Museums in Midtown

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Hosted by the nonprofit art-and-education center La Raza Galería Posada, Jammin' in the Park 2 unites Sacramentoans for a day of culture and lively Chicano rhythms. The festival touts the life works of José Montoya and Phil Esparza, both of whom played key roles in conceiving the Chicano art movement. Headlining a lineup of hot tempos, the lauded 12-piece Latino band Malo will electrify fans as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, encouraging festival-goers to shower the stage with heart-shaped encased meats. Esteban Villa—who, along with Montoya, spearheaded the artist and activist collective Royal Chicano Air Force—will lead the crowd in a workout routine of head bobbing and hip shaking. With a backdrop of thumping beats, culture connoisseurs can feast on local cuisine, arts, and crafts.

1022 22nd St
Sacramento,
CA
US

Located in the State Archives Building just one block from the California State Capitol in Sacramento, this museum is an engaging look at California’s rich culture and its role as a state of opportunity for millions. While in the minds of some, the term “museum” may equate to something less than entertaining, the California Museum is far from it – there is truly something of interest for everyone here. With more than 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum features permanent exhibits and six or seven special exhibits throughout the year. The museum is open six days a week (closed Monday) and reasonable admission prices make the California Museum a family-friendly destination. Check the museum website (http://www.californiamuseum.org/special-offers-promotions) for discounts and other special offers.

1020 O St
Sacramento,
CA
US

Comparisons to New York City's top galleries quickly arose around Verge Center for the Arts when Jesse Powell opened the nonprofit in 2009. It's easy to see why: the 6,000 square feet of exhibition space and 20-foot high ceilings houses a global array of contemporary art in various mediums, from paint and video to performance. But opening a critically acclaimed gallery was only the tip of the iceberg for Jesse.

These days, the 22,000-square-foot center houses 37 studios for emergent artists, more than half of which were built by the tenants/artists themselves. Reading materials on contemporary art abound in the center's library, while an in-house lab lets community members create their own prints. Throughout the year, Verge even hosts events and classes that run the gamut from artists lectures to workshops on learning to draw via mind control.

625 S St
Sacramento,
CA
US

Since joining the Union in 1850, California has supplied more citizens to the nation's common defense than any other state. The California State Military Museum celebrates that long tradition of service, standing as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made by those men and women.

Inside, more than 33,000 artifacts weave together an inspiring timeline, telling the tales of military icons such as William T. Sherman, Henry Halleck, and General George Patton. These men live on inside a number of exhibits that detail California's connection to historic events including the Civil War and World Wars I and II. During visits, guests can browse these displays, yell "medic!" for no reason, and pop into the image library, which is packed with black-and-white photographs as well as digital treasures.

1119 2nd St
Sacramento,
CA
US

Behind the Victorian columns of Crocker Art Museum?s 126-year-old gallery building, ornate chambers house works that span six continents and several centuries. Established in 1885, it remains the first art museum in the Western United States, boasting collections that pay homage to the region?s cultural lineage with a robust Californian collection.

The museum updated its look and tripled both its exhibit space and running time for games of hide-and-seek in 2010 with the addition of the Teel Family Pavilion, a 125,000-square-foot building that boasts geometric designs and sunlit rooms. The expanded gallery furthers the museum?s mission to function as a community hub by hosting Art Mix, social events that feature live music, djs and a cash bar on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Studio-art classes keep adults informed, and children?s programs inspire young artists to commit their creativity to canvas, rather than living-room walls or ephemeral Mr. Potato Heads.

216 O St
Sacramento,
CA
US

Each April, a tear in the space-time continuum opens up along the Sacramento River. Through it rolls a first-class locomotive right out of the 1940s and 50s. For 45 minutes, passengers in the train's coach and luxury first class car soak in the sights of California's fruit-growing deltas as the vintage diesel engine carries them into another time.

The California State Railroad Museum conducts these scenic, historic train rides. The excursions play a crucial role in the museum's mission to chronicle California's railroad history from the early days of the Gold Rush to modern agricultural transports and the proposed railroad to Mars. Spanning centuries, 21 restored locomotives and train cars blanket the museum's 225,000 square feet of exhibit space. A Pullman-style sleeping car and a dining car filled with fine china both sit on display, while the museum's Sierra Scene places a vintage steam locomotive next to a breathtaking mural of snow-dusted mountains. The popular Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains exhibit currently commands the second floor, and with hundreds of examples of early electric toy trains and accessories such as stations, signals, tunnels, and bridges, it should delight even the most discerning miniature conductor.

125 I Street
Sacramento,
CA
US