Public Programs Calendar

All public programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise indicated.

show only future programs

LECTURE African Dolls: Play and Ritual in African Sculpture

Saturday December 11, 2010

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Dr. Elisabeth Cameron will explore the world of play and ritual figures that have been described as "dolls." Often used by children but sometimes also carried by women, the figures take many different forms and roles throughout the continent. The main question that will be asked is why this diverse group of figures have been considered together as "dolls" by western scholars and collectors. In the process of answering this question, we will explore both different contexts in which dolls are used on the African continents and our own ideas about them.

Elisabeth L. Cameron is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the History of Art and Visual Culture. She has lived and conducted fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. She is the author of Isn't S/He a Doll: Play and Ritual in African Sculpture and is currently working on a book that explores Iconoclasm in Africa.

Free with Museum Admission.

Bookmark and Share

ARTIST'S TALK AND BOOKSIGNING The Bamboo Muse by Alonzo Davis

Saturday December 11, 2010

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Bamboo Muse is a collection of bamboo inspired works of art by Alonzo Davis accompanied by the poetry and prose of twelve writers. Artist Alonzo Davis will speak about his book, his art, and his life as an artist, and will read from the selections. The presentation will be followed by a booksigning.

The book features artwork installed at the Baltimore Zoo and Prince George's County Courthouse in Maryland and from private collections. Contributing poets include four Californians: Barbara Mahone, S. Pearl Sharp, Victoria Dalkey, Nobuko Miyamoto and Kamau Daaood. Among the other poets are Kathryn Takara of Hawaii, Kay Lindsey of Maryland and Gabriel Camacho of Kentucky.

Alonzo J. Davis, artist, born Tuskegee Institute, Alabama 1942, studied design, painting and printmaking at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California. Davis is associated with the California arts movement as a studio artist and in the public art arena. Over a career span of 46 years Davis has produced twenty-one series of works and exhibited across this country and abroad. Both his 2-D and 3D work can be found in a number of private collections as well as in public spaces. A member of the Washington Sculpture Group and the American Bamboo Society, Davis’ current studio is located in Laurel, Maryland. The rich portfolio of Alonzo Davis, an African-American artist, uses paint, bamboo, copper, leather, indigenous textiles and mixed media to reflect the magic of the Southwest United States, Brazil, Haiti, West Africa and the Pacific Rim to create works for public spaces, corporate and personal art collections.

To order book online:

For more information:

Bookmark and Share

DANCEfirst! Modernity/Humanity: The Nzoto Installation

Thursday December 16, 2010

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Featuring Byb Chanel Bibene and guest dancers. Live music by Chris Evans, Marshall Trammell, and David Boyce.

OPEN Rehearsal: FRI DEC 10 - 3pm-6pm

In the final DANCEfirst! salons of 2010, the MoAD partners with see. think. dance. to present the vision of international performance artist, Byb Chanel Bibene. As dancer and architect of experience, Byb constructs a living response to the current MoAD exhibit, Art/Object: Re-Contextualizing African Art.

Over the course of 2 salons, Byb calls upon the larger dance community to help explore some of the questions of the modern human experience: Why should we care about the traditions that came before us? How can we fully claim this moment? Where are we headed?

The December 16 salon turns the audience/artist experience on its head. Nzoto means “the body” in Lingala, a Bantu language of 10 million speakers which is spoken throughout a large part of the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, and parts of the Central African Republic and Angola. The Nzoto Installation calls forth an ensemble of Bay Area artists to modernize everyday gestures inspired by Kongo tradition and customs across multiple levels of the Museum.

Alongside live music by Chris Evans, Marshall Trammell, and David Boyce, The Nzoto Installation expands on the energy of “Kitezo” - a state of the body that can represent the inner being and the emotion of the limbs. Kitezo encompasses references to past, present, and future in a way that is both tangible and abstract and wholly about the creation, the embodiment, and the passage of life. With Kitezo as a base, Byb guides solos, duets, and trios of dancers to find inspiration in relationships: to each other and the audience, to the heavens and the earth, to the past and the future.

About DANCEfirst!

see. think. dance. + MoAD revive the artist salon to turn up the lights on DANCE. Local choreographers present original INTERACTIVE work for an intimate audience. The evening wraps up with a discussion + reception to facilitate DIRECT artist/audience exchange.

DANCEfirst! is made possible by individual donors and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Purchase Advance tickets at

Advance tickets:

$10 General, $5 Students/Seniors/Members

Tickets at the door:

$15 General, $10 Students/Seniors/Members

Bookmark and Share

FAMILY DAY Celebrate Kwanzaa

Saturday December 18, 2010

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles.

The Kwanzaa mat known as the Mkeka is one of the seven basic symbols of the African-American Kwanzaa holiday. It is a significant symbol in the Kwanzaa celebration and represents African history and traditions. The Mkeka is described as the foundation on which Africa as a Diaspora is built. The history of the Kwanzaa mat is traced back to ancient times when African nations used the stalks of the dried seams of grains they planted and harvested, to create mats and baskets for use in their homes.

Mkeka can be made from African straw or cloth materials.

Come join us in the Education Center from 12-4pm to make your own Mkeke!

Free with Museum Admission

Bookmark and Share

December 2010
   1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31