San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

aka SLOMA   |   San Luis Obispo, CA   |


The mission of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is to provide and promote diverse visual arts experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibition, education, creation, and collaboration. The Museum of Art's Permanent Collection conserves an artistic legacy on the California Central Coast.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Leann Standish

Main address

PO Box 813

San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 USA

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Formerly known as

San Luis Obispo Art Center

San Luis Obispo Art Center changed to San Luis Obispo Museum on Art



NTEE code info

Visual Arts Organizations (A40)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Art Museums (A51)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is a place to be introduced to new artists from around the world and from around the block. Showcasing established and mid-career artists in our Gray Wing, we also feature emerging regional artists in our McMeen and Nybak galleries. Exhibitions are complemented by free community programming including lectures, family art activities, and docent tours.

Population(s) Served

The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) maintains a special commitment to meaningful, memorable art education. From basic techniques to hands-on activities in contemporary and multicultural art forms, the Museum strives to open students’ minds, stimulate creative thinking and encourage integration of the arts into every aspect of daily life. SLOMA aligns its youth art education curriculum to the California State Framework for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


AAM/IMLS Museum Assessment Program: Organizational Assessment 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

2021: re-opened after COVID closure 5/28/2021; numbers between May-Dec 2021. 2020: closed after mid-March due to COVID pandemic. 2019: estimate for full year

Number of works on loan from others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

2021 marked the beginning of the Museum's practice of incorporating loaned works from private and institutional collections in our major exhibitions.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Museum of Art needs to continue to deepen the participation of its present audience as it builds new connections with a younger audience—especially young families in the area. To be successful, it is imperative that the Museum utilize more effective marketing strategies to engage the 16,000 Cal Poly University students and community college students on two campuses nearby. Studying audience interests and creating visitor-centric responses to their needs is part of the Museum’s goal for inspiring fully engaged visitors. In addition, the Museum’s leadership is seeking new opportunities to collaborate with local organizations and businesses whose constituents may not be familiar with the Museum’s programs. Sharing audiences during such collaborations has proven to be an easy and effective way to introduce the Museum’s programming to the community. Renewing the support of past members is also a goal for the near future.

The primary capacity-building priority of the Museum of Art’s leadership is to stay mission-focused while motivating the existing audience—and inspiring new community members—to become more engaged in the enjoyment and financial support of the organization. At the same time, the board and staff must continue building the Museum’s unrestricted operating reserve. Because there is little flexibility to cut expenses any further, or to generate surpluses from its earned revenue alone, the Museum’s leadership knows it must explore new ways to achieve any fund raising success.
Deepening the engagement of existing and new audiences will lead over time to more memberships and donations. Thoughtful planning and program design are required. Marketing and audience data and analysis tools are needed to achieve these priorities.
An existing revenue stream, co-mingled within event and donation income, consists of business and community sponsorships, both cash and in-kind. The Museum wants to increase this revenue source; it aligns with the Museum’s mission, offering not only financial support but also satellite exhibit and co-marketing opportunities that reach different audience segments.
The Museum’s recently completed marketing plan, funded by the current ARI grant, defined a new brand and strategy for a marketing campaign, and that campaign is just beginning to bear fruit. To achieve maximum involvement by the community, both creatively and financially, this capacity building area requires more audience information and development work. The Museum must gather information from the wider community, evaluate visitor impact of exhibits, study economic data, and analyze data gathered from the new website and database. These activities require staff and docent training in evaluation methods, and, for exhibits, planning that includes techniques for assessing impact of exhibits and marketing efforts. The Museum can maintain a successful marketing campaign after doing some much-needed statistical analysis of the community and learning about successful marketing platforms and trends. This next phase of capacity building is practical, economical and realistic. It will give the Museum of Art’s leadership the analytical tools to create more targeted programming and increase net revenue.

Partnering with community organizations has always been a significant strength of the Museum of Art’s leadership. If there is an arts or civic organization in the county that aspires to advance creativity, beauty, or general community support for the visual arts, the Museum is who they partner with to achieve their goals. The Museum cultivates community involvement by collaborating with a diverse cross-section of businesses and non-profits. Staff and board are active in other arts organizations and community non-profits, and serve on several civic minded committees. The Museum is a founding member of the San Luis Obispo Gallery Association, which promotes San Luis Obispo to California residents as an arts destination. The Museum’s exhibition and education programming can greatly improve its community connectedness by collaborating more fully with the liberal studies and art departments at Cal Poly and the two nearby community colleges. The Museum staff also plans to spearhead the development of a collaborative calendar for arts events with the other major arts organizations in the county, the first step toward fostering a spirit of cooperation and non-competitiveness among local arts groups.

By 2014, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art will have a clear understanding of its current audience; the adaptability to deepen the cultural participation of that audience; and the accurate financial and community metrics to broaden the Museum’s audience. It will also have a Board and staff trained in their respective financial development roles, and a written development plan that will increase earned and unearned income — leading to financial stability.
Ultimately the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art will have the adaptive capacity to monitor, assess, respond to, and create internal and external changes; the leadership capacity to fulfill the Museum’s mission; the management capacity to use its resources effectively and efficiently; and the technical capacity to implement its programmatic, organizational, and community strategies.
The Museum of Art will then have the sustainability it has strived to achieve.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Talk-back binder in McMeen Gallery asking for visitors' comments, feedback, and ideas

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Added Spanish translations to exhibition materials and educational programming

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Board of directors
as of 05/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Charles Feltman

Charles Crotser

Charles Feltman

Todd Peterson

David Richards

Barbara Bell

Philip Williams

John Dunn

Derek Johnson

Ermina Karim

Jennifer Petty

Trudi Safreno

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.