Cathy A. Burton

Independent educator and consultant

Cathy Burton was the Beeler Family Director of Education at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art from 1997 until early 2016. The museum’s mission statement is to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and indigenous peoples of North America. 

Cathy is an advocate for the accurate, meaningful, and respectful cultural representation of others. In her role as Director of Education, Cathy was a resource for content and visitor-centered experiences in museum environments, working to break down barriers visitors might have to enjoying a museum. She most enjoys projects that bring people together with collections and where audiences can meet people from different indigenous nations.

The education department, which includes the museum library, is responsible for providing guided tours, programs, and resources to K-university audiences. Publications have included PRIME curricula (Primary Resources Inspire Multicultural Education.)

Cathy also served on the Acquisition Committee for permanent collections. 

Cathy received her MA in Cultural Anthropology from California State University, Chico, and her BA in Art/Art History from CSU Northridge. She has worked in Collections Management, Curatorial and/or Museum Education while at the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, the Autry National Center, Los Angeles, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana. These experiences and others provided an opportunity to gain subject expertise directly from contemporary sources and build a good foundation for knowing when to seek additional information and advice.

Cathy Burton’s continued areas of applied research and interests:

  • Building cultural, visual, and museum  literacy in museum audiences
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and the cognitive research of Visual Understanding in Education
  • Creating opportunities for educators to obtain cultural competency and skillfully question the use of visual, performance, and/or written symbols, language, and objects by others that inaccurately portray another individual or group
  • Champion the sovereignty and rights of people to be recognized as self-identified by state and federal governments
  • Visual arts opportunities in museums for all learning styles and abilities.
  • Experiments in twined weaving and gourd art