Melody Kanschat is an energetic arts professional with broad experience in management, communications, fundraising, and master plan development. She is known for both her enthusiastic commitment to the audiences that arts organizations serve and a perspective that synthesizes a drive for excellence with a practical sensibility. At CGU, Kanschat brings her considerable knowledge and professional expertise to the classroom and to the development of new museum-centric curriculum and programming.
Kanschat was appointed executive director of the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University (now Museum Leadership Institute–MLI at CGU) in 2013, where she led a team that served over 1000 museum professionals via a variety of on-line and in-residence executive education programs. She retired from the executive director role in 2021 and continues to remain active in the program as an advisor and professor. Prior to her leadership role with the Institute, Kanschat concluded a 22-year career with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she served in a variety of executive capacities. In her final six years at LACMA, she was the museum’s President and Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the museum, overseeing a total annual expense budget of over $60 million and a $320 million multi-year capital expansion campaign.
Kanschat is a former member of the Boards of AAM’s Development and Membership Committee, the Western Museum Association, and Cornerstone Theater. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Arts for LA, MOVE LA, and the Los Angeles Associates of Save the Children. In her private practice, she continues to provide management and consulting services to a variety of non-profit institutions focusing on operational stability, fundraising, strategic planning, and capital project development and management.