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Marissa Kucheck named new museum director


Marissa Kucheck is the new director of the Ontario Museum of History & Art, bringing an extensive background in the arts and in museum management to Ontario.  


Marissa joined the museum staff coming to Ontario from her previous position in the Cultural Arts Division of the city of South Gate. 


And while she is a native Southern Californian – she attended high school in Irvine – her college education came many miles away.  She received a bachelor’s degree in art history and a minor in urban studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Michigan.


“I was pleased to find that the city, like me, has its own Canadian connection, with George Chaffey," said Marissa, whose mother is Canadian. 


Marissa brings a wealth of experience having worked at the Huntington Library, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. She is an alumnus of Arts for LA’s ACTIVATE program, holds a certificate in community teaching artistry from Cal State Los Angeles, and has completed the 2021 Rautenberg New Leaders Project. 


She says she is up to the challenge of using the museum’s strategic plan to build greater interest and growth while overcoming the hardships produced by the covid epidemic of the last two years.  


Melissa said among the challenges facing the museum are construction improvements underway to upgrade facilities in the 1930s former City Hall, as well as developing programs to reach out to new communities in Ontario and adjacent cities.  The museum has a new and expansive water exhibit due to open this year while also undergoing the museum accreditation process.   


“It’s a very exacting time for the museum and the city,” she said.  “But it is just a matter of taking each challenge one piece at a time.  I think we are very much ready for the future.” 

Advocate for public art Kim Boganey is

new Museum art, cultural manager

There’s good news for Ontario.  Kim Boganey is in town, and expanding public art is her aim.


Boganey is the new museum art and cultural manager for the Ontario Museum of History & Art, bringing an extensive array of experience in promoting public art to the position. 


“Public art provides so much value to a community.  Public art is thought-provoking commentary; a way to honor, define and keep place; a means to wayfinding; an economic investment for the creative class; and a revenue driver for tourism, among many other things,” explained Kim, who has overseen the expansion of public art in programs and museums as widely dispersed as in Sacramento, Raleigh, N.C., and Scottsdale, Ariz.


“It is more than a sculpture, installation or a mural providing visual beauty. Life is more meaningful when you are surrounded by creativity; when cities invest in public art, it is guaranteed to elevate the mundane into that which celebrates.”


Kim, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo.,  grew up in the Phoenix area. She is a graduate of Arizona State University where she majored in art history. 


Her experience in promoting the arts at cities across the country came while also raising three children. In fact, she left a position in Arizona, where she grew up, to come to Southern California to be closer to her youngest of her five grandchildren.  Her husband Stan is a retired aerospace engineer who spends his free time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and training for marathons.


As well as promoting public art, she will oversee the city’s annual Arts Festival and Culture Fest events, which draw artists and art-lovers to the downtown area in the vicinity of the museum, as well as lead Ontario’s Arts and Culture Committee and the city’s participation in the Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity sixth economic impact study. 


In short, Kim’s role will be to see how arts and culture can be elevated in Ontario so that it plays a prominent role in defining Ontario’s identity as a cultural hub.


Museum Programs



We The People:

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Feb. 2 to April 16  

Guest curators Riea Owens and Dr. Patricia Jessup-Woodlin present, We the People: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. The Museum is searching for artists to delve into the significance of the Preamble of the United States Constitution and unpack the nuances of the phrase, "We the People," its imperfections, complexities, and present-day interpretations.

 The Museum is searching for artists to delve into the significance of the Preamble of the United States Constitution. 


Built on Water: Ontario and

Inland Southern California

Coming this May 


The exhibit will focus on the history and future of water in the Ontario region. "Built on Water"  brings together the story of local water agencies, regional tribes, agriculture, water conservation, and the establishment of Ontario. See artifacts and images of early water infrastructure or explore the future of water management in a new mobile app.

 12th Biennial Ontario Open Art Exhibiton

May 18-July 30

The Museum Associates present this celebrated exhibition which gives regional artists of all ages and skills the opportunity to display their artwork and a chance to win a cash prize. Since 2001, the non-profit Museum Associates have hosted this community favorite featuring paintings, sculptures, prints, photos, and more.



Mindful Art: Paint With Us

April 7, 3 to 4 p.m.

Join museum staff for a mindful tour in the galleries where participants will be introduced to mindfulness and well-being at the museum. Participants 13 and older will learn how museums can be a space for curiosity and slowing down by exercising mindfulness through reflection and painting. Space is limited.

Workshop: Native Plant Cookie

Decorating Class

May 13, 1 to 3 p.m. 

The museum is collaborating with Dolce Vida by Lised to provide a sugar cookie decorating class where participants, 6 and older, will be inspired by our California Native Plant Garden and decorate sugar cookies using colored icing and techniques provided by the instructor. Dolce Vida by Lised is a local business in the Inland Empire that specializes in custom edible art. Materials will be provided, space is limited.   

Culture Fest

May 20, 6 to 9 p.m.

In conjunction with the Ontario Art Walk, the museum is excited to present Culture Fest 2023, an evening-long celebration through the arts of the different ways of life that exist within Ontario’s diverse community. Come by the museum as a part of your visit to the Downtown Ontario Arts District in order to experience public art, performative experiences, art-making activities and more. The museum’s "Built on Water "exhibit provides inspiration for Culture Fest’s event, which will focus on how water affects us all.






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