Come volunteer at the 2018 Native American Festival

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On July 7th, from 10 am to 4 pm the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate its 25th year! The festival is an opportunity to meet and mingle with local Native artists and see their amazing work, all while learning about contemporary Wabanaki art and culture. And in order to make it happen, we could use your help! This year your support is especially important because the Festival is moving into downtown Bar Harbor and taking over the Abbe Museum backyard. Exciting changes lead to more volunteer opportunities, so be sure to read on to see this year’s needs – just a few hours of your time will have a big impact.

If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Jill Sawyer at 207-288-3519 or jill@abbemuseum.org. We can't wait to work with you!


SPECIFIC TIME COMMITMENT

SET UP & BREAKDOWN (THURSDAY, JULY 5: 2 PM; SATURDAY, JULY 7: 4 PM)
Volunteers assisting with Set Up and Breakdown will be on hand to transform the backyard into the Native American Festival...and back again. There are 2 opportunities to help -- set up will be taking place the day before the event on Friday, July 6 and breakdown will be directly after the festival closes on Saturday, July 7 at 4 pm.

ARTIST SET UP ASSISTANTS (SATURDAY, JULY 7: 7 AM)
Once the event is set up it is time for the artists to come in and make it come alive. We could use a handful of people to help artists get settled and assist in their booth set up. Set up will begin at 7 am on Saturday, July 7 and end at 10 am.


HALF/FULL DAY OPPORTUNITIES

GREETERS (TWO SHIFTS: 10 AM – 1 PM; 1 – 4 PM)
Stationed at an entrance to the backyard, Greeters will be responsible for orienting visitors, answering questions, and potentially taking donations. It’s a fun and easy way to help out, all while meeting new people and enjoying the beautiful July weather.
**Must be comfortable handling cash.

ABBE BOOTH ATTENDANT (TWO SHIFTS: 10 AM - 1 PM; 1 - 4 PM)
At the Abbe Museum's information booth you will get to talk about all of the amazing things that are happening at the Museum, answer questions about the event, and even sell raffle tickets. It's a front row seat to the festival and a great way to meet interesting people.
**Must be comfortable handling cash. 

Join us at the Abbe Museum Indian Market!

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After this last storm, we bet you’re just as excited for spring as we are. And although there are a plethora of symbols to declare the arrival of warmer weather (from May flowers to baby animals), we would like to throw another into the mix: The Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM). This May the Abbe Museum is taking over Bar Harbor’s Village Green for a 3-day long celebration of Native art and artists! It's sure to be an exciting event, unlike anything else this area has seen before - and we could use your help!

As a volunteer you will get an inside look at this brand new initiative for the Museum, experiencing it in a way the average visitor will not. You'll meet cool people, be inspired by amazing artists, and learn about different Indigenous cultures from all over North America. All this while also supporting a great cause and giving back to your community.

Volunteer opportunities are listed below and we ask that interested volunteers commit to a half day of work on either Saturday or Sunday (with the exception being Set Up & Breakdown Volunteers and Models who will have a different schedule). If something catches your eye let our Associate Director of Advancement, Jill Sawyer, know by emailing jill@abbemuseum.org or calling 207-288-3519. Thank you in advance for your support, we are excited to work with you!


Half/Full Day Opportunities

GREETERS

Stationed at an entrance to the Village Green, Greeters will be responsible for orienting visitors to the event and will take turns doing walkthroughs to make sure visitors are having a great time. It’s a fun and easy way to help out, all while meeting new people and enjoying the beautiful May weather. 

ABBE BOOTH

Like Greeters, volunteers stationed at the Abbe Booth will be on hand to address visitor needs. This involves answering questions, chatting about other Abbe Museum initiatives, or selling t-shirts. If you get excited about giving directions or have a lot of opinions on where to get the best food in town, this may be a good fit for you!

PROGRAM ASSISTANTS

This category will be assigned to different parts of the event as the day progresses. From assisting with the set up of the Fashion Show to troubleshooting tech for performances, you will get an in-depth look at the ins and outs of making an event of this magnitude happen. 

ARTIST LIAISON

Assigned to a specific section of the event, this role will be responsible for making sure that the artists attending the Market are taken care of. This encompasses anything from handing out snacks, giving them breaks, or just chatting with them about their experience - a little bit of your time will have a big impact.


Specific Time Commitment 

SET UP & BREAKDOWN

Volunteers assisting with Set Up and Breakdown will be on hand to transform the Village Green into the Abbe Museum Indian Market...and back again. Kind of like a fairy godmother, but with tools instead of a magic wand! Set up will be taking place on Saturday morning, with breakdown occurring on Sunday afternoon. For more information or to learn more about the schedule please reach out to Jill (jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519.)

MODELS

Strut your stuff in some fabulous Native designed clothing and accessories! Models are needed for 2 events, both listed below. If you would like to participate, please reach out to Jill (jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519) for more information about the schedule and model requirements. 

Kick Off Event Models: Put on your best all-black outfit and come work the crowd in some beautiful Native made accessories at our Market Kick-Off Event, Friday, May 18th from 5 to 7 pm. 

Fashion Show Models: The AMIM Fashion Show will highlight Native fashion representing both couture and contemporary looks. Models will need to be available on May 19th from 11 am to 3 pm, with the show running from 1 to 2 pm.

*Please note that not all models being invited to participate in the show may get to walk the runway. 


Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Associate Director of Advancement. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.

Abbe Museum to Host First-Ever Kid’s Summer Camp

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The Abbe Museum is excited to announce the Abbe Museum Summer Camp, a children's day camp where highly-experienced museum staff and Wabanaki educators will oversee outdoor activities and educational opportunities for children ages 7-12. Scheduled for August 20-24, 2018, from 8 am – 3 pm, each day will be thematic with other camp activities mixed in to keep children active and engaged. 

“We’re excited to offer this one-of-a-kind learning experience that sparks the imagination while offering plenty of fun,” said the Abbe’s Curator of Education, Starr Kelly. “The Abbe is dedicated to an inclusive and active education in order to foster a lifelong passion for learning. Campers will get to be chefs, scientists, artists, botanists, storytellers, and explore the rich and exciting world of the Abbe Museum’s two locations.”

Throughout the week, segments will be dedicated to the pursuit of 12,000 years of history and culture in the Wabanaki homeland, allowing campers to work with the Museum’s educational collection as well as go on scavenger hunts and respond to art made by Wabanaki students.

One day will celebrate Wabanaki storytelling traditions with a storyteller who will share stories the way they were meant to be shared: orally and within a community of people. Each camper will have the opportunity to create their own story and represent it visually, and all of the stories will be shared on the Abbe’s social media platforms. 

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The Museum will delve into Wabanaki perspectives of science and environment by going on a hike inside Acadia National Park. Campers will learn to identify important plants that Wabanaki people harvest and use and will also learn about Indigenous foods of the Americas, participating in hands-on cooking experiences where they will even get to try some Native-inspired recipes. Campers will even get to produce and script their very own cooking segment. 

A day centered on the arts and the importance of traditions and expression will teach campers about traditional Wabanaki art forms, giving them the opportunity to make their very own masterpiece. They will get to handle items from the Museum’s collections as they learn more about the artists who made them. 

Camp runs from August 20- 24 from 8 am- 3 pm, mostly at the Museum’s downtown Bar Harbor location at 26 Mount Desert St. The cost to attend is $200 for the week and the extended day program until 5 pm is $88 for the full week or $22 per day. To apply, please visit www.abbemuseum.org/programs and fill out a registration form and return it by May 15, 2018. Space is limited.

Wabanaki Artists from Maine Win Big at Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

Geo Neptune's first place and Best of Class basket.

Geo Neptune's first place and Best of Class basket.

Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy, won first place and Best in Class in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, won second place in the same division at the 60th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market on March 3-4, 2018. First-time attendee Jennifer Pictou, Micmac, won Honorable Mention in Division X (personal attire). 

“This was my first experience at the Market and I was so nervous,” said Pictou. “All I really wanted was to make a good showing for my ancestors and let them know I am keeping our art forms alive. I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and pleased I was to win a ribbon for my beadwork. I’m truly humbled at the outcome and am grateful for the opportunity to show what a contemporary Mi’kmaq bead artist can do in a forum where there are so many fantastic and accomplished bead workers from many tribal nations.”
Jennifer Pictou's Honorable Mention winning clutch. 

Jennifer Pictou's Honorable Mention winning clutch. 

Pictou lives for the flash-in-the-moment art, and she likes to create art that makes people think. At the same time, her art is also rooted in deep traditional ways like storytelling and she takes inspiration from her ancestors’ visual work and combines elements from other eras in both Native and non-Native imagery. She celebrates her ancestral voices by using traditional tribal forms and creating something new.

Neptune is a Master Basketmaker, a Drag Queen, an activist, and an educator, and a 2017 Abbe Museum Fellow. As a two-spirit—an Indigenous cultural gender role that is a sacred blend of both male and female—they have begun using their art as a way to start a dialogue regarding gender identity and expression, sexuality and sexual orientation, and colonization as a way to combine their activism and art. Their winning basket, Apikcilu Binds the Sun, is their first Best of Class ribbon at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. 

Sarah Sockbeson's second place basket.

Sarah Sockbeson's second place basket.

In 2004, Sockbeson learned the history, techniques, and art that has become modern Native basketry. Today, she harvests and prepares all her own material from scratch. Making baskets requires a great deal of gathering and Sockbeson does all the prep work herself since she believes the selection process is an art unto itself. After she selects a brown ash tree, it is cut, the bark is then pounded continuously, split, gauged (cut), dyed, and woven. Her goal is to embrace the modern world, combine natural elements with bright innovative colors and original designs to create a fresh approach to a timeless art form. 

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend were Abbe Museum Trustee Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, Gal Frey, Passamaquoddy, 2017 Abbe Museum Fellow Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, and Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy. A complete list of artists can be found at http://heard.org/fair/the-fair/artists

The Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful Native artists. Abbe Museum Indian Market Producer Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, attended the Market to meet with artists about the Abbe Museum Indian Market coming up May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor. For more information, visit www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket.  

Sponsor an Art Kit and Inspire a Young Artist

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The Abbe Museum is gearing up for our 17th annual Waponahki Student Art Show, in collaboration with Maine Indian Education. This art show and artist reception always bring together a wonderful variety of art created by more than 50 Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac students from early childhood education through high school. All the artwork will be on display in the Abbe's Community Gallery for six months.

As an award for having their artwork selected for this fan-favorite show, each student receives an art supply kit consisting of a few items to feed their artistic passion - sketch pads, paints, paint brushes, charcoal, pencils, pencil holders - and a framed certificate.

The Abbe has been able to produce these popular kits through the support of Maine Indian Education and generous donations from community members like you. For just $25, you can sponsor one of these art supply kits, ensuring that each student receives an award for their creativity. We need at least 50 kits this year. 

Each sponsor will have a kit named in their honor, as well as receive an invitation to the Waponahki Student Art Show reception held in May, which is usually a private reception reserved for students and their friends and families. The exhibit opens to the public in early May.

Please join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. 100% of your gift will directly fund these student art supply kits. 

Thank you for inspiring a young artist! 

Abbe Museum Indian Market Kicks Off on May 18

More than 75 Native American artists and performers from 35 Nations across the U.S. and Canada will attend the inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) on May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor. The event will also include a fashion show, film festival, storytelling, dancing, music, and other internationally acclaimed performers. 

"Choosing downtown Bar Harbor as the location for an Indian Market was definitely a strategic decision," Abbe President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko said. "Wabanaki people and their ancestors have lived in Pesamkuk, this place we now call Mount Desert Island and Frenchman Bay, for thousands of generations."
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In what is known as the encampment period, from about 1840 to 1920, Wabanaki lived like the other residents of Maine, speaking English but retaining cultural values, language, and limited privileges. Artists and craftsmen would travel to tourist areas, like Bar Harbor, in the summer to sell baskets and other items supplementing their income. They offered guiding services and other services and performances of traditional music and dance. The purchasers were the seasonal residents known as “rusticators” – people like the Abbe Museum's founder, Dr. Abbe, and his colleagues who were drawn to the natural beauty of the Maine coast.

These summer encampments were both the tribal members’ homes and retail outlets. Bringing people together at the encampments and the market for Native baskets and other goods helped to sustain Native culture and community. When the encampment period ended, Wabanaki became largely invisible to non-Native Maine, but they continued to live in their communities, sustaining their cultures.

Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Indian art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast. Award-winning Wabanaki artists like Jeremy Frey, Theresa Secord, Emma Soctomah, Geo Neptune, and Sarah Sockbeson travel out West each year to participate in the Indian Arts marketplace, and they’ve repeatedly taken top prizes. By creating this event, the Museum will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic impact of art making for tribal communities. 

image courtesy jenniferelizabethkreisberg.com

image courtesy jenniferelizabethkreisberg.com

Curator emeritus Elizabeth Weatherford from the National Museum of the American Indian is working with the Abbe Museum and Film Festival host Reel Pizza Cinerama to screen and select Indigenous films, which will be shown all three days of the event. The highly anticipated fashion show will showcase Native American fashion and accessories representing both couture and contemporary looks. 

Award-winning vocalist, composer, producer, and activist Jennifer Kreisberg, Tuscarora, will take the stage several times throughout the weekend of the Market. Kreisberg comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line and is known for fierce vocals, soaring range, and lilting, breath-taking harmonies.

The Museum will communicate more details about the Market on their website www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket, including information about lodging, travel, and additional special events. Anyone interested in volunteering can get in touch with Jill Sawyer, Associate Director of Advancement, at jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519. 
 

New Exhibit Looks at a Centuries-Old Wabanaki Craft

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The Abbe Museum is excited to announce a new exhibit coming to its main gallery in April 2018, Emergence - Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation. This exhibit celebrates a uniquely Wabanaki art form, a centuries-old craft that has frequently been dismissed by museums and academics as not “traditionally” Wabanaki. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 6, 2018, and an opening reception will be held that evening from 5-7 pm.

“Unlike the ball club, which is very well known and very well published, the Penobscot root club has been almost completely ignored in the history books,” said exhibit curator Stan Neptune, Penobscot. “In the late 19th century when anthropologists started collecting Native American objects, they perceived root clubs as just tourist items. They had no idea of the history. The Emergence exhibit will tell that full history.”
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The exhibit highlights the diversity of past and contemporary themes found in root club carving. Each club is made out of a sapling, with the slender trunk becoming a chip-carved handle and the complex wood of the root ball’s burl transformed into evocative representations of people and creatures. Some are painted; some have ornaments attached. 

Root clubs have been viewed by museums and anthropologists as “tourist art,” not “traditional” enough to warrant a place in museums. Decades of research by exhibit curators Stan Neptune and Joan Lester have built the body of evidence to show that this uniquely Wabanaki form, in fact, is very much a part of Wabanaki traditions going back centuries or more. And while new styles have been created over the years to support an economy tied to tourism, the earlier forms have continued and are still being made today.

The curators, together with team members from the Abbe, are sharing for the first time what they have learned from more than 600 extant Penobscot root clubs, many still in private collections. The exhibit will include more than 50 clubs, plus images and other artifacts to illustrate:

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  • the history and evolution of this diverse art form
  • how the root club has been and still is made
  • stories of root club carvers covering more than two centuries
  • how museum attitudes towards root clubs have shaped collections
  • and how private collectors came to value and protect these critical pieces of cultural heritage. 

As with all projects, the Abbe’s decolonizing vision is paramount with this exhibit. Through representation of this art form, based on the experience and shared knowledge of a Penobscot carver and information from Wabanaki carvers and culture-keepers over the centuries, the story of Penobscot root clubs will emerge as it should have long ago. 

The opening reception on April 6, from 5-7 pm, is open to Abbe members, donors, and sponsors. To receive an invitation, please email jill@abbemuseum.org or call 207-288-3519. Guests are invited to celebrate with curatorial staff, artists, and fellow supporters while snacking on refreshments from local eateries. 

This exhibit is made possible by the generous support from the following:

Anonymous
Anonymous Foundation
Bangor Savings Bank Foundation
Fisher Charitable Foundation
Hattie A. and Fred C. Lynam Trust
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas and Ann Sharpe

The Abbe Museum's winter hours will be in effect through April, with the Museum open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. The Museum is open seven days a week from May 1–October 31st every year.

Thanksgiving Truths

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One of my earliest Thanksgiving memories is from Kindergarten. I remember huddling around a craft table with my classmates, grappling for crayons and pairs of scissors that weren’t sticky with glue. The class was divided in half; each student assigned to be a pilgrim or an Indian. I was an Indian, tasked with assembling my own headdress of a wide construction paper band accented with three feathers. My only concern was that my feathers didn’t stand up straight, flopping under their own weight. I never thought to question this bizarre ritual; it was simply another game of make-believe. It was also the last time Native Americans were a part of my curriculum until my high school American History teacher tackled the French and Indian War. I now understand that, since my childhood, I’ve been an active participant in an annual tradition that simplifies, commercializes, and undermines Indigenous identity. I bet this is a common memory for many of the Islander’s readers today. And we know that it’s an activity that still happens in classrooms across the U.S. 
   
The Abbe Museum’s “Truth About Thanksgiving Program” took place on Monday, November 20, 2017, and it aimed to address the false narrative of the “First Thanksgiving,” which is pervasive in early childhood education, and has become an intrinsic part of the Thanksgiving holiday. The story of the Pilgrims meeting the Wampanoag for a peaceful meal is more legend than fact. In reality, Thanksgiving as we know it was conceptualized by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War as a means of unifying the divided nation. It was intended to be a reflection on American bounty, family, and tradition. Thanksgiving did not become an official National Holiday until 1941.

What is the harm? The “First Thanksgiving” story is taught as a parable of kindness, empathy, and overcoming differences, but it is inaccurate, simplified, and perpetuated annually by schools, books, movies, TV shows, advertisements, and decorations. There are only two brief written accounts by colonists and an oral Wampanoag account of the 1621 feast. The limited knowledge of the event allowed the dominant Eurocentric society to manipulate the story, recounting a tale of harmony, unity, and togetherness. This misrepresentation simplifies the complicated relationship between the two communities. It portrays the pilgrims as American folk heroes and romanticizes the idea of colonization, which is always a destructive act to those who are colonized. This narrative places Native Americans exclusively in the past, ignoring and erasing Indigenous survival.

As Thanksgiving has been commercialized, images of Native Americans have been used as marketing devices. We see them on cards and window clings, on commercials and in craft kits. Children dress as caricatures of Native people for school plays and activities. This perpetuates stereotypes and contributes to the continued commodification of Native culture. By addressing these difficult truths, the Abbe Museum hopes to promote conversation and ignite action. Curator of Education, Starr Kelly, explains, “it’s important to challenge preconceived notions, even when they’re popular. That’s how change happens.”

I’ll leave you with the questions that the Abbe posed at the end of the program: What makes a holiday meaningful to you? What would your Thanksgiving be like without the “First Thanksgiving” narrative? 
 

Angela Raup is the Manager of Guest Experience at the Abbe Museum. She develops learning and retail opportunities for our visitors, all within a decolonizing context and a team-based work environment. She works closely with the Curator of Education to co-develop, schedule, and deliver public educational programming, such as lectures, panels, workshops, demonstrations, films, etc. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and enjoys utilizing elements of storytelling to create meaningful guest experiences. 

Tea & Pops Archaeology Update

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If you're a fan of our Tea & Pops Archaeology program, we have some exciting news for you! This year the Abbe Museum has implemented its first ever Archaeology Advisory Committee with an impressive lineup of Native archeologists and others working in the field. To commemorate this, we are foregoing our annual Tea & Pops event in October and will instead host an Archaeology Panel with a number of experts from our committee on Sunday, November 5th at 7 pm. More details will be released soon, and don't worry, we'll revisit Tea & Pops in 2018! 

The Abbe Museum’s Archaeology Advisory Committee is part of our wider work to bring our archaeological research, collections management, and interpretation fully into a decolonizing framework. You can learn more about this new committee on our blog

So, please save the date for Sunday, November 5th at 7 pm for what will surely be an interesting panel discussion around archaeology! 

Indigenous Peoples' Day

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Indigenous Peoples' Day has been picking up steam the past few months as the city of Los Angeles adopted the holiday and, more locally, Bangor, Orono, Portland, and Brunswick all made the switch (Belfast did so back in 2015). So what is Indigenous Peoples' Day? It's a holiday to honor and celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures of this continent. At its infancy, the holiday began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday in October to commemorate the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. As it has grown and been adopted by many localities, the day has turned into a celebration of Native history and culture in the Americas. 

You might be asking though, why? For the past 525 years, Native Americans have been adapting to and resisting the legacy of Columbus and colonization in our homelands. The consequences of Columbus’ arrival and his attitude and dealings with Indigenous people set in motion the foundation of the Atlantic slave trade, state-sanctioned theft, and genocide. Colonization is a violent and deliberate process of appropriating land and resources to secure wealth and power over an area of land.

Colonization is also an on-going process; celebrations of Columbus only exacerbate the colonial realities in which we live. What do we celebrate when we celebrate Columbus Day? We celebrate the deaths he caused, we celebrate colonization, and we celebrate slavery. Are these things worthy of celebration? Certainly not, as conscious citizens, it is vital to be critical and engaged in the reality of colonial celebrations that further serve a colonial purpose of re-telling history so that it is more palatable for the masses. Indigenous Peoples' Day is a way for people to become engaged in issues that affect Native communities and learn directly from those in Indian country about history, culture, and contemporary issues. 

At the Abbe, we will be hosting an impressive amount of programming to celebrate Indigenous history and culture in Maine. We are pleased to have John Dennis, Mi’kmaq, with us for the day on Monday, October 9th. He will host a hand drumming session on our front patio to kick off the celebrations, welcoming all people into our museum spaces. Later John will host a storytelling hour where he will share traditional Wabanaki stories inside the Museum. Throughout the day we will have plenty of opportunities for families to learn and have fun whether on a free People of the First Light Tour or in our Learning Lab where we will have crafts, educational touch tables, and other engaging activities. We look forward to seeing you at our downtown location on October 9th!


Starr Kelly is the Curator of Education at the Abbe Museum. She is a member of the Algonquin First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec, and has worked as a middle and high school social studies teacher and is a social justice oriented educator, developing what she refers to as a "curriculum for dignity." Her lessons and pedagogical approach put theory into practice by honoring those she teaches about while simultaneously creating an environment which is responsive to the needs of her learners and dignifies her students' lived experiences

Wabanaki Artists Win Top Ribbons at Santa Fe Indian Market

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Three Wabanaki artists from Maine won a total of four ribbons at the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico on August 18, 2017. For more than six years, Wabanaki artists have won top spots at the prestigious market.  

Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, took first in Division B: Non-Southwest Basketry in the contemporary category. 2017 Abbe Museum Fellow Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy, placed second in the same division. 

Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, won first and honorable mention in Division B: Non-Southwest Basketry in the twined/wicker category. This was the second time in attendance for Frey, and he added to his honorable mention ribbon from last year. 

“I feel so honored and humbled by the reception my work got out west,” Frey said. “It's a pretty incredible experience, and I’m so fortunate to have been able to be there.” 

Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko and Abbe Museum Indian Market Producer Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, attended the Market to meet with artists about the Abbe Museum Indian Market coming up in May 2018.

“Artists were enthusiastic about our market plans for Bar Harbor,” Catlin-Legutko said. “We were excited to share that applications are now available for the juried process and the deadline is September 15, 2017.”

For the past 96 years, Santa Fe Indian Market has been bringing together the most talented Native American artists from around the US. As the largest Native arts fair in the world, the market spans an entire plaza and surrounding streets and consists of a myriad of events — galas, art openings, music and experiences, fashion shows, and the much anticipated juried art show. Of the more than 1,000 artists who participated this year, seven were Wabanaki artists from the state of Maine.

Other Wabanaki artists accepted to attend the market included 2017 Abbe Museum Fellows Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy and Donna Brown, Penobscot, as well as Jason Brown, Penobscot, and Ganessa Frey, Penobscot.

The inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market will be held May 18-20, 2018 in downtown Bar Harbor. More details on the Market can be found at www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket
 

Have fun and lend a hand at the Abbe Midsummer!

Photo courtesy of rogier van bakel, eager eye photography

Photo courtesy of rogier van bakel, eager eye photography

Come celebrate with us at the inaugural Abbe Midsummer on Thursday, August 3rd. The Midsummer is our biggest fundraising event of the year and your help will play a huge part in its success. Alongside directly supporting the mission of the Abbe Museum, volunteers also get to meet and hang out with fun people, see beautiful artwork, and be part of an event that is unlike any other this summer. Below is the list of tasks, each an important element in making the Midsummer AMAZING – there's definitely something on here that you would be perfect for, and we will do our best to make sure that you are assigned roles that fit your strengths and interests!


PARKING ATTENDANTS

Stationed at Conners-Emerson School, the parking attendants will help direct guests to an Oli’s Trolley pick up area. Taking turns one attendant will ride back to the museum with guests to help them get oriented, before riding back to the school. Volunteers in this role will have good energy and be able to keep guests excited about the Midsummer as they are making their way to the event.

SILENT AUCTION CREW
Working at an assigned table, Silent Auction volunteers will manage a variety of responsibilities. This includes chatting with and encouraging bidders and providing information about items and artists. You will also monitor bids and keep bid sheets organized, as well as handle any absentee bids at your station. This is a great way to interact with and have fun with our guests!

LIVE AUCTION CREW
For the Live Auction, we will need a couple volunteers to point out raised paddles and record winning bids. During the paddle raise this team will collect and organize paddles in preparation for check-out. This is your chance to get caught up in the excitement of the live auction and paddle raise!

WRAP & PACK CREW
The Wrap and Pack Crew will make sure that auction items are appropriately packaged and tagged in anticipation of the end of the evening. At check-out, this team will be responsible for monitoring the pick-up table and making sure guests get their items in a timely fashion. 

CHECK-OUT CREW
Once the event ends the Check-Out Crew will be on hand to assist guests in paying for their items/donations before they head home for the night. Check out will be divided into two sections with volunteers assisting with both regular and express check-out. Be sure to have good energy and keep guests excited until the very end of the evening.


If you're available on August 3rd from 4:00 to 10:00 pm and would like to lend a hand, contact Jill at 207-288-3519 or volunteer@abbemuseum.org. From there you will be sent a packet with more information about the Midsummer, your assignments, and the specific requirements of each task. Leading up to the Midsummer, we will be hosting an orientation/pizza night -- there you will get a sneak peek of the event, meet some of your fellow volunteers, and get to chow down on free pizza!

For a fun way to give back to your community, consider signing up to volunteer at the Abbe Midsummer today! We can't wait to work with you -- and, as always, THANK YOU for your support!


Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Advancement & Gallery Associate. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.

The Abbe Midsummer Spotlights Fashion, Native Cuisine, and Wabanaki Artists

On August 3, 2017, at 5:30 pm the Abbe Museum will host an exciting new annual fundraiser in the Museum's backyard. The Abbe Midsummer, previously known as the Gathering Gala, will celebrate the importance of creative placemaking and how it supports Wabanaki artists and Native communities throughout Maine. Presented by The Abbe Midsummer Host Committee, the event consists of Native-inspired cuisine, an haute couture Wabanaki fashion show, festive live auction, and other surprises you won’t want to miss.  

"My husband Jeff and I are so excited to support The Abbe Midsummer,” said Jena Young, co-chair of the Host Committee. “We’re always looking for opportunities to support the history and culture of our community, and the mission of the Abbe does that in every way. The big payoff will be attending the event and see it all come together. The fashion show, cuisine, and atmosphere are going to be incredible!”

In its 16 years in downtown Bar Harbor, the Abbe has become a Smithsonian Affiliate, an active member of the International Coalition for the Sites of Conscience, a partner to Acadia National Park, and a committed and involved community anchor. The Abbe Midsummer attracts cultural luminaries and civic leaders, as well as renowned artists, premier collectors, and devoted patrons of the arts and culture. 

The evening kicks off with a red carpet arrival at 5:30 pm, followed by mingling outside in the Museum's one-acre backyard while perusing silent auction items that include jewelry, art, handmade and crafted items, and the Abbe's signature decorated paddles. Live music by Penobscot musicians Eric Green and Justice for the River will keep guests entertained as they help themselves to food stations serving Native-inspired cuisine like bison meatballs, fiddleheads, and fry bread courtesy of Bar Harbor Catering Company.

Photos © by Rogier van Bakel, eagereyephoto.com.

From there, guests will be treated to a themed dessert and the Decontie & Brown Fashion Show. An energetic live auction will follow, which features exquisite Native art from Wabanaki artists Gabriel Frey, Jennifer Neptune, Gina Brooks, Fred Tomah, Geo Neptune, Molly Neptune Parker, Sarah Sockbeson, Decontie & Brown, and others. The live auction will be led by auctioneer Andrew Simon of the Barn Arts Collective, who will also be the evening’s emcee. 

"The Wabanaki communities throughout Maine and Maritime Canada are world renowned for incredible basketry and to build on that, we’re offering a new narrative on cultural adornment," said Jason and Donna Brown of Decontie & Brown. "It's a distinct way to share the beauty of our tribal design and fashion sense with the world while highlighting that we are still here! We are incredibly excited to be a part of The Abbe Midsummer and are looking forward to sharing all the inspiration that we get from our ancestors...Our people were VERY fashionable!"

The majority of the auction items will be on exhibit at the Abbe Museum from now until the day of the event. They can also be viewed online at abbemuseum.org/midsummer. 

Tickets for the evening are $150 per person and $1,200 per table. To RSVP, please visit abbemuseum.org/midsummer, email the Abbe Museum at midsummer@abbemuseum.org, or call 207-288-3519. Absentee bidding and underwriting opportunities are also available for those who cannot attend. 
 

24th Annual Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate 24 years on July 8, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm at College of the Atlantic (COA). The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and a silent auction. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), and COA, the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. 

This nationally renowned Indian Market features exquisite handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls, and other handcrafted items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people in Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes.
 
MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new, “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. Many of these talented basketmakers first got their start at the Festival over the 24 years it has been in Bar Harbor and has watched it grow from a few artists selling baskets while singers and dancers performed, to a festival that displays a wide array of Native crafts and cultural demonstrations. 

At the time of MIBA’s founding in 1993, there were fewer than a dozen basket makers younger than the age of 50 statewide who were still practicing and learning this ancient and once prolific art form. Through 24 years of educational programs and marketing efforts, MIBA has lowered the average age of basket makers from 63 to 40 and increased numbers from 55 founding members to 200+ basketmakers today. 

Sponsored generously by the Maine Arts Commission and Maine Public, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

Parking is limited, and public transportation is available. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Island Explorer bus system which stops at COA. The grounds of the College of the Atlantic are handicap accessible. 

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes. www.maineindianbaskets.org
 

We could use your help at the Native American Festival!


On July 8th, from 10 am to 4 pm at College of the Atlantic, the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate its 24th year! The Festival is a rare opportunity to meet local artists and see their amazing work, all while learning about contemporary Wabanaki art and culture. But in order to make it happen, we need your help.

Below are the volunteer needs for this year's Festival - there's sure to be something that you would be a great fit for!

PARKING ATTENDANTS (TWO SHIFTS: 9 AM - 12:30 PM; 12:30 - 4 PM)
Armed with walkie-talkies and fluorescent vests, the parking team will direct people to appropriate parking areas and keep an eye out for open spots. It’s like a live-action game of Tetris!

ABBE INFORMATION BOOTH ATTENDANT (TWO SHIFTS: 10 AM - 1 PM; 1 - 4 PM)
At the Abbe Museum's information booth you will get to talk about all of the amazing things that are happening at the Museum: from the Abbe Midsummer to the Abbe Museum Indian Market. It's a front row seat to the festival and a great way to meet interesting people.

ACTIVITY TABLE ATTENDANT (TWO SHIFTS: 10 AM - 1 PM; 1 - 4 PM)
Also at the Abbe Museum booth is an activity table that is a hit with our younger visitors. Here you will be in charge of touch-tables, crafts, or storytelling sessions. Tap into your inner child and have a great time!

Your support directly affects the mission of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to save the ancient ash and sweetgrass basketry traditions among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Tribes in Maine. Just a few hours of your time can have a huge impact.

If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Jill Sawyer at 207-288-3519 or jill@abbemuseum.org. We can't wait to work with you!

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Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Advancement & Gallery Associate. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.

Abbe Museum to Host Indian Market in Bar Harbor

The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that we will host a three-day Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) in downtown Bar Harbor on May 18-20, 2018. This event will harness the profitability of the Bar Harbor economy for the benefit of tribal communities and in return, generate approximately $250,000 per year for the local economy at a time when lodging and restaurant businesses are in need of visitors.

"The Abbe Museum brings so much to this community in the way of culture, education, and history and offers so much to our visitors,” said Martha Searchfield, the executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “The creation of this exciting new event is yet another way in which we all benefit from the hard work and vision of the Museum. The business community will prosper tremendously from the addition of an event of this magnitude.”

Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Indian art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast. Award-winning Wabanaki artists like Jeremy Frey, Theresa Secord, David Moses Bridges, Emma Soctomah, Geo Neptune, and Sarah Sockbeson have traveled out West over the past few years to participate in the Indian Arts marketplace. They’ve repeatedly taken top prizes in Sante Fe and Phoenix. However, traveling long distances to attend the Indian Arts marketplace is often a hardship that prevents more artists from entering.

“The Northeast is lacking in opportunity for local artists to sell their art on a national scale,” said Suzanne Greenlaw, an apprentice Maliseet basketmaker. “The expense of traveling makes Western Native Art shows unattainable for many and I would be thrilled to see these local Native artisans sell their art on the level the Abbe Museum Indian Market can provide. The opportunity for economic gains and the possibility for artisans to gain confidence will have significant immeasurable impacts for Native communities.”
Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, with his winning basket at the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market.

Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, with his winning basket at the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market.

By creating this event, the Museum will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic impact of art making for tribal communities. Artists will be more likely to work full-time, more people will have the opportunity to make a living through art, remnant art forms will be revitalized, and innovation will have even more room to develop.

“Wabanaki peoples have rich and varied artistic traditions—many of which are underappreciated,” said Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot. “Having a Northeast venue to celebrate and share our artistic gifts with the world will not only strengthen these traditions within our communities, but it will also position these traditions in their rightful place as respected art forms unique to Maine.”

As the newly hired AMIM Producer, Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, will focus on creating and launching the annual market and coordinating the activities, tasks, and events leading up to it. Spears has been working in the field for the last two decades, recently as the Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA) where she works to support the Native American artist population regionally by sharing resources and artist opportunities, addressing artist needs, and seeking ways to increase the visibility in the northeast. 

“Many do not realize the level of artistry that exists here in the northeast and AMIM will be the perfect way to showcase our homegrown talent alongside artists representing tribal nations from across the country,” Spears said. “Artists from across the nation are invited and welcome to come and visit the Wabanaki homeland.”

In addition to a two-day market, we're also planning a concurrent Indigenous film festival and a fashion show. And, as the event grows: a marketplace in the streets, an artist competition, a gala event, and the opportunity to taste Native cuisine. 

“As Northeastern indigenous art—and more specifically, Wabanaki art—continues to gain the attention of collectors from around the world, I believe that Bar Harbor is poised to become the “Santa Fe” of the Northeast: a place where visitors from many walks of life come to experience Indigenous North American history and culture,” said Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy Master Basketmaker. “Given the Abbe’s history of working with Wabanaki people and the admirable goals set by their current strategic plan, I am confident that the Abbe Museum is the only organization that is able, with the support of its community and partners, to make this dream become a reality.”

We'll reveal more details throughout 2017 on www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket. Indigenous artists interested in participating in the Abbe Museum Indian Market should get in touch with Dawn Spears at dawn@abbemuseum.org or 207-801-4088. 
 

Welcome Dawn Spears

We are excited to announce the arrival of Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, as the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) Producer. Please join us in welcoming her to the Museum and Bar Harbor! 

As the AMIM Producer, her responsibilities focus on creating and launching the annual Abbe Museum Indian Market (inaugural event is May 18-20, 2018) and coordinating the activities, tasks, and events leading up to AMIM. Dawn has been working in the field for the last two decades, most recently as the Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA) where she worked to support the Native American artist population regionally by sharing resources and artist opportunities, addressing artist needs and seeking ways to increase the visibility in the northeast. Her role at NIAA formed from her prior role as the Native Arts Program Manager for New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) in Boston. In 2016, NIAA partnered with IFAM and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum to bring the first large Indigenous market to the east with “IFAM East." 

Prior to joining NEFA, she devoted a decade to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation where she was involved in a variety of cultural initiatives, which included cultural education, powwow and dance troupe coordination, and language revitalization work. Dawn served as the Narragansett Tribe’s Tribal Secretary for two terms, and has also served on the board and volunteered at the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum. She was a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy, serving two terms on the Executive Board, (Secretary, Vice Chair). 
 
She is a 2015 RI State Council for the Arts (RISCA) Master Apprenticeship grantee, and 2015 UPP Arts teaching artist and also served on the HopArts Artist Studio Trail planning committee and is now a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Institute for New England Native American Studies. In 2014, along with her husband they formed the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative to bring a concept of healthy living by providing the Narragansett people access to food, health, and wellbeing, now and into the future through sustainable agriculture, economic development, community involvement, and educational programs.
 
Dawn is the wife of thirty-one years to Cassius and mother of three: Cassius Jr., Kiowa and Coty, and grandmother of five. A believer in the preservation and education of our culture and traditions, Dawn has been teaching and demonstrating for over 25 years in many forms of art and still works creatively when time allows, exhibiting and selling at local galleries and markets. 

"I try to capture the vibrant colors of our natural world; they are my inspiration along with my appreciation of the symbolism within our indigenous culture. I enjoy opportunities that allow us to share our work and give us space to be able to dispel the myths and stereotypes that our people have been forced to endure. Misconceptions about Native American art continue today, for years I was discouraged from pursuing my own style of work because it was not “Native American” enough, it didn’t show horses, and scenes from the wild west. 
I channel my creative focus in my work making a range of corn husk dolls, drawings, painting, jewelry design, and capturing the beauty of our natural work in photography. I work in both contemporary and traditional mediums; I use both traditional and unconventional tools. I like to experiment with these mediums and create amazing colors. In the last few years I have added custom sneakers and shoes to my list, and I even tagged my first pair of jeans. I feel like the possibilities are endless. 
A Narragansett/Choctaw, my mother Diosa Summers, (Choctaw) was an artist and educator and I grew up attending and assisting her. She taught me the fundamentals early; I was immersed in the arts at a young age and I easily became an educator of Eastern Woodland Native Culture myself, my art and work professionally reflect all facets of my life. It was inevitable that I would end up with similar interests as my mother."
 

Come Meet our New Education Team

There are some new faces at the Abbe Museum! We've scheduled two specific programs that will enable you all to meet Starr Kelly, our new Curator of Education, and Angela Raup, our new Manager of Guest Experience. 

On Wednesday, April 12th from 3:30 - 5 pm, all local educators are invited to come explore our collection of educational materials, join our Book Club, and offer feedback on past and future programs. Expect great conversation, light refreshments, and surprise get-to-know-you activities!

On Thursday, April 20th from 12 - 2 pm, the local community is invited to come and participate in a white glove artifact experience and learn about upcoming Abbe events. There will even be a specially curated exhibit for you to explore and get to know the new team. Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public. 

Amy Lonetree Lecture on Decolonizing Museums

The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that Dr. Amy Lonetree, Ho-Chunk, will give a free lecture on Decolonizing Museums: New Directions, Ongoing Challenges at the Museum on February 1, 2017, at 7 pm. Lonetree is a leading scholar on Indigenous history, visual culture studies, museum studies, and decolonization.

“We are incredibly honored that Amy is giving this talk at the Museum, especially since decolonization has been our touchstone and guiding principle for many years,” said Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “We’ve been a resource and a model that the museum field turns to for ideas, solutions, and strategies for comprehensive museum decolonization.”

As applied to the relationship of institutions such as museums to the Native people of the United States, “decolonization” means, at a minimum, sharing authority for the documentation and interpretation of Native culture. Traditional museum practices of exhibiting, collecting, and programming have informed the collective memories of museum-goers while dehumanizing Native history and creating colonizing museum spaces. Emotional, spiritual, and physical harm is done when these colonized spaces and practices are not acknowledged and addressed. As explained by Lonetree in her 2012 book Decolonizing Museums, “Museums can be very painful sites for Native peoples, as they are intimately tied to the colonization process.” 

Lonetree’s talk will focus on the current state of contemporary exhibition practice with, by, and for Native Americans at both national and tribal museums. Central to her analysis is exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization by privileging Indigenous knowledge and worldview, challenging the stereotypical representations of Native people produced in the past, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding.  

“As a scholar focusing on the history of the relationship between Indigenous communities and museums, I am heartened to see the amazing work happening at the Abbe Museum,” said Lonetree. “Their willingness to discuss the knowledge they have gained with other museum professionals is impressive, and I would be honored to assist them in these endeavors based on my academic background in museum studies and Native American history. I am confident that the important conversations that take place at the Museum will enable all to arrive at new understandings of how best to move forward with efforts to decolonize museums.”

To learn more about the Abbe Museum’s decolonization practices, please check out our Strategic Plan. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a seat, please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519 or RSVP@abbemuseum.org. 

About Amy Lonetree
Dr. Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of Ho-Chunk Nation and is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her scholarly work focuses on the representation of Native American history and memory in national and tribal museums and she has conducted research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, British Museum, Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Minnesota, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). She is currently working on a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation from 1879-1960.