Museum of Ventura County — A message from the Interim Executive Director

September 12, 2017

As you all know, a lot has been happening at the Museum. To keep you current on our efforts, we will be sending out a monthly museum update. You who receive this update are our nearest and dearest supporters, and we want you to hear the latest developments directly from us. 

We have a lot to report. Our last update included our success in securing major funding from both the City of Ventura and the County of Ventura. Without this support, the Museum could not have moved forward. We know many of you have thanked your elected representatives for their support, and hope you will continue to acknowledge them. 

Since then, the City of Santa Paula has pledged its in-kind support to the Agriculture Museum, the Ventura County Transportation Commission has stepped in to fund necessary renovations on the Ag Museum, and just this week, the Camarillo City Council approved funding of $10,000 to the Museum, led by a funding request from Councilmember Tony Trembley. 

We are profoundly thankful for this support, which signals that the Museum as an institution conserves and celebrates the history of ALL of our county, not just the cities in which it is physically sitedWith these resources, we are able to launch our reinvention plan, and have made considerable progress in the following areas:

Collections Conservation
The Museum has retained consultant Kathy Henri to steer the collections conservation process. To date, county officials and staff have toured all storage sites and the Museum is currently developing a staging plan to inventory and catalog all collections. 

An endowment campaign committee has been formed and will begin to meet in September, with the goal to raise $8 million over five years. The fundraising firm of Netzel-Grigsby will provide guidance throughout the process. 

We are currently planning our first community outreach meetings to solicit input in Ojai and Santa Paula. A video series is being developed in partnership with CAPS Media, to be installed in satellite locations throughout the county. 

Exhibits and Programs
We have launched an exhaustive process to review existing and past programs and events, review attendance and revenue, survey national and international trends, and provide recommendations for programming modifications to attract diverse audiences. The Museum has also launched a recruitment for an Agriculture Museum manager to help increase our service to the community and expand our programs and exhibits in the Agriculture Museum. 

Vision/Museum’s Role in the Community
Nina Simon, museum consultant and director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, will be leading efforts to help identify the core vision of the Museum. Nina Simon is an internationally-recognized expert on active community participation in cultural institutions and has been named a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her innovative approach to design. She was named one of the 50 most “powerful and influential people in nonprofit arts” by the Western States Arts Federation in 2012 and 2013. 

We have made a great deal of progress in just a month and we will continue this pace towards our goal of reinventing the Museum. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments. 


Elena Brokaw
Interim Executive Director, Museum of Ventura County

Our Mission: The Museum of Ventura County, through its collections, exhibits, educational programs and publications, celebrates the history, art, and culture of Ventura County and the Channel Islands.


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