We look forward to seeing you at the Museum!
Laura Rafaty is an experienced nonprofit arts leader, producer and writer, and also brings decades of both nonprofit and for-profit business and legal experience to her position as Executive Director. A veteran of local nonprofits including the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Friends of the Cameo Cinema, and the Napa Valley Opera House, as well as nonprofits in New York and Palo Alto, she is a Tony-nominated theatrical producer and the founder of the theatrical nonprofit: NapaShakes. Her “Up the Valley” column is well-remembered, and its humor can be found in her text for our “Dangerous Games” exhibition. Laura lives in Saint Helena with two Tibetan Spaniels, is notorious for emailing the staff at all hours, and can usually be spotted at museum events with a signature glass of Scotch in her hand.
Christine Lilienthal, our Operations Manager, is a seasoned pro with decades of operational and marketing experience in Napa Valley’s wine industry, most recently at Peju. Christine joined the team in late 2021 to lead all operations for the Museum, bringing a delightful combination of business discipline, friendly attitude, and silly sense of humor to the task of managing the museum’s (mostly) marvelous mayhem. She is a passionate lover of the arts and a champion of nonprofits – including the Waggin’ Trails Rescue Foundation, for which she helped organize the 2021 Wag N Wine holiday fundraiser. A resident of Yountville, she lives with her husband and three dogs, enjoys gardening, time with family and friends, great food and wine (come on, she lives in Yountville!) and can even walk to work. Stop by and say welcome to Christine when you are next at the Museum.
Finance & Administrative Manager
Amanda Leopold, Finance Administrator, brings a deep background in finance, accounting and administration, plus a passion for the arts, to her position running the Museum’s finance and administrative functions. Amanda lives in Napa with her husband (who visited the museum and pitched his wife for the job – for which we will always be grateful!), and she has been working as a bookkeeper and financial administrator for a variety of businesses including most recently Joseph Phelps Winery. She loves to travel, dislikes eating beets, and enjoys singing along to Bill Joel’s “Piano Man.” Amanda started working a few days before the Museum shut down for a pandemic, and has since become a veteran member of the team.
Jonathan “JON” Fetzer
Museum Gallery & Store Manager
Jonathan “JON” Fetzer leads our gallery team as Museum Gallery & Store Manager. JON is a multi-disciplinary visual artist. musician and producer who received his B.A. in Music Industry Business. A local guy who attended New Tech High, he has worked in several talent agencies as well as a Box Office and House Manager for the Blue Note in Napa. As a musician, he has worked at many festivals and events, and his work earned a feature in the Napa Register. He recently garnered even more fans at SXSW Online tonight – the virtual version of this prestigious and popular festival. Please come say Hi to JON at our front desk when you next visit our galleries and our Museum Store.
Kathleen Stewart, Collections Registrar, brings with her a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Printmaking as well as a minor in Art History and Museum Studies from Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon. Kathleen says it best: “Combining a lifelong love and appreciation Fine Art, History, Science, and Museums prepares me well for the research, preservation, and care of artifacts. Working as a printmaker for several years in Oregon, making copper plate etchings, gives me an understanding of the craft of art disciplines. I look forward to continuing working in Collections as a Registrar as I have been volunteering in Collections and the Gallery for the past several years.”
Gone, but not forgotten.
Tom Ewing was our much-cherished Facilities Manager, who kept things running smoothly, particularly our pesky pond pump, on which he lavished much attention. He was himself a gifted artist and photographer, but was mechanically minded such that he could repair practically anything at the Museum. He also collected and restored vintage trucks – you may have seen him around town driving his 1948 F1 Ford. Tom lived nearby in Yountville. He retired from us in 2021 and passed away on December 16, 2021.