PALM SPRINGS, CA – August, 2006: Michael Hammond, Executive Director of The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, announced today the conclusion of the Museum’s extensive search to fill the position of Director of Development. “After a lengthy nationwide search, I’m delighted to announce that we are bringing on board Mr. Steve Sharp, a local resident with extensive fundraising experience. We’re very excited to have someone of Steve’s caliber join our staff. His years of expertise in the development field perfectly complement our needs at this exciting phase in our growth leading up to the commencement of construction on the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.”

Steve Sharp is experienced in all aspects of managing a comprehensive Development office, including annual giving, memberships, sponsorships and database management; and he is particularly skilled with capital campaigns and planned giving. Most recently, Sharp held the position of Director of Development for the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, where he has been for more than six years.

Ted Giatas, Executive Director of the McCallum Theatre, commented on Steve’s move by saying, “Steve should take great pride and satisfaction for his contributions and accomplishments at the McCallum. As one of the first new members of the team I formed shortly after arriving here nearly seven years ago, Steve’s role in the recovery of the McCallum was critical to our success, and for that I will always be grateful.”

Regarding his transition, Sharp said, “It has been a privilege to work in partnership with Ted Giatas and the McCallum Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers in ‘righting the ship’ and charting a secure and promising future for the Theatre. Serving as Director of Development for the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a special opportunity to contribute to the preservation, understanding and appreciation of the Agua Caliente and other Native cultures – and to enrich the lives of all Coachella Valley residents and visitors. I am eager to begin working with the Museum team to design and build a comprehensive fundraising program that will help promote and sustain the mission of this remarkable institution.”

Capitalizing on a shared and renewed focus to revitalize downtown, the new Museum will bring an additional cultural dimension to the heart of the City. The new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum will welcome annually more than 150,000 visitors of all ages and backgrounds, and will feature permanent and changing exhibitions, a research library, educational center, and an outdoor learning garden. Reflecting the demographics of the Coachella Valley today, the new Museum will be bilingual. Historically, the first non-native language that the Cahuilla people learned to speak was Spanish.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, inspires people to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Native cultures. It keeps the spirit alive through exhibitions, collections, research and educational programs.

As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum will be able to access the richness of the Smithsonian’s educational programs and cultural objects and bring its world-acclaimed exhibitions to the Coachella Valley.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is located at 219 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. The Museum is open Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the summer. Admission is free.