CMATO is place where ideas are shared and people connect.

Be Connected.

It is an exciting time here at the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks ("CMATO ") as we are becoming  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 museum aims to 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.

CMATO is committed to becoming part of the social fabric of Conejo Valley region by providing educational, enlightening experiences that are affordable. The museum creates cultural opportunities that are both an enduring community asset and an economic engine for the region. Most importantly, by building a cultural place for diverse audiences to experience culture, CMATO serves a public past, a public present and a public yet to be born.


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

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO)  provides 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

The new museum design is thoroughly analyzed to fulfill many important goals and objectives such as the following:

  • Architecture that complements the existing Civic Arts Plaza and respects the pedestrian oriented goals of the Boulevard Specific Plan.
  • A plan that maintains the possibility of creating a walkable Paseo that will connect all the properties to the West of the Civic Arts Plaza.
  • A phased design that represents achievable fundraising targets and allows CMATO to grow with the evolving needs of the community.
  • A design that does not require using the entire city property and thus preserve the opportunity to provide other mixed-uses directly adjacent to CMATO.
  • Because of CMATO’s ongoing public programming and changing exhibitions, the museum encourages repeat visits and will not be subject to the ever-changing tastes and fads that retail and restaurant uses are subject to experience.

Civic Arts Plaza West is an important site that requires a development that will benefit both the local and regional communities; it will complement and complete the vision of the Civic Arts Plaza; it will also require a use that gives its residents a more stable, sustainable and valuable amenity that will stand the test of time and not be victim to the unpredictable cycles that affect the regular commercial businesses and real estate industries.  

CMATO offers the community a unique place to exhibit compelling world-class art right in the heart of what is to be its new downtown, the “Boulevard.”  


We strongly believe that with the permanent addition of the museum on Civic Arts Plaza West, combined with the retail, restaurants and housing that are being considered for the area the city will be able to help create an even more vibrant and sustaining Thousand Oaks Downtown.

The first phase would be the construction of a 5,000-square-foot building to house exhibits and various programs put on by the museum. From there, phases 2 and 3 would add another 25,000 square feet of museum space, and phase 4 would be a 40,000- to 60,000-square-foot addition that could act as a conference center, hotel or apartments.

“We refined the plan a number of times to incorporate the city’s goal of having pedestrian walkways,” Tony Principe said, referring to the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan.

rendering 2.png

“We also created an almost park-like outdoor amphitheater space between phases 1, 2 and 3 that’s just a great hangout,” he said.

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?  CMATO creates an equality of cultural opportunity that serves not only the cultural elite, but meets the need of society for a unique institution. We are creating a place that will endure and through art, it will tell us who we are and how we got here.  Our goal is to be  sure toa cultural asset that the community-at-large will be proud to have as its neighbor.

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?  CMATO’s future success is energized by the close proximity of an abundance of artists working in the area, highly regarded art schools, prestigious cultural institutions and art galleries and generous art patrons. These “ingredients” provide the fuel for CMATO to become a highly regarded cultural institution in the heart of the Conejo Valley region. CMATO has already proven this with it successful exhibitions featuring Corita Kent; its landmark collaborations with CLU, CSUSCI, Ventura College, Moorpark College, Studio Channel Islands, Self-Help Graphics & Art, Corita Art Center, Four Friends Gallery and photo l.a. Upcoming exhibitions will spotlight influential artists that have been featured in the Getty Museum and LACMA.

We are in prime 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.