Home > About > History


From one school and 2,000 students to 20 schools and 20,000 students, CCMM has been enriching students’ cross-cultural educational experiences since 1995.



donateYour tax-deductible donation helps students see the world…without a passport.Every donation helps provide an unparalleled cross-cultural experience, inspiring students to explore diversity and discover similarity.Help CCMM reach more students. Give Today >>


volunteerWant to be a part of the CCMM team? We’re looking for volunteers to help us install our exhibition, work with students, and more.

If you are a retired teacher, librarian, or just someone with a passion for world culture, get in touch to see how you can get involved.
Get Involved >>


register2Interested in having CCMM bring a collection to your school?

Learn more about how we can bring this unique cross-cultural experience to your students. Please be aware that we do our best to work with as many schools as possible.

Bring Us To Your School >>

Just wanted to let you know how important your work is and how grateful we are to have you bring Connecting Cultures to Palms Middle School. Every year we all look forward to see how you transform our library and listen to your stories. You capture everyone’s imagination with each presentation. Thank you again for such a worthwhile program!
– Bonnie Murrow, Principal,
Palms Middle School

A long history working with LA-area schools

Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum has a long history of working with Los Angeles-area schools, having started at Palms Middle School in West Los Angeles in 1995 and expanding to 24 schools by 2015. Since then, CCMM has enriched the cross-cultural education of more than 100,000 student visitors.

The “Wonders of the World” becomes bigger

history3“Wonders of the World,” as the program was known at its first school, offered students a glimpse of the wider world with an exhibition of objects loaned by students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members, supplemented by the personal collection of CCMM’s founder, Valerie Lezin. Students were able to make connections between their classmates’ backgrounds and experiences.

The annual exhibition was divided into three discrete thematic rotating presentations, each focusing on a different collection of related artifacts. This arrangement ensured that students would see different exhibitions each of their three years of middle school.


CCMM continues to grow

In 2000, CCMM introduced the program to Mark Twain Middle School. Through the recommendations of administrators, teachers, librarians, parents, and students, CCMM quickly expanded operations into additional schools, primarily middle, throughout the Los Angeles-area, and became what is now “Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum.”

One of the strongest testaments to the quality of CCMM’s programs is that our expansion has happened exclusively through word of mouth. Antonia Pierola, upon moving as a teacher at Orville Wright Middle School to an assistant principal at Bethune Middle School sent this in an email to CCMM:

I’ve seen your exhibit three years in a row at Wright Middle School. Now that I’m working at Bethune MS, where students have less opportunities to visit museums, your exhibit would be great…I hope we can make your exhibit possible at Bethune.

Because of its committed personnel, volunteers, and participants, CCMM is scheduled to visit 20 schools in the 2014-2015 school year. We are excited to be widening the world view of more than 20,000 students.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

history_3Until 2011, CCMM was exclusively funded by the Donald A. Goldman and Valerie Lezin Family Foundation. Now incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CCMM is seeking public and foundation support to achieve its goal of reaching even more students with its unique cross-cultural enrichment program.