THE NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM IN SAN DIEGO NAMES NEW LEADER
Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell appointed Executive Director and CEO after Nationwide Search
November 16, 2021, Downtown San Diego: The New Children’s Museum announced today that Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell will take the post of Executive Director and CEO on January 3, 2022. Yang-Hellewell is an accomplished museum leader with demonstrated success in strategic development and fundraising. The appointment comes at the conclusion of a nationwide search led by Museum Board President Caroline Perry, working with non-profit recruiters Morris and Berger and a Board subcommittee.
“We believe that Elizabeth will have a powerful impact on our organization and lead us into a bright future. Not only does she have solid experience in museum management, strategic planning and philanthropy, she brings a genuine passion for contemporary art and our mission,” said Caroline Perry, Board President. “The Board of Directors and I are confident in her ability to work with our leadership team to continue to fulfill our mission, secure our financial position and elevate our role in the community.”
For the past eight years, Yang-Hellewell has been at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), where she served as Chief Advancement Officer and member of the threeperson executive leadership team. She was responsible for an annual operating budget of $6 million and was part of the team that raised $86 million for MCASD’s La Jolla campus expansion (public opening slated for April, 2022). In addition to fundraising, her responsibilities spanned across the institution to help develop best practices in organizational performance, budget management, forecasting and strategic planning.
“As someone who has dedicated my career to supporting the work of living artists, educators and arts education programming in museums, I am deeply invested in the potential of museums as powerful spaces and resources for community engagement,” explained Yang- Hellewell. “The New Children’s Museum has established itself as a beloved community resource and a brilliantly innovative model for both children’s museums and contemporary art spaces. I’m looking forward to building on their impactful work with a firm commitment to developing increasingly more diverse, equitable, inclusive, accessible – and of course fun – experiences and opportunities for communities inside and outside of the Museum.”
Yang-Hellewell spent the first few years of her career at MCASD in education and community programs, followed by positions at UCSD as the Program and Audience Development Manager at ArtPower! and Director of Alumni Affairs, Biological Sciences, UCSD Alumni, before returning to MCASD in fundraising and development. She graduated from Smith College and received her MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.
Yang-Hellewell’s arrival at the Museum comes after its successful phased reopening following a 14-month pandemic closure. Over the past six months, the Museum introduced several new art commissions including Brian and the Bugs (Katie Ruiz), El Más Allá (Panca), The Wonder Sound Garden (Wes Bruce), In the Balance (Risa Puno) and Teatro Piñata (David Israel Reynoso). Close to reaching its pre-pandemic attendance and membership numbers, the Museum is in a strong position as its new leader comes on board. Yang-Hellewell will head up the Museum’s leadership team comprised of Deputy Directors Kerri Fox (Marketing and Earned Revenue) and Kathleen Daugherty (Philanthropy). For the past 15 months, COO Reed Vickerman served as interim executive director.
Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell lives in South Bay with her wife and two young children.
Photo courtesy of The New Children’s Museum
About The New Children’s Museum The New Children’s Museum is a new model of children’s museum whose mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. Located downtown, the Museum collaborates with contemporary artists to design and create art installations and educational programs for children. The Museum brings families together in a rich educational environment that fosters creativity — blending the best elements of children’s museums, contemporary art museums and community resources. In addition to the downtown San Diego location, the Museum now has a satellite location called the Art + Play Space in Del Mar. To learn more, visit thinkplaycreate.org or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.