In 2011, the California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA) took the bold step to enhance its mission and change its name. While our name has changed, we continue to provide the same high quality affordable exhibitions, and now offer a wider variety of products and services and additional ways for exhibition host venues and supporters to get involved.
CERA, now Exhibit Envoy, began in 1988 as the Rural Museums Consortium, a program of the California Council for the Humanities. The consortium’s founding mission was to serve the needs of small museums that did not have the capacity to develop in-house temporary exhibitions and could not afford to rent them from large traveling exhibition companies.
Over the years, the demand for our services increased, and in 2002, we became an independent 501(c)(3). As a nonprofit, we enjoy major funding from California foundations that recognize the contribution we make to the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state.
During the past two decades, more than one million visitors at community museums across California have enjoyed and learned from our traveling exhibitions. These exhibitions tell the stories of our state’s cultural heritage, its immigrations and emigrations, and its unique place in Western and US history and in the world.
Our exhibitions chronicle movements in art, showcase well-known and soon-to-be-discovered artists, and reflect cultural traditions that span eras and continents. These exhibitions bring extinct species to life, trace environmental histories, and contribute to greater discussions about land use, water policy, and agricultural practices. For nearly 25 years, our traveling exhibitions have been a window into the soul and soil of California.
From our first three exhibitions in the late 1980s to the current line up of more than a dozen traveling shows, Exhibit Envoy maintains the highest standards in exhibition content, design and fabrication, and host services.
When you schedule an exhibition, you receive a complete package: a ready-to-install product, scheduling and logistics management, full press materials, public program access, interpretive and gallery materials, and the commitment of our staff Envoys to help you in any way needed to ensure a successful booking and public experience.
We have partnered with many institutions including the Smithsonian, Oakland Museum of California, California Historical Society, Grace Hudson Museum, Marin Museum of the American Indian, Bancroft Library, and Heyday Books as well as independent curators, historians, artists, culture bearers, and scholars to bring more than 40 exhibitions to a statewide audience. Beginning in 1988 with “Official Images: New Deal Photography,” the content of our exhibitions has encompassed all disciplines from art to zoology.
Exhibit Envoy exhibitions have explored such topics as agriculture, immigration, and woman’s suffrage. The works of Ansel Adams, Rondal Partridge, and Jose Guadalupe Posada have been featured in single artist shows, while the work of multiple artists has selected to examine such themes as Native art, labor history, and homelessness.
Natural history themed exhibitions have focused on the Salton Sea, Colorado River water use, birdlife, and the grizzly bear. Some of our most successful exhibitions have focused on California history and culture. Gold Fever! Untold Stories of the California Gold Rush is in its 13th year of touring.
New exhibitions are offered each year and represent a collaborative effort with our partners and a deep commitment from our funders. Now, with expanded services and a wider variety of exhibition topics, we can better serve those institutions that have come to rely on us as well as more effectively welcome new members and participants.
Exhibit Envoy looks forward to our continued contribution to California’s cultural landscape.
For more, please view our 20th Anniversary Report.