Melody Kanschat

Professor of Practice, Arts Management, Claremont Graduate University

Melody Kanschat is an energetic arts professional with broad experience in management, communications, fundraising and master plan development. She is known for her enthusiastic commitment to the audiences that arts organizations serve and a perspective that synthesizes a drive for excellence with a practical sensibility. In January 2021, she retired from her position as Executive Director of the Museum Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University (MLI@CGU). Before joining MLI@CGU, had a 22-year career with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 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. 


Before joining the LACMA staff, Melody served as the Development Director at public radio station KCSN in Northridge, California and the Operations Director for Northwest Public Radio at Washington State University. Melody is a former member of the Boards of AAM’s Development and Membership Committee, the Western Museum Association and Cornerstone Theater. She has served on the Board of Directors for Arts for LA, MOVE LA, and the Los Angeles Associates of Save the Children. In her private practice, Melody 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. She holds a B.S. degree in Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. 


Wednesday June 2

Networking Event

Thnetworking session will include social break-out rooms, which iDEA Summit facilitators will lead. This session is an opportunity to engage in peer-peer learning and share out reflections. The discussion will include an overview of the conference and connecting themes. The themes will be based on attendees’ thoughts on previous conference sessions, shared on the Google Jamboard