Corey Madden portrait

Corey Madden is the new executive director of Monterey Museum of Art, after serving nine months as interim. 

After a turbulent few years, changes in leadership and a pandemic closure, things finally start looking good for the Monterey Museum of Arts. 

On Wednesday, July 21, the museum issued a press release officially naming its interim leader, Corey Madden, as executive director. Madden was chosen unanimously by the museum’s 11-member board. 

She was initially hired as a consultant in August 2020 and accepted a full-time position as interim executive director in November. When she relocated here from North Carolina, it was five months into the museum being fully closed to visitors. On Thursday, May 13, the facility reopened for in-person visitors for the first time in over a year.

“The institution is in a really exciting moment,” Madden says. “We are glad to be reopened. We are focused on developing programming for the whole diverse community of the Monterey Peninsula.”

Under her leadership over the last 11 months, the museum has been able to acquire new works for its permanent collection, launch a new “digital wing,” and re-open the Pacific Street location of the museum after the installation of a state-of-the-art air filtration and monitoring system, among other things. 

“Belonging” is the key word for Madden right now.

“Museums are a shared community resource and we want to ensure that diverse artists and members of the community feel that they belong at MMA,” Madden said.

Before coming to Monterey, Madden led the Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, as well as L’Atelier Arts in Los Angeles and Center Theatre Group at the Music Center of Los Angeles. 

She has taught at UCLA, California Institute of the Arts, and other leading universities and colleges, and consulted with various arts institutions. She has experience in the artistic side of theatre construction and renovation, and produced premieres of more than 300 plays.

After her extensive experience in the arts world, this is Madden's first time running a museum. 

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