AS IT PREPARES TO WELCOME the public to a new building later this year, the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) announced two new appointments today.

Courtenay Finn is joining the Southern California museum as chief curator in March. She is currently chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.

Meagan Burger is serving as director of learning and engagement at OCMA. After four years at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where she was manager of adult learning, Burger is spearheading the development and integration of OCMA’s learning, public programs, and community partnerships.

“Courtenay and Meagan are wonderful additions to OCMA’s leadership whose work and impact will reflect our vision for a dynamic, engaged and diverse museum of the 21st Century,” OCMA CEO and director Heidi Zuckerman said in a statement.

“Both of these women worked at the Aspen Art Museum during my tenure, and I’ve watched their careers develop with great admiration. As we create OCMA’s next chapter, they already have countless ideas of how to collaborate and serve Southern California’s many communities, cultures and interests.”

“As we create OCMA’s next chapter, (Courtenay and Meagan) already have countless ideas of how to collaborate and serve Southern California’s many communities, cultures and interests.” — CEO & Director Heidi Zuckerman

An arts educator, Burger creates welcoming environments, innovative strategies, and engaging programs that transform how visitors of all ages learn about and experience contemporary art. She was hired at MCA Chicago to serve as manager of interpretation and was elevated to manager of adult learning (2017-21). Previously, Burger was manager of visitor services at the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colo., under Zuckerman’s leadership.

Burger earned a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and English literature at Northwestern University. She also completed a certificate in Learning and Visitor Services in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in the UK.

OCMA’s new $93 million, 53,000 square foot facility is under construction in Costa Mesa, Calif. Part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the forthcoming museum building has 25,000 square feet of exhibition space and is designed by Morphosis Architects under the direction of Pritzker-Prize winner Thom Mayne and partner-in-charge Brandon Welling.

The new building is the latest chapter in the museum’s storied history. Founded by 13 visionary women in 1962, the institution was first known as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery. Several years later in 1968, the modest art gallery was reinvented as the Newport Harbor Art Museum. In 1997, it was inaugurated as the Orange County Museum of Art, then located in Newport Beach.

The museum’s staff and operations are currently based at a temporary site in Santa Ana, called OCMAExpand. Burger officially started at OCMA in October 2021, one year in advance of the new building opening this fall, on Oct. 8, 2022.

Her work is well underway. In a statement, Burger said: “OCMA respects every individual as both learner and teacher—I am thrilled to spearhead the development of programs and initiatives that will expand and engage our communities, cultivate inclusivity, spark curiosity, as well as transform traditional narratives.” CT


IMAGE: Meagan Burger. | Photo courtesy OCMA


FIND MORE After serving as CEO and director of the Aspen Art Museum for 14 years (2005-2019), where she also oversaw the inauguration of a new museum building, Heidi Zuckerman was recruited to lead the Orange County Museum of Art. She started in February 2021

FIND MORE When it reopens, Orange County Museum of Art is using $2.5 million gift to offer visitors free admission for 10 years


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