California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks receives $100,000 donation from art patron and philanthropist Larry Janss

(Thousand Oaks, CA – November 8, 2017) — The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) accepted a $100,000 donation from local businessman Larry Janss. This generous contribution furthers CMATO’s positive financial momentum toward becoming the region’s preeminent art museum.

Janss’ major gift came only days after art patrons Shawn and Letal Skelton donated $100,000.

A descendant of one of Thousand Oaks’ founding families, Janss increased his financial support to CMATO after a formal review of the museum’s building plans for its current location at Civic Arts Plaza West.

Photo Credit:  Bonnie Kozek.

Photo Credit:  Bonnie Kozek.

“The idea of Thousand Oaks hosting a professional, world-class regional art museum smack dab in the center of our city and adjacent to our professional, world-class regional performing arts center is just too important to ignore. It is an opportunity for the city to become the arts center of the Gold Coast and will, properly executed, bring national recognition that positively will impact Thousand Oaks economically and culturally for a century and longer.

Janss further explained his gift by quoting the late author Ray Bradbury, who had deep ties to Thousand Oaks and strongly promoted its library: “We need our arts to teach us how to breathe.” 

The Janss and Skelton donations give the museum the opportunity to fund operations as well as  exhibitions and programs vital to the growth of our community, according to Tony Principe, chairman of the CMATO Board of Directors. 

“I hope other community leaders, local businesses and generous donors will follow suit and build on this positive momentum with their support of CMATO,” he said.

Principe notes these gifts show the community CMATO is serious about building a museum on this site and continues in its resolve to forge a solid organization that will remain an essential cultural amenity.

“We are now more than ever in a distinctive position to take advantage of our location and contribute to the cultural vitality of our region, even our country,” Principe said. “CMATO endeavors to be a catalyst for art appreciation, criticism and education.”

Under Executive Director Tish Greenwood, who came to CMATO from the Getty, the museum has offered innovative programming such as the acclaimed exhibit of the pop art created by Corita Kent and the development of arts expression program for children on the autism spectrum. Said Greenwood, “I view Larry’s generosity as a substantial vote of confidence in the museum’s mission and future.  His support is positioned to make the Civic Arts Plaza a vibrant home for the visual culture.”


The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) is a non-profit organization committed to educating the community about the visual arts and dedicated to establishing a premier art museum that will serve Ventura County and surrounding communities through innovative programs. 

California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks ▪   Website:

▪ 1948 Thousand Oaks Blvd.▪ Thousand Oaks, CA  91362

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