A Message From Our President

Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga
NHMLAC President and Director

lori bettison-varga in nature gardens

 Dear Members,

I hope you and your family are safe, healthy and well.

The early days of 2021 have been deeply disturbing and profoundly disheartening, from the continued devastation of COVID-19 to the insurrection on January 6 at our nation’s Capitol.  As a museum of science, nature, culture and history, we know that this moment in time will be studied for years to come. We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that the lessons from these events are woven into the fabric of who we are, both internally and externally, ensuring that we are truly serving all Angelenos and broader national and international audiences, while also embracing the urgency of addressing issues of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion within our own museum community.

The past year has, of course, presented so many challenges for us as individuals and as a community. We must again summon the strength to find peaceful common ground as we address these latest and unprecedented circumstances. It’s encouraging that L.A. County has begun its distribution of critically important vaccinations.

We are very much hoping to be able to reopen our museums this spring so that we can welcome you, our most dedicated supporters and museum fans. We want to welcome you back to the Nature Gardens in full bloom, the Butterfly Pavilion in full flight and our indoor galleries with exhibitions that have yet to be viewed such as Rise Up L.A.: A Century of Votes for Women and Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A. We miss you!!

We are grateful for your dedication, patience and continuing support during the pandemic, which has allowed us to truly be museums of, for, and with Los Angeles. We are encouraged by the response we have had to our new slate of digital programs and virtual educational outreach, and are learning from our inspiring collaborators, our staff, partners, and communities every day, even if at a distance. That spirit is evidenced in the Naturalist, where you will read about the innovative and inspiring work that our educators, exhibitions staff, and scientific and cultural researchers have undertaken during this challenging time. We are looking forward to welcoming you back onsite at our three museums, where we are looking to brighter days ahead, and a happy new year for us all.


NHMLAC President and Director Lori Bettison-Varga signature small