Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Native American Culture is Thriving in Maine

“Are there really Native Americans living in Maine today?”

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from our visitors.

Of the more than five million Native people living in the U.S., approximately 10,000 call Maine home. Most are Wabanaki—a confederacy of Nations that today consists of the four federally recognized tribes in Maine: Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet. The Wabanaki also includes several bands of the Abenaki tribe, located primarily in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Quebec.

Education changes everything. And at the Abbe Museum, in Bar Harbor, Maine, education is at the center of what we do—every single day. Our 30,000 guests experience a different kind of engagement that includes aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual exploration and meaning-making. They leave the Museum knowing that Native American culture is thriving in Maine.  

Your support is the only way we can accomplish all that we do.

Your support this spring will help change lives by providing cultural experiences that inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations. For as little as $30, you can directly impact our ability to offer life-changing experiences!

From all of us at the Abbe Museum, thank you for believing in what we do!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May is Member Appreciation Month at the Abbe!

This May, we celebrate your support as a member with month-long perks when you present your current membership card.

  • 15-25% discount on Museum Shop purchases May 9th - 13th (restrictions apply)
  • Receive a $10 discount on all gift membership purchases
  • Visit either of our locations (downtown Bar Harbor or Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park) for an exciting opportunity to enter a members-only drawing for two tickets to the Abbe Backyard Bash on September 10, 2016
  • Use the hashtag #AbbeMember on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for a chance to win a Wabanaki made basket from our gift shop
  • Relax in the members-only lounge and enjoy free WiFi and light refreshments
  • Bring along friends and family to enjoy reduced Abbe admission tickets: $3 for adults and $2 for children (max of four tickets total for the entire month)
  • Enjoy a member appreciation Wabanaki Placenames Tour on Friday, May 20th at 2pm. This walking tour of Bar Harbor will visit places that are significant to Wabanaki history and culture, and will include information on local Wabanaki placenames, traditional songs, and creation stories.
Not a member? Sign up or renew online today!

Your generous support enables the Museum to present outstanding exhibitions, preserve our permanent collections, and provide enriching programs for our community – we love our members!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Education Changes Everything

Have you ever had a learning experience completely change your life? 

Education changes everything. And at the Abbe Museum, education is at the center of what we do, every single day. Your support has helped us change the way our guests visit the Museum. Take twelve-year-old Clara's experience, for example:
"I went home and told my parents about everything I learned during my school's field trip to the Museum. The cool part was that they didn't know a lot about the Wabanaki people, and in a way, I became the teacher. Kids my age really need to learn the truth about Native Americans. I know I will never forget that day at the Abbe."
Thanks to our supporters, the 3,000 students who visit the Museum experience a different kind of engagement that includes aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual exploration and meaning-making. They leave the Abbe knowing that Native culture is thriving in Maine. In 2015, we delivered 105 programs at the Abbe and 82 programs outside the Museum, influencing 6,677 individuals. We collaborated with Acadia National Park and presented 13 programs that drew a total of 3,191 visitors.

Your support is the only way we can accomplish all that we do.

Your support this spring will help change lives by providing cultural experiences that inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations. For as little as $30, you can directly impact our ability to offer life-changing experiences to more people like Clara.

From all of us at the Abbe Museum, thank you for believing in what we do!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Campfire Storytelling with George Neptune, Passamaquoddy

Storytelling is an important part of Wabanaki culture, as stories are used to pass on the knowledge of Wabanaki traditions, history, and worldview to the next generation. Join us on Saturday, April 23rd from 7 - 8:30 pm for an evening around the campfire and listen to stories from across the Dawnland. With s’mores and hot beverages, this is a unique and intimate experience open to all ages. Please note that the terrain of the location is uneven and rocky in spots, so may not be suitable for some audience members. 

Cost: $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Children under 10 are free. To buy tickets, please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519. Tickets will not be available for purchase the evening of the event. 

Location: Private residence at 156 Indian Point Road, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wabanaki Artists from Maine Take Top Spots at Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

Sarah Sockbeson's winning baskets.
Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, won Best of Division in Traditional Baskets and Best of Class in Baskets at the 58th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, which draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists. George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, won first place in Non-Traditional Basketry and Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, won Best in Classification in Junior Division-Baskets.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Wabanaki artist,” said Neptune, an educator at the Abbe Museum. “For several years now, we've been traveling west to the biggest Indian art markets in the world and claiming top prizes in the basketry divisions at every market. This year, I won my first blue ribbon at the Heard Museum and I was beyond excited to have won with a piece that is so representative of my style as an artist. I hope it will inspire other Wabanaki people, especially youth, to take pride in our culture and practice our traditions—because when you do, beautiful things happen.”
Sockbeson apprenticed with Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, in 2004 and learned the history, techniques, and art that has become modern Native basketry. Soon thereafter, museums and collectors across the country began to recognize her incredible talent. Her unique style incorporates many different elements of traditional Wabanaki technique and she combines that with innovative colors to create a fresh, new approach to a timeless and beautiful art form.

George Neptune's winning basket.
Neptune has been making baskets since he was four years old. At the age of seven, he wove his first basket by himself and has continued weaving through the years, fine-tuning his skills and attention to detail. His baskets now take on a sculptural element that is unique to his style, often featuring woven flowers, the signature of his family’s work. Twigs, woven birds, and other creatures are also used to create baskets that are truly one of a kind. At twenty years old, he was awarded the title of Master Basketmaker by the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, making him the youngest person to ever receive the title.
“It made me feel really good to win Best of Classification, and it made me feel like I can do a lot better and go further with my basket career,” said 12-year-old Soctomah. “My friends were really surprised how far you can go with making baskets, and where you can go. They all congratulated me when I got home. I'm really excited to go to Santa Fe Indian Market this summer and hopefully back to the Heard next year.”
Soctomah is one of the youngest basketmakers in the Wabanaki tribes and began weaving with her brother, George Neptune, at five years old. Now her brother's formal apprentice, Soctomah has already received national recognition for her work. At nine years old, she was one of the 2013 recipients of the SWAIA Youth Fellowship and was featured in Native Peoples Magazine. In 2015, Soctomah was one of the first artists to receive an Abbe Museum Wabanaki Artist Fellowship.

Emma Soctomah posting with her winning basket.

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend the fair were Abbe Museum Trustees Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot and David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy, Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, Gal Tomah, Passamaquoddy, and Theresa Secord, Penobscot. A complete list of winners can be found at http://heard.org/event/fair-2016/

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Abbe Museum Free Admission Program to Continue in 2016

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program.
The Abbe Museum will continue to offer free admission in 2016, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free on select days throughout the summer and fall, as well as from November through December.
“For the past 24 years, Machias Savings Bank has been an incredibly generous supporter of the Abbe Museum,” said Abbe President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Thanks to their support, our free admission program during the 2015 winter months made a substantial impact on the Maine community. Not only did our visitor numbers dramatically increase—from approximately 900 in 2014 to 1,100 in 2015—we also received verbal and written comments from guests about how pleased they were to be able to visit the Museum for free during the quieter months.”
As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe’s free admission program aligns nicely with the Smithsonian’s goal of being easily accessible to the public, and it helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. In 2016, the Abbe will be open free to the public on the following dates:
  • Opening day (May 1)
  • Memorial Day (May 30)
  • July 4th 
  • Labor Day (September 5)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 10)
  • Winter of 2016 (Thursdays-Saturdays in November and December)
The Abbe anticipates a lot more traffic in 2016 due in part to the opening of their new core exhibit and it being Acadia’s centennial year. Offering free admission on key dates will give visitors something the Museum has never actually done before: free admittance on high profile, popular holidays.
“We at Machias Savings Bank are once again honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission to all that the Museum has to offer,” said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "And especially with the installation of the new core exhibit, People of the First Light, I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”
The Abbe is currently closed through the end of April 2016 while its new core exhibit is designed and installed in the Museum’s main gallery. The exhibit, People of the First Light, is the first large-scale permanent exhibit of its kind for the Abbe.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce 2016 Fellowship Program

The Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC are pleased to announce the second annual Fellowship program, designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities. Three fellowships will be awarded to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. The submission deadline is midnight on April 15, 2016.
“In our efforts to foster and promote contemporary Wabanaki art in both a regional and national context, these fellowships are designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko.
Two fellowships will be awarded to artists attending the 2016 Southwestern Association for Indian Art’s Santa Fe Indian Market, and one shall be awarded to an artist attending one or more of the four annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance shows:

  • Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market in Bar Harbor - July 9, 2016
  • Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration in New Gloucester – August 27, 2016
  • Common Ground Country Fair in Unity - September 23-25, 2016
  • Maine Indian Basketmakers Holiday Market in Orono - December 10, 2016
All applicants must provide proof of acceptance or eligibility to participate in the markets for the 2016 year. Each applicant is also expected to attend the Abbe’s Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016, to offer a demonstration and meet the donors (travel accommodations will be provided). In addition, they will provide a closing report by no later than December 15, 2016. Ten percent of the grant award will be held until this report is filed.

Visit www.abbemuseum.org/shop for eligibility details, including an application. Fellowship applications received before the deadline of April 15, 2016, at midnight will be added to the pool of applicants. The application will be entered into a lottery system where eligible applications will be pulled randomly from the pool. Award notification will be made on or before May 1, 2016.

About Dawnland, LLC
Dawnland, LLC operates the Jordan Pond House restaurant, including the traditional tea and popovers on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond and the Bubbles, and retail services at Jordan Pond House, Cadillac Mountain, and Thunder Hole. Dawnland's parent company, Ortega National Parks, LLC, has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and over 16 years' experience operating concessions in the National Park Service, including at Bandelier National Monument, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, Death Valley and Gateway National Recreation Area.