SJMA Welcomes Melanie Samay as New Director of Marketing

Release date 
Monday, July 23, 2018

Photo by Gary Sexton Photography.

SAN JOSÉ, California (July 23, 2018) — The San José Museum of Art has appointed Melanie Samay as director of marketing and communications. Samay comes from The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) where she was the interim director of marketing and communications and oversaw The CJM’s marketing team, public relations strategy, and advertising campaigns. During her nine years at The CJM, Samay helped build community partnerships, refined the museum’s voice across platforms, and developed and implemented external communication strategies. Samay began her role at SJMA on July 16.

“Melanie is perfect for SJMA,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director at SJMA. “What drew us to Melanie was how she strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, both cross-departmentally and externally. Perhaps one of her most important works was founding the Museums with Pride contingency that has marched annually at the San Francisco Pride Parade since 2012.”

“San José Museum of Art’s dedication to connecting art and life, working across cultural boundaries, and promoting a deeper awareness and enjoyment of art is something I look forward to championing,” said Samay. “The Museum’s upcoming fiftieth anniversary and corresponding innovative exhibitions and publication will spark impactful conversations and provide new learning opportunities for audiences of all ages. I feel fortunate to join the staff at such a pivotal moment at SJMA.”

Samay attended Fordham University, Rose Hill, in New York, where she received her BA in literature with a minor in philosophy. She went on to earn her MA in literature from San Francisco State University.

Samay succeeds outgoing director of marketing Sherrill Ingalls, who is relocating to Southern California in August.


The San José Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time. SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for youth ages 7 – 18. Members and children ages 6 and under are admitted free. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit

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Programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José, and the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation.