Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

Elizabeth Woody to be New Executive Director of the Museum at Warm Springs


WARM SPRINGS, Ore. – The Museum at Warm Springs Board of Directors has appointed Elizabeth Woody as executive director. Woody will succeed Carol Leone, who has ably served the museum since 2002 and is retiring as of November 30, 2018. Woody will begin her post on December 1, 2018.

Elizabeth Woody

Elizabeth Woody (Warm Springs/Navajo/Yakama). Photo: Native Arts & Cultures Foundation.

Woody has a long history with the Museum at Warm Springs. She was one of the Warm Springs tribal citizens who accompanied a team of tribal museum professionals to Santa Fe, to meet with renowned sculptor Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1914–1994) prior to the museum’s opening in 1993. Most recently, she has been serving as a project manager for the 25th year anniversary events, fundraising, and development consultant to the museum.

Woody is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She is of Yakama Nation descent and is “born for” the Tódích’íinii (Bitter Water clan) of the Navajo Nation. Her paternal grandfather’s clan is Mą‘ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass – Jemez clan). A renowned poet, author, essayist, and visual artist, Woody is also an educator, mentor, collaborator, and community leader. Woody earned a master of public administration degree through the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government’s Executive Leadership Institute of Portland State University, a bachelor of arts degree in humanities from Evergreen State College, and studied creative writing and two-dimensional arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe. She received numerous awards, including the American Book Award (1990), William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry (1995) and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards (1995). Woody has written three books of poetry. In 2016, she became the first Native American to be named Oregon’s Poet Laureate. In 2018, Woody received a National Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Woody has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Portland State University. She is an alumna of the first Kellogg Foundation’s Fellowship through Americans for Indian Opportunity’s Ambassadors program. She has led writing workshops, lectures and has served on multi-disciplinary art fellowship jury panels for several foundations and arts organizations nationally. Woody is presently on the Board of Directors of Soapstone: Celebrating Women Writers, and Willamette University Advisory Council for Native Programs, Salem, Oregon.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Museum at Warm Springs, we are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Woody as executive director as we celebrate the museum’s 25th anniversary,” said museum board of directors president Douglas Goe. “We are confident that Elizabeth’s familiarity with the museum and its current needs and goals, her strong fundraising and leadership skills, and her love of the history, arts, and culture of the Warm Springs people will serve her extremely well in her post.”

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 8 p.m., Oregon Public Broadcasting’s series Oregon Art Beat will feature Woody and her recent appointment as Oregon’s eighth poet laureate. For a preview of the program and to find local listings visit

About The Museum at Warm Springs and the 25th Anniversary

On March 14, 1993, the Museum of Warm Springs opened its doors as a living repository and center to perpetuate the culture and heritage of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Its mission is to preserve, advance and share knowledge of the cultural, traditional and artistic heritage of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. This year The Museum is celebrating 25 years as a community treasure and key cultural resource. The Museum’s 25th Anniversary will include a Treaty Conference, which will focus on the 1855 Middle Oregon Treaty that established the Warm Spring Reservation. The conference is taking place at The Museum (Highway 26 in Warm Springs) Thursday, October 25 through Saturday, October 27, 2018. For more information about the Treaty Conference and to register, visit or

For more information about The Museum at Warm Springs, go to

Past Executive Directors of The Museum at Warm Springs

  • Dr. Duane King (1987–1990)
  • Michael Templeton, Acting Director (1990–1991)
  • Michael Hammond (1991–1999)
  • Mary Ellen Conaway (2000–2001)
  • Carol Leone (2002–2018)

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