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The Walt Disney Family Museum Appoints Gabriella C. Calicchio Chief Executive Officer

Appointment marks Calicchio’s return to Bay Area arts scene

San Francisco, CA (August 23, 2011) – Gabriella C. Calicchio has been named Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Family Museum, announced Walter E. D. Miller, Museum co-founder and Walt Disney’s grandson. Ms. Calicchio returns to the San Francisco Bay Area after serving as Managing Director of the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, one of the nation's highest-profile children's theaters and the only company serving a young audience to receive the Tony Award® for outstanding regional theater.  She takes up her post at the Museum in November 2011.

Prior to leading the nationally renowned Children’s Theater Company, Ms. Calicchio held a succession of executive positions in the Bay Area for more than a decade. She served as Managing Director of Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA for six years after a two year tenure as Executive Director of the Diablo Ballet, Walnut Creek, CA. She came to the Bay Area in 1996 to become Director of Theater Operations at Smith Center, Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. 

A Center for Social Innovation Fellow at Stanford University, Ms. Calicchio holds an MA in Arts Administration and Education from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, and a BA in Drama and Dance from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. She began her professional career at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater and also worked for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

“Ms. Calicchio brings extensive experience across disciplines in the non-profit arts,” said Mr. Miller. “She is highly regarded in the field and has amassed an enviable record of administrative and artistic successes. Our board is confident that her demonstrated leadership and vision will ensure The Walt Disney Family Museum’s bright future as a center for creativity and imagination.”

Diane Disney Miller, Museum co-founder and Walt Disney’s daughter added, “I’m delighted we have engaged a new CEO of Ms. Calicchio’s rich talents and deep experience.  I’m particularly enthusiastic about her past work with youth-focused arts, since my father’s legacy is rooted in appealing to ‘the child in all of us’.”

At The Children’s Theater Company (2007-2011), Ms. Calicchio helmed this prominent theater for young people through current economic challenges, made the Company financially solid through a new emphasis on major gifts, and enhanced its programmatic excellence.

While at the Marin Theatre Company (2001-2007), Ms. Calicchio directed a successful post-9/11 fiscal turnaround, and developed the fiscal and administrative support for its expanding new-play and public outreach programs. Most notably, Ms. Calicchio developed and funded partnerships within the underserved communities of Marin City and the Canal District of San Rafael, CA, with innovative programming including playwright Marisela Treviño Orta’s work with Latino teens to write their own bilingual plays as well as the commission and performance of a new Orta play inspired by raids by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that had targeted the area’s Latino communities.

“I’m honored to lead The Walt Disney Family Museum, an amazing institution that showcases the genius of Walt Disney’s original vision,” said Ms. Calicchio. “I am eager to work with the board, staff and volunteers to expand the Museum’s influence and make it relevant and inspirational to the diverse San Francisco Bay Area and a must-see destination for visitors.”

Ms. Calicchio’s appointment follows an extensive nationwide search conducted by Museum Management Consultants, Inc. of San Francisco.  Ms. Calicchio succeeds Richard Benefield.


The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a 14 foot model of Disneyland and much more.

10am to 6pm, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays, January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25.

$20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for children ages 6 to 17; Admission is free for members.

104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129