Carnegie Director Joins Statewide Board

The Carnegie Arts Center is proud to announce that Director Lisa McDermott has recently been elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the California Association of Museums (CAM). At the CAM annual conference, held this past February in Palm Springs, McDermott joined the board which consists of 23 museum professionals from throughout the state.

“I’m excited to be representing institutions like our Carnegie Arts Center as part of this dynamic Board,” says McDermott. “Often the small museums in places like the Central Valley get overlooked, but CAM supports museums large and small across our diverse state. Being part of this team is an affirmation of the value of museums in every community.”


McDermott, who has been involved in many aspects of the museum field for over 30 years, has been appointed to serve on two of the association’s committees, Government Relations (focusing on advocacy and legislation that affects museums) and Multicultural & Emerging Professionals (which oversees scholarship funds and professional development efforts to support those new to the field and to help diversify the museum workforce).

McDermott was raised in Turlock, CA, and earned her BA in Art History from UC Berkeley. She worked as curatorial intern for the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service and at Hearst Castle before completing her MA in History at Boston University. Between 1987 -2001 she worked in collections management and curatorial roles at the Rose Art Museum (Brandeis University), the Davis Museum (Wellesley College), and the San Jose Museum of Art before returning to her hometown. She served as the City of Turlock’s Arts Facilitator from 2001 to 2009, managing the operations of the original Carnegie Arts Center. McDermott coordinated plans for the restoration and expansion of the Carnegie following a devastating fire in 2005 and assisted in the transfer of responsibility for the center’s operations from the City to the non-profit Carnegie Arts Center Foundation. She served as the Foundation’s Assistant Director, managing day to day operations and educational programs, beginning in 2010 and was named Director in 2014. McDermott has also taught Art Appreciation at Boston University and Modesto Junior College, and a course in Museum Studies at Tufts University.

About the California Association of Museums

Founded in 1979, the California Association of Museums (CAM) is one of the largest and most active state museum associations in the nation. The organization’s current mission is “CAM unifies and strengthens California museums for collective impact” with the vision of “Stronger museums for a stronger California.” Guided by this vision, the association has been heavily invested in field leadership and has led innovative initiatives for over a decade.

CAM’s core programs are an annual conference to explore best practices in the museum field, an electronic newsletter, and an active advocacy program. The conference averages about 475 attendees annually, with diverse representation of California museums and their workforce. The newsletter, CAM eNews, includes information about funding, professional development, and job opportunities. CAM also actively monitors legislation, fosters strategic initiatives, and communicates with elected officials on museum interests.

In addition, CAM is committed to field leadership. CAM’s Foresight Committee uses strategic foresight to help create more sustainable futures for museums. Through partnerships, the organization encourages the inclusion of individuals of color in CAM programs to support the diversification of the museum workforce. In addition, CAM’s Green Museums Initiative models eco-friendly practices at the conference and launched a national Green Museums Accord.

CAM has approximately 500 institutional members, individual members, and business associates, located in 179 cities across California.

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For information on CAM Board members:



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