The Skirball Cultural Center, the Los Angeles Jewish educational institution atop the Santa Monica Mountains, has announced the appointment of a new Museum Director and two hires for leadership positions. Starting July 1, current Vice President of Education and Visitor Experience Sheri Bernstein will assume the role of Museum Director, succeeding Robert Kirschner, who has served in the position since 2008. Additionally, the Center has named Reuben J. Sanchez as Chief Financial Officer and Pamela Kohanchi as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
Bernstein takes the helm of the museum as the Skirball prepares to dust off its exhibits and open up its doors to visitors. Kornberg emphasized Bernstein’s role in its popular Noah’s Ark exhibit as a reason for her appointment. “The success of Noah’s Ark and her contributions to exhibition development are a reflection of Sheri’s unwavering commitment to storytelling and accessibility, her eye for inspired gallery design, and her passion for engaging visitors as active participants to create impact,” she said.
“The Skirball has such a special mission, using the arts to help bring people together and inspire wonder, foster exchange, and promote justice,” Bernstein said in a statement. “Together with our talented museum team, I welcome the opportunity to work with artists and community collaborators to create exhibitions that extend beyond the galleries into our outdoor spaces and into the broader Los Angeles community.”
Sanchez comes to the Skirball from Live Nation, where he served as regional Vice President at the North America Concerts Division, overseeing nearly half a billion dollars in annual revenue. He will manage the investment strategy for the Center, which has a $25 million operating budget.
Kohanchi joins the Center from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she served as Deputy General Counsel. In her position at LACMA, she advised on projects and initiatives such as a planned $650 million building, major art acquisitions, and the awe-inspiring art piece “Levitated Mass.”
Bernstein will hit the ground running, taking the position only weeks after the Skirball presents “Ai Weiwei: Trace,” an exhibit by the groundbreaking and iconoclastic Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The installation highlights individuals who have been persecuted by governments across the globe for their beliefs, actions, or associations–much like the artist himself. The exhibit opens on May 15.