About the Museum

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that preserves, interprets, and provides access to the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Cahuilla peoples.

Founding in 1991, the Museum is governed by an independent board of directors chaired by Mildred Browne. Michael Hammond, Ph.D. is Executive Director.

In keeping with its mission, "the Museum inspires people to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Native cultures. We keep the spirit alive through exhibitions, collections, research, and educational programs."  

Over the years, the Museum's programming has expanded to serve a broader population; educational activities have dramatically increased and, by necessity, have moved beyond Museum walls into the greater desert community; and the collection and archiving of important holdings has been diligent.

Today, this programming provides a thriving resource for Native and non-Native people and a dynamic forum for permanent residents and visitors of all ages.  Offerings include quality exhibitions at the Museum, at off-site locations, and online; stimulating and enlightening lectures; classes with hands-on experiences with Native skills and crafts; a five-day film festival and other cultural special events; library and archives research opportunities; Museum tours; guided cultural hikes; and presentations for students in schools, and for civic and business organizations.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is the first Native American museum to be part of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program. This special relationship provides opportunities to share resources in programming, collections, scholarship, and technical expertise -- and entitles the Museum to bring world-acclaimed exhibitions to the Coachella Valley.

To fulfill its mission more fully -- as well as the role of caretaker for the enormous gifts of Native knowledge and history -- and to embrace opportunities to involve a wider audience, planning is underway for the construction of a new 110,000 sq.ft. home for the Museum to be located in heart of Palm Springs on historic Section 14.

As planning for a new Museum moves forward, there is a commitment to the belief that knowledge is a tool for empowerment, autonomy, and the proper stewardship of the land and culture. Just as it was the role of Tribal elders to hold and pass on traditions, this world-class Museum will serve as a new kind of Tribal elder.

Preserving the past, documenting the present, and nurturing culture for the future, Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a place to teach new generations the important lessons that have come down through the ages --to cultivate relationships, create partnerships, and share resources for the preservation and well-being of the entire community.

Current Museum location at 219 South Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs

Model of the new Museum facility to be located on East Tahquitz Canyon Way 10oct05_0065.JPG


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