Venue Rental

The Magnes offers designated spaces available for private and corporate events, during and after public hours.

Located inside the Magnes building, the main auditorium features a large space for special events, corporate functions, banquets, and cultural performances. It includes a raised theatrical stage at one end, providing ample room for musicians or a head table, and is equipped with a sound system, projector, and large screen for performances or symposiums. The conference room and seminar rooms are ideal for classes, workshops, and meetings.

Events must adhere to all federal, state, and local laws, including ADA regulations, as well as University and Museum policies and procedures.

For more information, please refer to the Magnes Rental Information and Contract document and the FAQ at the bottom of this page. Contact for additional information.

Rental Inquiry

To initiate a facility rental request, please complete this form and download/complete the Information and Contract pdf below.

Is your Organization part of UC Berkeley?

Type of Event (check all that apply)

Will any of the attendees be under the age of 21?

Space Requested

Venue Rental Information


What spaces are available for rent at The Magnes?

Auditorium: The Magnes’ main event space is a sophisticated setting for special events, lectures, and banquets. The 2,500 square-foot room has 20-foot ceilings (with acoustical baffling) and polished concrete floors. Skylights flood the room with sunlight during the day, and a state-of-the-art lighting system allows for customized light levels at night. The accessible 12-foot by 14.5-foot concrete stage provides ample room for musicians or speakers and is equipped with a sound system, projector, screen, and four stage lights.

Conference Room: Located behind glass doors, the Conference Room is furnished with a large central table and comfortable chairs. Ideal for meetings and small workshops, this room seats 10. Portable A/V equipment can be used in this room.

Lobby: The large Lobby can be used for standing receptions or guest check-in and is included in the rental of the Auditorium when The Magnes is closed to the public.

Magnes Rental Spaces and Fees

What kinds of events does The Magnes accommodate?

The Magnes welcomes private parties, conferences, corporate functions, meetings, lectures, film screenings, and more. We do not host political events or events for minors (such as proms). Promotional events and fundraisers are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Which days are available for rentals?

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life has designated spaces that may be available by reservation for events, both during and after public hours. Each rental request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Facility use priority will be given to the scheduling of The Magnes’ programs and activities. Funds collected for event rentals will be used to support the education mission of The Magnes.

How early do I need to book my event?

Spaces at The Magnes may be requested up to one year and no less than six weeks in advance. Reservations are not accepted within 30 days of the event date. Individuals or groups may have only one tentative hold on space at The Magnes at a time. Please fill out the online Facility Use Inquiry Form on this webpage. The information provided on this form will be used to determine whether The Magnes can host your event.

How late can my event run?

We require that all events end by 9pm or earlier during the weekday since our staff will need to open the Museum the next day. Weekend events will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but The Magnes prefers that weekend events be held during the day.

What kind of insurance do I need?

A Certificate of Insurance naming the “Regents of the University of California” as additional insured MUST be provided with the signed Facility Use Permit in order for Client’s event to take place. See Insurance for Non-Departmental Users of Campus Facilities for details.

The Certificate of Insurance should include:

  1. Client or Client’s organization must be listed as the Insured.
  2. The REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA must be listed as an Additional Insured.
  3. The Insurer/Producer name and contact information must be on the Certificate.
  4. The policy start and end date must encompass the date of your event.
  5. The policy must include General Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000.
  6. If you are bringing a vehicle onto campus, the policy must include Automobile Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000.
  7. If you are bringing employees onto campus, the policy must include evidence of Workers’ Compensation coverage.
  8. The Certificate of Insurance must provide 30 days’ advance written notice to the University of any modification, change, or cancellation of any component of the insurance coverage.


CLIENT shall ensure that its subcontractors (including caterers) are covered by insurance of the types required by this agreement, and that the amount of insurance for each subcontractor is appropriate for the subcontractor’s work.

CLIENT shall not allow any subcontractor to commence work on its subcontract until the insurance has been obtained.

Does The Magnes provide alcohol?

The Magnes does not provide alcoholic beverages. If alcohol is being served at your event then following mandates must be followed:

  • The Client or Client’s agent must provide proof of liquor license and request an alcohol permit at least six weeks before the event from the UC Police Department.
  • All bartenders and personnel serving or otherwise handling alcohol must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Alcohol shall not be served to minors or to anyone who is visibly inebriated. Guests under 21 years of age are not permitted at an event where alcohol is being served unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Client must put in place a process to check IDs at any event at which alcohol is served and which anticipates guests under 21 years of age.
  • At any time, if The Magnes staff deems alcohol consumption to be excessive, The Magnes has the authority to:
    • Close down all alcohol service
    • Close down galleries to protect the art; and/or
    • Evict inebriated guests from The Magnes Premises.

Where can I park?

Two- and four-hour metered street parking is available in downtown Berkeley and is payable by credit or debit card. Nearby paid parking garages include the Allston Way Parking Garage (between Shattuck and Milvia), the Oxford Parking Garage (on Kittredge west of Oxford), and the Center Street Garage (at 2025 Center Street, accessible from Center or Addison Streets).

Please note The Magnes cannot guarantee availability of parking and that many parking lots near campus are either unavailable or charge special event pricing during major campus events, including Cal athletic events. View the latest athletics schedule here.

Does The Magnes provide overnight storage?

With prior arrangement, The Magnes may be able to store rented furniture in its loading dock on the day of the event only. No overnight storage is available for Clients or their subcontractors. No exceptions will be made. The Magnes disclaims all responsibility for any and all items left on premises by either Client or its guests/agents. This disclaimer applies especially to, but is not limited to, goods and equipment items, which must be removed from the premises immediately following the conclusion of the event. Further, The Magnes shall not be liable to Client for the loss, damage or theft of any of Client’s property, equipment or personal items located on the Premises during or after the scheduled event.

Will my guests and I have access to The Magnes galleries?

The Client must not block the view of artwork on display. This includes video installations, casework, hanging artwork, etc. Exhibition installations and/or repairs may be underway at any time during the year, necessitating the closure or restriction of access to certain areas, or sections of galleries. The Magnes may not know this schedule until near the time of the event. For this reason, The Magnes retains the right to restrict or change gallery access at anytime. The Magnes will make reasonable efforts to accommodate Client’s gallery viewing request, however, space rental at The Magnes does not guarantee access to galleries.

What is an event monitor?

Event monitors are required for all events at The Magnes. During the event, a Magnes staff monitor will be onsite to ensure the safety of the collection and of the public, and to provide client access to rented spaces. Unless explicitly agreed to in writing prior to the event, Magnes staff will not assist with event logistics or facilitation during the event, including ticketing, guest check in, loading or unloading event supplies, or food service.

Are tables and chairs provided?

Up to 200 plastic chairs, two eight-foot, and 10 six-foot rectangular tables may be available for
use in the auditorium with prior arrangements.

Who is responsible for clean up?

The Client is responsible for all clean up. All trash must be properly disposed of and decorations removed by the end of the event. The following policies also apply:

  • The Magnes requires a cleaning fee for any event with food service. This fee is outlined in the list of fees in the Magnes Rental Information and Contract document. This fee covers the cost for Magnes Custodial Staff to service and clean restrooms, sweep and mop floors, remove trash from Auditorium and Lobby, and clean museum cabinetry and casework during the event. Catering staff is responsible for bussing during the event, and for cleaning staging and serving area. Magnes custodial staff is not responsible for bussing.
  • For events without food service, Client may choose to pay a cleaning fee for the same custodial service listed above, or they may pay a refundable cleaning deposit and clean up after the event themselves. A cleanup checklist will be provided to Client, and Magnes Staff will review the checklist with the client at the end of the event. If the facility is not left in a satisfactory condition, the cleaning deposit will not be refunded, and Client may be billed for extra cleaning charges.

Will I have access to a kitchen?

The Magnes provides a limited staging area for caterers. The staging area contains a sink and counters. The staging area is specifically for the warming and final preparations of food and cleaning of necessary items. The cooking of food is not permitted in the staging area nor is any open flame. Caterers must provide a fire extinguisher at each food warming station. Use of propane, natural gas, or butane is prohibited. Caterers are required to adhere to all fire regulations.

Will The Magnes market my event?

The Magnes is a venue available for rent. Our staff will not promote or market your event in any way. That is the responsibility of the client.

Do you still have a question?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can always contact us.