By Margaret Fieweger

Tish Greenwood, CMATO Executive Director, was profoundly affected when she first saw Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus as a college freshman.  She knew then her life would revolve around art, artifacts and history.  Studying in Rome, she was awarded Outstanding Academic Achievement in Art History when she completed her BA at John Cabot University.

Before attending college, Tish, worked a year at a kibbutz in Israel near the Sea of Galilee where she gained a deep appreciation for not only hard work but also for historical artifacts. Tish’s studies and travels strengthen her resolve that  art is the door to being human and once opened allows the viewer to be in touch with all ages and cultures. Tish turned her passion and understanding of art into her career. 

Following graduation, Tish held two managerial positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum over next 12 years:  First as Department Coordinator of the Museum Education Department and then Senior Budget Analyst of the Museum.  She was responsible for the day-to-day management of the education operations with over 50 employees where she created attendance and tracking reporting databases that are still in use and have been adopted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  She also co-wrote the Museum’s Gallery Teacher’s Handbook which created measurable learning outcomes.  In the budget position, Tish worked with teams to produce effective travel and expense procedures and tracking of multi-million dollar acquisitions and donated funds. She managed revenue streams and created operating efficiencies to meet strategic goals for a bus subsidies program for low income families’ museum visits, for a robust art stipend program and for purchase of state-of-the-art conservation equipment.

Deciding to strengthen her academic background in museum work, Tish completed the MA in Art and Museum Studies at Georgetown University Washington, DC and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY.  Her course work focused on museum theory and practice and contemporary art and finance. She also interned at the National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Division focused on national grants review.  She returned to the Los Angeles Area and became the VIP and Advertising Sales Manager for photo LA, where she was responsible for bringing VIP collectors, museum professionals, high-profile artists and arts professional to the photography art fair, the s most significant contemporary photography event. She also works closely with ArtSlant a leading online network for contemporary art criticism.

The Executive Board asked Tish what drew her to CMATO with all of her study, experience and love of the visual arts.  Her response had many layers: First, the engaged people: Tony Principe, our Board Chair, the Board itself, the Museum Council, the partnership with the Development Director, and the CMATO members, all determined to build a museum in Thousand Oaks and strongly support the effort.  Second, the mutual belief that the museum is a community space to share ideas through art with diverse groups, and bring new community groups together to engage in dialog and collaboration.  Third, her belief that in the years we develop from an operations center before becoming a museum we have the flexibility to be an incubator for contemporary art.   Fourth, our location, near Los Angeles, which is fast becoming the epicenter for contemporary art, near the TO Civic Arts Plaza, in a community with families who value arts education, with a service area to reach out to new museum attendees who have not had access to great art.

Tish is the woman for the job of Executive Director of CMATO.  Her passion is art, her education and career choices have followed that passion.  She understands and is experienced in audiences, art history, donors, the theory and procedures of outstanding art museums, as well as their operations in both education and finance.  Tish Greenwood’s enthusiasm about the place of art in everyone’s life as well as her management skills are the gift that CMATO is enjoying.