Kristina D. Palmer takes on role of chief development officer at the Columbia Museum of Art

July 7, 2021

Philly fundraiser brings her talents to Columbia

The Columbia Museum of Art announces that Kristina D. Palmer has accepted the position of chief development officer at the museum. She joined the CMA team as senior development officer in November 2020; in her new position, Palmer oversees the CMA development department, managing all fundraising efforts in order to both sustain and increase individual and institutional support for the museum.

“I could not be happier to recruit Kristina to the team,” says CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. “Kristina has a passion to help arts and culture flourish, and she smartly networks, strategically plans, and confidently communicates. We are thrilled to have her here at the CMA.”

Palmer is an accomplished fundraising professional and strategist with over 20 years of progressive nonprofit leadership experience and a strong passion for arts and cultural institutions. With a keen understanding of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, Palmer helps organizations thrive by fostering strategic partnerships and a culture of transparency. Her areas of expertise include major gifts, annual giving campaigns, special events, corporate and foundation relations, and board development. Palmer’s fundraising acumen has proven successful in raising and managing annual funding goals exceeding $20 million.

Throughout her career, Palmer has served in various roles including director of development, director of individual gifts, major gifts officer, and chief advancement officer. Prior to her role at the CMA, her fundraising expertise was vital to the success of the famed Apollo Theater in New York City, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and the National Park Foundation.

Palmer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s first and oldest historically Black sorority. A champion of lifelong learning and professional development, she prioritizes strengthening her skill set and expanding her knowledge via participation in programming by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Always aware of the story behind the art and its historical significance, Palmer collects paintings and functional art pieces, particularly by African American artists. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, gardening, and attending theater and concerts in her spare time. A proud Philadelphian, Palmer, like many Philadelphia residents, is an avid fan of her hometown teams.

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About the CMA   

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, and an entrance on Main Street. Overall, more than 20,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit