Catalina Museum gets new executive director

Courtesy Photo Sheila Bergman served as the Executive Director of UCR ARTS, the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) internationally recognized arts center.

Catalina Museum for Art & History introduces Sheila Bergman

The Catalina Museum for Art & History announced on Thursday, Sheila Bergman, PhD as the museum’s new Executive Director, beginning April 18. Prior to joining the museum, Bergman served as the Executive Director of UCR ARTS, the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) internationally recognized arts center.

“After almost a year of searching for the perfect match to serve as our new Executive Director, we are happy to welcome Sheila to the Catalina Museum team,” said Ron Bevins, Catalina Museum Board Chair. “Her extensive background in the museum field, development skills and educational experience aligns with the museum’s goals and mission of providing acclaimed art and history exhibitions, as well as enlightening opportunities for Catalina locals and visitors alike.”

Under the direction of Bergman, UCR ARTS was recently awarded accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in February 2022. During her tenure, Bergman curated visually stunning exhibitions including Social Justice Sewing Academy (2020-2021), Chris Jordon: Intolerable Beauty (2019-2020), and Contemporary Mexican Photography (2017-2018), which opened at Catalina Museum on March 19, 2022.

Before UCR ARTS, Bergman served in leadership positions in the UC system, from the Asst. Dean of External Affairs at UCLA to the Director of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. She was the Executive Director of the Emeryville Center for the Arts and P.S. Arts, an organization dedicated to restoring the arts to education in Santa Monica. She spent seven years as the Director of Artistic and Educational Programming at Zeum in San Francisco, an art and technology museum for youth. Bergman began her career as the Associate Director of the Strand Theatre/M. Harriet McCormick Center for the Arts in Boston, and as the Co-Director at Anthology Film Archives, a film museum in NYC.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Bergman has a long history of visiting Catalina Island with family and friends. Her family’s connection to the island was further strengthened when her daughter was married at Descanso Beach. She is also passionate about sea kayaking and looks forward to exploring the many coves and beaches around the island.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Catalina Museum for Art & History and look forward to working with the Museum’s dedicated board and its talented staff to accomplish remarkable things together,” said Bergman. “Thanks to the strategic work by the previous director, the Catalina Museum has a solid foundation to build upon, so we can confidently move forward with its next chapter of innovation, engagement and growth.”

Bergman holds a PhD in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, where she researched curatorial practices in contemporary art museums. She holds a Master of Arts from Fielding Graduate University, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from San Francisco State University, a Certificate from Stanford University for non-profit art leaders, and a BA in Fine Arts/Theater Arts from Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles.

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