Chumash Museum & Cultural Center


Project Overview

After more than a decade of planning, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will break ground on a long-awaited museum and cultural center in November on 6.9 acres adjacent to Highway 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Under the guidance of Steve Davis, with Summit Project Management of Culver City, Kahn said the museum's advisory team has been served well.

According to the Museum Advisory Committee, almost half of the acreage will include a two-story, 14,000 square-foot Welcome House, where visitors will begin their museum tour. And symbolically, a series of five houses, The Heritage House, Traditional Tule House, Samala Language House, and a Tomol House, will form a village.

The curated museum layout and programming will aim to most effectively -- and authentically -- tell the Chumash story. Retails shops will be built in a second-phase in a few years, according to Arnold.

Adjacent to the museum will be a 3.5-acre cultural park that features an amphitheater for storytelling. The museum's landscaping will feature traditional foliage that was gathered for food, medicine and for the making of items used in everyday life.

The museum is seeking to become one of the first LEED-certified tribal museums in the United States, featuring high-efficiency systems to protect the tribe's artifact collection, locally sourced materials -- like stone from the Santa Ynez River, and landscape irrigation that uses recycled water.