During the month of October MOCHA will offer art and literacy programs at its downtown Oakland, museum space as well as at several Oakland Public Library branches. Programming for the “NEA Big Read” will serve the following library branches and populations–


81st Library



MOCHA selected The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri as the basis for its “NEA Big Read” programming. This title was chosen because MOCHA believes it relates to and will resonate with the organization’s traditional audiences of children, youth and families. Programming for these audiences will be developed around the main themes from the book: parent and child relationships, name and identity, and language. Topics of identity, culture, and heritage are topics that MOCHA often incorporates into its work through various artistic mediums.

MOCHA’s “NEA Big Read” program will be active in five library branches during October which is Family History month. MOCHA will provide one workshop at each branch every week for two hours. These workshops will combine art and literacy and include both hands-on and discussion portions as well as book giveaways. In addition to 100 copies of The Namesake for adults and older youth, MOCHA will give away 125 copies of Honoring Our Ancestors by Harriet Rohmer to younger children. At the initial sessions MOCHA teaching artists will introduce The Namesake and provide an overview of the program. Subsequent sessions will focus on predetermined themes and include dialogues about the book as well as hands-on art components. The artwork to be created will be multimedia collage portraits on canvas squares which will later be combined to form a collaborative, community quilt to be displayed at the MOCHA museum.