Social Change Agent Kafi Blumenfield Tapped to Lead Discovery Cube Los Angeles
Twenty-year champion of civic engagement is new executive director of hands-on science museum opening Nov. 13
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 21, 2014) – The newly formed entity Discovery Science Foundation (DSF) has tapped a 20-year, nonprofit leader and community advocate to direct Discovery Cube Los Angeles (DCLA), a hands-on science-based educational museum opening Nov. 13 in L.A’s San Fernando Valley.
Kafi D. Blumenfield, most recently the president and CEO of Los Angeles’ Liberty Hill Foundation, is the new executive director of the state-of-the-art museum being built on the former site of the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area. Blumenfield will be responsible for growing the 2.5-acre campus to meet the needs of Los Angeles, and specifically San Fernando Valley residents while fostering public appreciation and support for the 71,000 square feet of exhibits and programs as part of DSF’s ongoing commitment to encouraging science-based education in Southern California.
Discovery Cube Los Angeles, a sister campus of the popular Discover Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, Calif., will offer a best-in-class collection of technically advanced exhibits, displays, programs and learning spaces unique to Los Angeles and inspired by the 25-year success of the original, Santa Ana, Calif., museum. Highlights of the two-story building in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood will range from a simulated helicopter flyover of California’s natural resources to a planetary research station, interactive park science exhibits and immersive grocery story experience.
“As an Angelino, San Fernando Valley resident and mother, I’m excited about the impact Discovery Cube LA will make,” said Blumenfield. “Some of our country’s greatest technological advances have been developed, nurtured or manufactured in Los Angeles, specifically in the Valley. Discovery Cube LA will inspire the next generation of innovators to love science, technology, engineering and math.”
During her six-year tenure at Liberty Hill Foundation, Blumenfield created a number of programs designed to train and elevate new community leaders, including Brothers, Sons, Selves and the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change. Other programs enacted under her watch increased the organization’s donor diversity in philanthropy and refocused nearly $5 million in annual grant investments.
Prior to joining Liberty Hill, she was deputy director of Neighbor to Neighbor, a national organization dedicated to grassroots political empowerment of working families. She was also director of programs for the Fair Housing Council of the San Gabriel Valley, and worked with the National Resources Defense Council on various urban air pollution and environmental justice issues.
“We’ve had our sights set on Kafi, and are thrilled she has agreed to partner with us to be the community face of Discovery Cube in LA,” explained Joe Adams, CEO of the Discovery Science Foundation. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that there is no better qualified or connected individual in Southern California to lead L.A.’s newest educational destination – and the first major museum in the San Fernando Valley. She perfectly embodies our commitment to community and personal empowerment through education, science and discovery.”
Blumenfield will call upon her fundraising and coalition-building experience to develop new audiences for Discovery Cube Los Angeles and, in turn, work closely with the DSF to ensure an inclusive, relevant and always-expanding exhibit and program mix. This will mean building upon existing DSF alliances with schools, nonprofits and public agencies in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
She is a Speaker appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and serves on the boards of Tides, ARC, Southern California Grantmakers and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project in Los Angeles. She is on the advisory board of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation and the selection committee for the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards.
Blumenfield holds a law degree from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College. She lives in Woodland Hills with her husband and two children.
Blumenfield will be supported by a ten-person board of directors which includes Adams; Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Sports; Bruce Corwin, Chairman, Metropolitan Theatres; Melanie Coto, President, Coto Foundation; The Honorable Wendy Greuel, Community Leader; Tim McCallion, President, Western Region of Verizon; Sukeshi “Casey” O’Neal, President, Kokoro Exhibits; The Honorable Alex Padilla, California State Senate; Pedram Salimpour, MD, President of Los Angeles County Medical Association; and, Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles.
About Discovery Science Foundation:
The Discovery Science Foundation serves as the program-development, marketing and fundraising arm for hands-on science learning museums in Orange County and Los Angeles. Established in 1989, the original non-profit Taco Bell Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana, now renamed Discovery Cube Orange County, presented by Taco Bell, continues to inspire and educate millions of young minds through engaging science based programs and exhibits. In 2012, the Center was named one of the ten “Most Trusted Brands” in Orange County and in 2013 was awarded the National Medal of Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
In November 2014, Discovery Cube Los Angeles, a second museum offering an exhibit and program mix unique to Los Angeles, will open in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area of the San Fernando Valley. For more information, call (866) 552-CUBE (2823) or visit www.discoverycube.org.