Rawls' lecture, Sandra Kamusikiri portrays Biddy Mason, an African American woman who arrived in California in 1851 as a slave and later rose to prominence in Los Angeles. Mason organized the first African American Methodist Episcopal Church of L.A. Sandra Kamusikiri is associate professor of English at CSU San Bernardino.


Sunday, February 1
African American Roots in the Gold Rush
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Lecture Hall

History docent Audrey Robinson and George Jenkins, whose roots in California go back to the Gold Rush, share their well-researched family stories. In the second part of the program Electra Kimble Price, co-founder of the East Bay African American Genealogy Society and volunteer at the Family History Center at the Mormon Temple in Oakland, will talk about how to begin researching your family's history in California, with an emphasis on the resources African Americans might consider utilizing first. Developed in collaboration with the museum's African American Cultural Program Committee.


Sunday, February 8
Beneath San Francisco--Gold Rush Stories Unfold
2:00 - 4:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

Allen Pastron, who has directed a variety of archaeological projects in recent years in downtown San Francisco, lectures on Gold Rush sites he has uncovered beneath San Francisco's streets.


Feb. 14, Mar. 21, April 18, May 9, June 13, 1998
Genealogy Series
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Learning Center
Free with Museum Admission
(additional materials fee may apply)

Research your family's history! Join experts on specific areas of genealogy for five Saturday programs focused on various aspects of researching family history. Speakers include Regina Mason, of Shadows of the Past, discussing methods for researching African American family history, and Bob Trap, volunteer at the Family History Center at the Mormon Temple, whose area of expertise is census records and the Civil War. He will discuss ways to access those records. One Saturday will be led by Broderbund Software Company in the use of the resources provided by their software Family Tree Maker. Two additional sessions are yet to be announced. Reservations are required as space is limited. For reservations and information, call (510) 238-3818. Developed in collaboration with the museum's African American Cultural Program Committee.


Sunday, February 22
We Were There Too: African Americans in the Gold Rush
Performance & Activity Day
1:00 - 4:00 pm*
James Moore Theatre and Fish Pond

Through music, dance and theater, performer James Tyrone Wallace presents characters based on the experiences of blacks in California at the time of the Gold Rush. The characters will reveal some of the stories of African Americans who were already in California and those who arrived during the Gold Rush in pursuit of gold and freedom. The audience will interact with Wallace through his use of "call and response," rap and other musical pieces inspired by black history of this era and created especially for this performance. Appropriate for children 8 years of age and older.

Children are invited to bring a snapshot or have their picture taken for $1 for a family tree activity.

*Performance will be from 1 - 2 p.m. followed by the family tree activity.


Friday, March 6
The Gold Rush Sisters
A Musical Performance for Families

Playing instruments of the time, including fiddle, banjo, guitar, accordion and spoons, The Gold Rush Sisters (Libby McLaren and Robin Flower) transport you to California in the 1850s through stories and songs. This high-spirited duo takes you on a journey through the gold rush camps where you will drop in to Sum Lum Woo's general store, visit the hard-working, raucous women of Hangtown, cower when Black Bart robs a stagecoach, meet an African American slave striking a claim of her own, and hear about James Marshall's discovery of gold in 1848.


Sunday, March 8
Mining Gold in California
2:00 - 4:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

Ron Limbaugh, Professor of History at University of the Pacific, gives a slide lecture on placer mining, hard rock mining, hydraulic mining, and dredging.


Sunday, March 15
Women of the Gold Rush: Juana Briones and Mary Ellen Pleasant
A CCH Chautauqua Program
2:00 - 4:30 pm
James Moore Theatre

Renowned national award-winning storyteller Olga Loya portrays Juana Briones, one of the most prominent women of early California. Juana Briones grew up as the daughter of the Commandante of the Presidio of San Francisco. Her success as a businesswoman, landowner, rancher and humanitarian was unusual for a woman of her times.

Scholar, lecturer and performing artist Susheel Bibbs portrays Mary Ellen Pleasant, who was a civil rights activist and philanthropist known as the "Mother of Civil Rights" in California because of her work in aiding runaway slaves, and winning a civil rights case in court.


March 20
Antonio Garra: A California Indian Civil Rights Activist
A CCH Chautauqua Program

Jose Rivera, scholar, ranger and interpretive specialist for the California State Parks Service, portrays Antonio Garra, a Cupeno Indian who was the leader of the 1851 Indian tax revolt in southern California against the United States. He also fought for Indian rights to due process in the judicial system. He lost his struggle and his life in the cause.


Sunday, March 22
Dame Shirley's Days of '49
Performance & Activity Day
1:00 - 4:00 pm*
James Moore Theatre and Fish Pond

Join the adventure--the good times and the bad--with a true California pioneer, Dame Shirley. See the Gold Rush through the eyes of a woman in this interactive performance featuring stories, songs and poetry. Actress Naomi Caspe adapts the accounts recorded in The Shirley Letters, written in 1849 by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe.

Make a Gold Rush journal kit by creating a booklet of parchment paper, getting your own quill pen, and rolling a beeswax candle to light your writing during those lonely nights in the gold fields!

*Performance will be from 1-2 p.m followed by arts and crafts activities and a chance to meet Dame Shirley.


Friday, March 27 and Friday, April 3
Friendly Fire: A 49er's Life with the Miwok People
A One-Man Play by Rick Foster

Actor Van Gordon portrays Jeff Blake, a 49er from Missouri who comes to the Mother Lode in the Gold Rush, dreaming of riches. He shares the prejudices that the white Americans of his day felt toward the Native Peoples. But when he is lost and injured in the mountains, he is taken in and rescued by a village of Miwok people. He discovers that everything he thought he knew about Indians is wrong. Accepted by the people, he grows to love them. Then, when their very existence is threatened, he risks his life in an attempt to avert the catastrophe. Friendly Fire tells a powerful story about cultural conflict and understanding.


Sunday, April 5
Lecture: The California Environment--Before and After the Gold Rush
2:00 - 4:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

Raymond Dasmann, Professor of Ecology Emeritus, University of California at Santa Cruz, lectures on the effects of the Gold Rush on California ecology.


Friday, April 17
The Discovery of Gold in California: Paintings by Harry Fonseca.

Opening reception for the special exhibition. An installation of paintings by artist Harry Fonseca addresses the legacy of the Gold Rush. Breuner Gallery, Cowell Hall of California History.


Saturday, April 18
California Indians and the Gold Rush
2:00 - 5:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

The legacy of the Gold Rush on California's native peoples is explored in a lecture by historian James Rawls and a panel discussion featuring California Indian scholars and community representatives.

Lecture
James Rawls, author and Instructor of History, Diablo Valley College

Panel
Edward Castillo (Cahuilla), Professor of Native American Studies, Sonoma State

University
Frank LaPena (Wintu), Professor of Art and Ethnic Studies; Director of Native American Studies, California State University, Sacramento

Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu, Hawaiian, Portuguese), artist

April Moore (Nisenan Maidu, Washo), tribal historian

Glen Villa (Miwok), tribal historian

Audience participants are encouraged to view the exhibition The Discovery of Gold in California: Paintings by Harry Fonseca in the Breuner Gallery before the program begins.


Sunday, April 19
The Art of the Gold Rush
2:00 - 4:00 pm
James Moore Theatre

Janice Driesbach, Curator of Art, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento and Harvey L. Jones, Senior Curator of Art, Oakland Museum of California, give a lecture and slide presentation on the art of the Gold Rush and its legacy.


Friday, April 24
Camillo Ynitia: A California Indian Traversing Three Cultures
A CCH Chautauqua Program

Scholar and ranger for the California State Parks Service, Jose Rivera portrays Camillo Ynitia, the last chief of the coastal Miwok village of Olompali. Camillo Ynitia was one of a handful of Native Californians who successfully traversed three cultures. Born into the traditional Miwok world, he adapted to the Spanish world, experienced the Californio/Mexican period, and witnessed the entrance of the American period in California. Considered a gente de razon (a person of reason) during the Mexican period, he was a compadre of Mariano Vallejo, who helped him acquire his Rancho Olompali.


Saturday, April 25
Panel Discussion - Laws and Politics Affecting People of Color in the Gold Rush
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Lecture Hall

California Historian Charles Wollenberg leads a panel of experts in discussing the effects of Gold Rush laws and politics on people of color. Professor Charles McClain of UC Berkeley, author of In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle Against Discrimination in Nineteenth -Century America, will speak about the experience of the Chinese as they rushed to Gold Mountain. Joseph Meyers (Pomo) of the National Indian Justice Center will address the effects of Gold Rush laws on California Indians. The experience of African Americans during this period in California's history will be discussed by Clarence Cesar of California State Parks; and Felix Gutierrez, a descendent of Californios who has conducted research into the laws of the time, will present the Latino experience. Developed in collaboration with the museum's African American Cultural Program Committee.


Sunday, April 26
Kick Up Your Heels: There's Gold in Them Fields!
Performance Day
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Museum Gardens

Save the date for this foot-stomping, fun-filled afternoon featuring performances of dance from the Gold Rush era. Dances will be interactive in format allowing for audience participation and learning.

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