It is an exciting time here at the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks ("CMATO ") as we begin to establish our place as a premier museum in the Southern California region.  CMATO is a participatory museum – which means visitor engagement is paramount and collaboration is key.  It's a place where people connect and experiences are shared. 

The heart of the museum, what drives our programs, what we choose to display and interpret is guided by this participatory model:


The museum will engage, educate, inspire, and elevate the human spirit through palette of  Art.  It will serve as a steward of our artistic and cultural heritage and will:

  • Introduce and showcase unique and influential  art 
  • Promote and offer engagement opportunities in the visual and performing arts
  • Offer a historical perspective on world cultures through art, artistic styles and art movements
  • Provide art experiences that are relevant, vibrant, unique and thought-provoking
  • Offer technologically advanced inclusive opportunities to view and experience art
  • Provide art experiences and education for audiences of diverse cultures, ethnicities, ages and abilities
  • A significant cultural destination for locals and tourists.


To exhibit the best examples of fine and design arts, to offer educational art programs for all ages, and to present national and international traveling exhibitions. 

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO)  will provide cultural experience for visitors and locals alike. 


The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) will be located at the Civic Arts Plaza, west of City Hall and the Performing Arts Center. The museum site is centrally located to serve a region of over 1.8 million people, and is only minutes away from the cities of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills to the east, Moorpark and Simi Valley to the north, Malibu to the south, and Newbury Park and Camarillo to the west. The museum will also serve Western Los Angeles County, including Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Northridge, Tarzana, Reseda and Encino.

Imagined Future Museum

Rendering compliments of Francisco Behr, President/Director of Design at Behr Browers Architects Inc. 

Executive Director's Perspective

By Tish Greenwood

Space has always been vital to the pursuit of culture. Throughout history, nobles have filled their palaces with sculptures and artifacts to commemorate important periods in time. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century America saw the institutionalization of museums in cities around the country in order to provide places for culture to live. Theaters, museums, and other types of performance spaces have always played a role in creating and sustaining art, and they continue to do so today.

How will the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) play a role in sustaining the cultural vitality of our region?  Our ambitious goal is to build 35,000 square foot museum to bookend the Civic Arts Plaza.

Our motivation to build is driven by the artistic mission to engage, educate and inspire the human spirit through the palette of Art.

With Los Angeles being named as one of the top worldwide destinations for art, why do we need to drive at least an hour away to have a high quality art museum experience? We need an art museum.

Los Angeles is America’s second largest city of artists, donors, and collectors large and small. In addition, our region can boast close proximity to strong art schools that are vibrant places for teaching, criticism, studio practices and art education. We are in a distinctive position to take advantage of our location and contribute the cultural vitality of our region, even our country.

CMATO’s leadership is now coalescing and we are starting a clear and consistent capital planning process that will be receptive to feedback, that will maintain project timelines, keep expenses under control, and will establish revenue generation programs to help offset the operational expenditures after project completion.

Our capital project funding efforts will focus on foundation grants, corporate contributions, state government funds, federal government funds, large individual gifts and endowment funds.

Yes, space is vital to the pursuit of culture. Let’s keep motivated as we move forward to cementing our site as a platform for innovative and thought-provoking artistic expression.