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Cynthia Chavez Lamar

Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

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Cynthia Chavez Lamar Biography

Cynthia Chavez Lamar is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, effective Feb. 14, 2022. She is the first Native woman to be named as a Smithsonian museum director. Chavez Lamar has been at the museum most recently since 2014, and earlier in her career was a museum intern (1994) and later an associate curator (2000–2005). She is currently the museum’s acting associate director for collections and operations. Chavez Lamar is an accomplished curator, author and scholar whose research interests are focused on Southwest Native art and the methodologies and practices involved in collaborating with Indigenous communities.

Chavez Lamar will oversee the museum’s three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in Lower Manhattan and the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland. The Cultural Resources Center houses the museum’s collections and its curatorial and repatriation offices; laboratories and work rooms for conservation, collections management, registration, photography, film and video; a computer and information-resource center; a library; and indoor and outdoor spaces for Native cultural care practices and use of the collections.

“Dr. Chavez Lamar is at the forefront of a growing wave of Native American career museum professionals,” said Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “They have played an important role in changing how museums think about their obligations to Native communities and to all communities. We look forward to Cynthia’s leadership as the NMAI enters a new phase of service to the Native Peoples of the Western Hemisphere.”

Since January 2021, Chavez Lamar has served as acting associate director for collections and operations at the museum. She is responsible for overseeing its collections, facilities, safety and information technology departments. She leads efforts to ensure effective management of and care for the museum’s collection, which is composed of more than 1 million objects and photographs and more than 500,000 digitized images, films and other media documenting Native communities, events and organizations.

“I am excited to begin my tenure as the director of the National Museum of the American Indian,” said Chavez Lamar. “I am looking forward to leading and working with the museum’s experienced and dedicated staff. Together, we will leverage the museum’s reputation to support shared initiatives with partners in the U.S. and around the world to amplify Indigenous knowledge and perspectives all in the interest of further informing the American public and international audiences of the beauty, tenacity and richness of Indigenous cultures, arts and histories.”

From 2014 through 2020, Chavez Lamar served as assistant director for collections at the museum. In this role, she guided the overall stewardship of the museum’s collection, which is one of the largest and most extensive collections of Native and Indigenous items in the world. Chavez Lamar led museum efforts to improve collection access and availability by advocating for and encouraging an increase in the number of collections online. She supported the development of a collection-information system module to record access, care and handling instructions provided by tribal, nation and community representatives. Chavez Lamar also established and prioritized partnerships and collaboration with Native nations and tribes and developed a loan program for tribal museum and cultural centers that provides training and technical assistance to enhance collections stewardship and reconnects descendant communities with the museum’s collections.

Chavez Lamar was the director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 2007 to 2014. While there, she raised the visibility of the 12,000-object collection and developed institutional projects and programming to highlight it. She also led and supported the development of Guidelines for Collaboration to assist Native communities in accessing museum collections and museums working collaboratively with them.

From 2006 to 2007, she was the director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

From 2000 to 2005, Chavez Lamar was an associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian and the lead curator for “Our Lives,” one of the inaugural exhibitions in the Washington, D.C., museum when it opened in 2004. She collaborated with eight Native communities on the exhibition.

Chavez Lamar was a presidential appointee to the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development in 2011. She was a governor’s appointee as a commissioner to the New Mexico Arts Commission from 2009 to 2012. She currently sits on the advisory group for Indigenous North America at the Princeton University Art Museum, and she is a member of the advisory board at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

Chavez Lamar is an enrolled member at San Felipe Pueblo, and her ancestry also includes Hopi, Tewa and Navajo on the maternal side of her family. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in studio art, a master’s degree in American Indian studies from UCLA and a doctorate in American studies from the University of New Mexico. She also received an honorary doctorate from Colorado College for her contributions to the museum field.

Chavez Lamar is the third director of the National Museum of the American Indian. She succeeds Kevin Gover (Pawnee), who served as director from December 2007 until January 2021. He is now the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture. The founding director was W. Richard West Jr. (Southern Cheyenne), who led the museum from 1990 to 2007. Machel Monenerkit has served as acting director of the National Museum of the American Indian since Gover left in January 2021.

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Art In Our Lives: Native Women Artists In Dialogue

Art In Our Lives: Native Women Artists In Dialogue

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  • HOW TO BOOK Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Cynthia Chavez Lamar for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Cynthia Chavez Lamar, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Cynthia Chavez Lamar or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    Booking fees for Cynthia Chavez Lamar, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Cynthia Chavez Lamar, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Cynthia Chavez Lamar for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Cynthia Chavez Lamar for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Cynthia Chavez Lamar or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Cynthia Chavez Lamar or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

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Cynthia Chavez Lamar Biography

Cynthia Chavez Lamar is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, effective Feb. 14, 2022. She is the first Native woman to be named as a Smithsonian museum director. Chavez Lamar has been at the museum most recently since 2014, and earlier in her career was a museum intern (1994) and later an associate curator (2000–2005). She is currently the museum’s acting associate director for collections and operations. Chavez Lamar is an accomplished curator, author and scholar whose research interests are focused on Southwest Native art and the methodologies and practices involved in collaborating with Indigenous communities.

Chavez Lamar will oversee the museum’s three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in Lower Manhattan and the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland. The Cultural Resources Center houses the museum’s collections and its curatorial and repatriation offices; laboratories and work rooms for conservation, collections management, registration, photography, film and video; a computer and information-resource center; a library; and indoor and outdoor spaces for Native cultural care practices and use of the collections.

“Dr. Chavez Lamar is at the forefront of a growing wave of Native American career museum professionals,” said Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “They have played an important role in changing how museums think about their obligations to Native communities and to all communities. We look forward to Cynthia’s leadership as the NMAI enters a new phase of service to the Native Peoples of the Western Hemisphere.”

Since January 2021, Chavez Lamar has served as acting associate director for collections and operations at the museum. She is responsible for overseeing its collections, facilities, safety and information technology departments. She leads efforts to ensure effective management of and care for the museum’s collection, which is composed of more than 1 million objects and photographs and more than 500,000 digitized images, films and other media documenting Native communities, events and organizations.

“I am excited to begin my tenure as the director of the National Museum of the American Indian,” said Chavez Lamar. “I am looking forward to leading and working with the museum’s experienced and dedicated staff. Together, we will leverage the museum’s reputation to support shared initiatives with partners in the U.S. and around the world to amplify Indigenous knowledge and perspectives all in the interest of further informing the American public and international audiences of the beauty, tenacity and richness of Indigenous cultures, arts and histories.”

From 2014 through 2020, Chavez Lamar served as assistant director for collections at the museum. In this role, she guided the overall stewardship of the museum’s collection, which is one of the largest and most extensive collections of Native and Indigenous items in the world. Chavez Lamar led museum efforts to improve collection access and availability by advocating for and encouraging an increase in the number of collections online. She supported the development of a collection-information system module to record access, care and handling instructions provided by tribal, nation and community representatives. Chavez Lamar also established and prioritized partnerships and collaboration with Native nations and tribes and developed a loan program for tribal museum and cultural centers that provides training and technical assistance to enhance collections stewardship and reconnects descendant communities with the museum’s collections.

Chavez Lamar was the director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 2007 to 2014. While there, she raised the visibility of the 12,000-object collection and developed institutional projects and programming to highlight it. She also led and supported the development of Guidelines for Collaboration to assist Native communities in accessing museum collections and museums working collaboratively with them.

From 2006 to 2007, she was the director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

From 2000 to 2005, Chavez Lamar was an associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian and the lead curator for “Our Lives,” one of the inaugural exhibitions in the Washington, D.C., museum when it opened in 2004. She collaborated with eight Native communities on the exhibition.

Chavez Lamar was a presidential appointee to the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development in 2011. She was a governor’s appointee as a commissioner to the New Mexico Arts Commission from 2009 to 2012. She currently sits on the advisory group for Indigenous North America at the Princeton University Art Museum, and she is a member of the advisory board at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

Chavez Lamar is an enrolled member at San Felipe Pueblo, and her ancestry also includes Hopi, Tewa and Navajo on the maternal side of her family. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in studio art, a master’s degree in American Indian studies from UCLA and a doctorate in American studies from the University of New Mexico. She also received an honorary doctorate from Colorado College for her contributions to the museum field.

Chavez Lamar is the third director of the National Museum of the American Indian. She succeeds Kevin Gover (Pawnee), who served as director from December 2007 until January 2021. He is now the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture. The founding director was W. Richard West Jr. (Southern Cheyenne), who led the museum from 1990 to 2007. Machel Monenerkit has served as acting director of the National Museum of the American Indian since Gover left in January 2021.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar Videos

  • New Mexico woman makes history at Smithsonian

Cynthia Chavez Lamar Books

FAQs on booking Cynthia Chavez Lamar

  • How to book Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Cynthia Chavez Lamar for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Cynthia Chavez Lamar, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Cynthia Chavez Lamar or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    Booking fees for Cynthia Chavez Lamar, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Cynthia Chavez Lamar, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Cynthia Chavez Lamar?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Cynthia Chavez Lamar for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Cynthia Chavez Lamar for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Cynthia Chavez Lamar or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Cynthia Chavez Lamar or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Cynthia Chavez Lamar for your event is available upon request. Cynthia Chavez Lamar generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Gloria Allred, Wendy Osefo, PhD, Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Lisa Kristine and Laura Snyder. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Cynthia Chavez Lamar for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar Speaker Videos

  • New Mexico woman makes history at Smithsonian

Cynthia Chavez Lamar News

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Speakers Similar to Cynthia Chavez Lamar

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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