Thirty-five years ago, Lori Starr, then a graduate student, spent nine months in San Francisco on a museum education fellowship. This June, she will return to the City by the Bay to become the executive director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
For Starr, this new position marks a return to California after seven years in Toronto leading the Koffler Centre of the Arts through an exciting period of development. Before heading north of the 49th parallel, Starr, a New York-area native, held high-level positions at cultural institutions in Los Angeles, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Skirball Cultural Center.
Starr told The Arty Semite in a phone interview from Toronto that she is very excited about moving to Northern California, an area known for its dynamism, diversity and innovative spirit. The special character of the Bay Area’s Jewish community is also a draw, and she considers it a boon for the museum. “San Francisco has been the destination of Jews with boldness and big dreams unfettered by the past,” she said. Following in this vein, “the CJM is a broadcaster of new ideas around arts and culture.”