Backyard Bash at the Abbe Museum

The inaugural Backyard Bash at the Abbe Museum was a huge success! More than 250 people stopped by to sample the delicious food, play some fun games, listen to show-stopping live music, check out the Wabanaki artist booths, and peruse all the amazing items in our silent auction. Word on the street is everyone had a blast and some are already asking about next year. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this event possible!

Atlantic Brewing Company
Bangor Daily News
Bar Harbor Catering Company
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
Cadillac Mountain Sports
Coca Cola
Dawland Tours, LLC
Dead River Company
Decontie & Brown
L.S. Robinson Company
Gus La Casse
Leary’s Landing
Lynam Agency -Insurance and Real Estate
MDI High School students
MDI Ice Cream
Mt. Dessert Bakery
Martha Newell
Bonnie Newsom
Molly Neptune Parker
PeekyToe Provisions
Project Social
Queen Anne’s Flower Shop
Siam Orchid
Side Street Cafe
Stanley Subaru
Tea House 278 / Tea Garden Tea Company
Lisa Tompkins

And, finally, a HUGE thank you to all our amazing silent auction donors!

Tea & Pops Archaeology on October 17th

ACADIA CENTENNIAL LECTURE: Is Archaeology Still Relevant In The 21st Century?

Presented by Rebecca Cole-Will, Chief of Resource Management at Acadia National Park

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. This Act transformed the practice of archaeology and change has been rapid and existential in the discipline since then. Rebecca Cole-Will will reflect on how archaeology has evolved, the current role of archaeology in the National Park Service, and where the study of the past may lead us in the future. Tea and popovers will be served after the lecture.

Rebecca Cole-Will is the Chief of Resource Management at Acadia National Park. She has done archaeological research in Maine and the Canadian Arctic and was the curator at the Abbe Museum before joining the National Park Service. She has a BA in anthropology from the University of Maine and an MA in anthropology from the University of Alberta.

Monday, October 17, 2016, from 7-9 pm.

$20 members, $30 non-members.

For reservations, please contact the Abbe Museum at 207-288-3519 or email

The Fall PechaKucha MDI Event Celebrates Acadia

The Abbe Museum, Northeast Harbor Library, and Southwest Harbor Public Library are proud to present PechaKucha MDI (PKMDI) Night on Friday, September 30, 2016, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm atThe 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. This special themed event features a series of presentations celebrating Acadia National Park on its 100th birthday. The event is free and open to the public.

“PechaKucha events are always surprising and entertaining,” said Southwest Harbor Public Librarian and PKMDI organizer Lisa Murray. “It’s not just about learning, it’s about meeting people in our community and gaining some insight into their lives. I walk away at the end of the night inspired,  impressed, and brimming with knowledge. Our community is full of talent and passion!”

In the usualPechaKucha format, each presenter is allotted 20 slides, advanced automatically every 20 seconds. The presentations revolve around Acadia National Park’s Centennial Celebration and will include hiking Acadia’s 10 highest peaks, natural history, traffic issues then and now, and a behind the scenes look at the search and rescue team.

Speakers include Jack Russell, Lynne Dominy, Julia (Clark) Gray, Tim Garrity, Amy Niemczura, Johannah Blackman, Hope Rowan, Davin O'Connell, Suzanne Greenlaw, and Mike Hays.

A special free Centennial ticket will be required to enter the event, which you can pick up in advance at the Abbe Museum, Northeast Harbor Library, or Southwest Harbor Public Library. You can also get tickets the night of the event. The box office will open at 4:30 pm on Friday, September 30th, and concession stands will be open during the event.

PKMDI is held three times a year at to be determined venues all over Mount Desert Island. For more details about the event, including the full line-up of speakers, please and For information on how to become a participant, please visit

About PechaKucha
PechaKucha, literally translated as “chit chat” or “blah blah” in Japanese, was created by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo in 2003 as an opportunity for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has since gone viral, and turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in more than 700 cities around the world, inspiring creativity worldwide.

Kindling Fund Grants for Visual Artists Working in the State of Maine

SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine has announced its third round of Kindling Fund grants for visual artists working in the state of Maine.

Initiated in 2014, theKindling Fund provides grants to artist­organized projects that have a strong public component. The most competitive projects are ones which don’t fit in established venues, but rather occur in unconventional spaces or as site­specific presentations.

The Kindling Fund is a part of the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program matches Warhol Foundation support with localized partner organizations who value artist­driven contemporary and independent practices.

SPACE is one of ten other regranting projects around the United States, bringing a new kind of support to the state of Maine. Artists may request between $1,500 and $5,000 for their projects.

This is the third year SPACE has offered the Kindling Fund to Maine artists. Over the past two years, a total of 20 Kindling Fund grants has been awarded. Past projects supported by The Kindling Fund have included The Chart, an online arts journal for artists, writers and cultural producers to write and create traditional and experimental art criticism (2015); The Institute for American Art, an educational organization designed as a museum and located within a domestic home (2015); and New Fruit, a women­run alternative arts space located in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood (2016).

The Kindling Fund feeds the energy of Maine’s visual arts community by funding artist­organized projects that engage the public in ways that are both inventive and meaningful. The Kindling Fund values risk, experimentation, unconventional engagement, critical dialogue, and collaboration. Successful projects reach new audiences and create new models for presenting artists’ work. The mission of SPACE Gallery is to present contemporary, emerging and unconventional arts, artists and

ideas. The Kindling Fund extends this mission around Maine, beyond the reach and capacities of SPACE as an organization.

A series of informational sessions will be held around the state which will provide opportunities for potential applicants to learn more and ask questions:

  • SPACE Gallery (Portland) will host a session at its location at 538 Congress Street on Tuesday, September 13 from 6-­7 pm
  • Engine Gallery (Biddeford) will host a session on Wednesday, September 14 from 6-­7 pm
  • Launchpad (Bangor) will host a session on Thursday, September 15 from 6-­7 pm
  • The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockland) will host a session on Monday, September 19 from 6­-7 pm
  • The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor) will host a session on Tuesday, September 20 from 5­-6 pm
  • SPACE will hold an information session and budget workshop on Saturday, October 1 from 11 am - 12 pm

All information sessions are free and open to the public. Applications are to be submitted online (

The deadline to submit grant applications is October 22 at 11:59 PM. 

For more information, visit or reach out to SPACE at the contact details noted below:

SPACE Gallery
538 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101
www.space538.orgContact: Elizabeth Spavento, Visual Arts Programmer /

About SPACE Gallery
Established in 2002, SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary art space that presents visual arts exhibitions, live music and performance, film screenings, artists talks, literary events, and more, for a sum of approximately 200 events and 15 exhibitions each year.

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in 1987 for the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation’s objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting, and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice.

Legendary Hawaiian Canoe to Visit Mount Desert Island on Global Voyage

Unprecedented voyage to stop in Somes Sound where crew will honor and engage in cultural exchanges with Native Americans and share about Polynesian wayfinding and sustainability efforts with Mount Desert Community

Traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be stopping in Mount Desert Island (MDI), as part of her leg through the New England area. This sail is part of a historic Worldwide Voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations. Hōkūleʻa is a double-hull sailing vessel that voyages without the use of modern instruments, using stars, winds, and waves to navigate from destination to destination. During this current leg, the crew is honoring Native American tribes in the region and teaching and learning about traditions and practices of protecting cultural and environmental resources. Weather permitting, the crew conducts community and educational outreach programs, including canoe tours for the public during each stop.

Following is the tentative schedule for MDI. Since the schedule is subject to change, the public is encouraged to for the latest information.

Saturday, July 23

  • 9:00 am: Wabanaki and the Mount Desert community will gather for a public Arrival Ceremony to welcome Hōkūleʻa at JW Boat Company (Hall Quarry Road, Mount Desert, ME) 
  • 12:00-4:00 pm: Public Engagement and Canoe Tours to follow Ceremony and Exchange

Sunday, July 24

  • 6:00 pm: Crew Presentation at JW Boat Company, Open to the Public

Tuesday, July 26

  • 10:00 am - 3:15 pm: Youth Groups visit Canoe (by appointment)
  • 4:00-5:00 pm: Crew Presentation in Community Gallery at Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, Open to the Public

Youth groups are invited to visit Hōkūleʻa on Tuesday, July 26th. Group size is limited to 50 youth and reservations are required for time blocks throughout the day. Interested groups should contact Debra Deal at Camp Beechcliff to inquire about reservations: (207) 244-0365,

Hōkūleʻa is sailing the Earth’s oceans to visit and learn from those who are working to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Her crew spreads the Mālama Honua (care for Island Earth) message as it grows the global movement for a more sustainable world. The stories exchanged among crewmembers and communities they visit add to the collective wisdom shaping global lessons for the future health of our Island Earth, and the health of our people, lands, and oceans.

For Hōkūleʻa's most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit

To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sonja Swenson Rogers
Polynesian Voyaging Society
(808) 745-3386

The online press kit is available at

About Hōkūleʻa
A symbol of cultural revival, the history of Hōkūleʻa is also being shared on this journey to inspire other indigenous cultures. This replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe was built 40 years ago and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific. The canoe’s twin hulls allow her to handle large ocean swells and recover easily in the troughs of waves, and her triangular canvas sails can harness winds up to 20 knots. Hōkūleʻa first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Through the revival of the traditional art and science of wayfinding–navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind–Hōkūleʻa sparked a Hawaiian cultural renaissance and has reawakened the world’s sense of pride and strength as voyagers charting a course for our Island Earth.

About the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage presented by Hawaiian Airlines
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO's Marine World Heritage sites. Voyaging from Hawaiʻi in 2013 with an estimated sail conclusion date of June 2017, the Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessel, Hōkūleʻa, around Island Earth and her sister canoe, Hikianalia, around the Hawaiian Islands to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth - practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hōkūle‘a has sailed more than 26,000 nautical miles and made stops in 14 countries and 70 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 200 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hōkūle‘a to spread the message of Mālama Honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crewmembers have connected with more than 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage reached the East Coast of the United States in March 2016, stopping in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia before continuing north to Washington D.C., New York City (where it celebrated World Oceans Day at the United Nations on June 8) and New England.

To learn more about Hōkūleʻa and this historic voyage, view:

For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, visit

About the Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another and their natural and cultural environments.

For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.

Note: The Polynesian Voyaging Society is sensitive to and understands the importance of diacritical markings. In mediums where the reproduction of these markings is true (i.e., in print), diacritical markings will be used. If a communication crosses several mediums to include the Web, which does not always reproduce diacritical markings correctly, diacritical markings will not be used.

Abbe Museum Celebrates 88 Years with Annual Gathering Gala

Photo © by Rogier van Bakel,

Photo © by Rogier van Bakel,

New Gala format will offer guests opportunities to mingle and meet with Native Artists

On July 29, 2016, at 6 pm the Abbe Museum will host their signature annual fundraiser at the Bar Harbor Club.

The Gathering Gala benefit dinner and auction have become a summer tradition on Mount Desert Island, celebrating the work of the Abbe Museum with a fun evening of food, drink, friendship, and philanthropy. This year’s event will celebrate the importance of creative placemaking and how it supports Wabanaki artists and the Bar Harbor community. The live auction will be led by auctioneers Andrew Simon of the Barn Arts Collective, and Nora Miller, a former Abbe staff member who currently works for WomanCare Global.

“The Abbe board, staff, and I are so excited about this new creative work for the Museum,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Wabanaki artists are incredibly talented and we're thrilled to focus our Gala around their talents and showcase the exciting artistry happening in tribal communities across North America. At the Gala this year, we'll be offering a "taste" of what's to come at the Abbe, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!”

In its 15 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 annual Gathering Gala attracts cultural luminaries and civic leaders, as well as renowned artists, premier collectors, and devoted patrons of the arts and culture.

This year, the Gala will have a slightly different look and feel. With the launch of the Abbe’s new strategic plan in the fall of 2015, the Museum has big plans for the future, one of which includes developing a juried art show in downtown Bar Harbor. Modeled after markets like the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Abbe is planning a multi-day event in May 2018 that will invite Native artists from across North America to participate, with the intention of developing Bar Harbor as the destination for Northeastern Native Art. More details about this market will be revealed the night of the Gala.

Nuhkomoss Packbasket, by Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, is one of more than a dozen items available in the live auction.

Nuhkomoss Packbasket, by Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, is one of more than a dozen items available in the live auction.

The silent auction, which typically happens early in the evening, has been moved to a later event, the inaugural Abbe Backyard Bash scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016. The live auction is comprised entirely of exquisite Native art - from Wabanaki artists to other Native artists across the U.S. - and two exceptional experiences. The majority of the live auction items will be on exhibit at the Abbe Museum and can also be viewed online. .

The Gathering Gala will kick off with a red carpet arrival, followed by a cocktail hour outside on the Bar Harbor Club's gorgeous patio. Enjoy gourmet passed hors d'oeuvres and mingling with Native artists who donated items to the live auction before being entertained by a live performance that will bring you into the main ballroom for a seated dinner. From there, a festive live auction that is as entertaining as it is successful will end the evening.

Mahoosuc Guide Service Maine's "Ways of the Wabanaki Wilderness Canoe Trip" is one of two experiences available in the live auction. 

Mahoosuc Guide Service Maine's "Ways of the Wabanaki Wilderness Canoe Trip" is one of two experiences available in the live auction. 

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

Schoodic Institute Artist in Residence: Gina Brooks, Maliseet

Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American   Festival & Basketmakers Market

Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

New this year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park are partnering to offer an artist in residence program at the Schoodic Institute in order to provide more opportunities for park visitors to learn about Wabanaki history and culture.

The artist, Gina Brooks, Maliseet, works in many art forms, including pen and ink, acrylic paint, ash baskets, quillwork, moosehair embroidery, and countless more. Considering herself an artist that is informed by Wabanaki culture and tradition, Gina uses traditional knowledge and designs to create intricate, one of a kind pieces that often reflect Wabanaki oral histories. Join Gina at various times during the week to learn about her different mediums, artistic process, and cultural influence as a professional artist.

Monday, July 25

Painting Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7:30 – 8:30 pm

Rain Date: July 26

Tuesday, July 26

Basketmaking Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, July 27

Porcupine Quill and Moosehair Embroidery Demonstration at Nature Center Patio, Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park

11 am – 3 pm

Rain Location: Abbe Museum downtown

Wednesday, July 27

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7 – 8 pm

Thursday, July 28

Birchbark Etching Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Friday, July 29

Pen and Ink Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

9 am – 12 pm

Location: Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, 9 Atterbury Cir, Winter Harbor, ME 04693


23rd Annual Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate 23 years on July 9, 2016, 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 delicious food. 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 will be my 12th year participating in the Festival, as a jewelry vendor,” said Donna Brown, Penobscot, who attended the 2015 Festival as an Abbe Museum Wabanaki Artist Fellow. “This festival brings together a blend of creativity, culture, and sharing of knowledge that is surrounded by the joyous energy of vendors, festival organizers, volunteers, collectors of Native American art, and visitors from around the world. The support and exposure that I have received by attending this festival have greatly influenced my career as an artist, and as a result, I have been able to move forward with confidence, as well as the knowledge, that there is a great market for Native American jewelry.”

The Festival itself began in 1989 at the Abbe and moved around to several locations in town before landing at COA. The location on the ocean-front grounds of the college allowed the Festival to grow, with ample space for vendors and parking for many more guests. 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 of 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 23 years it has been in Bar Harbor.

From a bow-drill fire starting demonstration to children’s storytelling to a Mosquito Dance to a Wabanaki cuisine demonstration to a regalia making demonstration to a silent auction, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival. 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.

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce 2016 Fellowship Winners

The 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, Gabriel Frey, Theresa Secord, and Jason Brown, all gave artist demonstrations at the Abbe Museum's Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016. 

The Abbe Museum is honored to announce the 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, recognizing three exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and significant contributions to the arts: Jason K. Brown, Penobscot, Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, and Theresa Secord, Penobscot. These fellowships are made possible through support from Dawnland, LLC, the concessioner in Acadia National Park.

The fellowships are intended to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. Brown and Secord will attend the 2016 Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA) in August, and Frey will attend one of the local markets.

“It is an honor to support talented Wabanaki artists and we look forward to hearing about their success and supporting them through fellowships, our Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market on July 9, 2016, and through our museum shop,” said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, president and CEO of the Abbe Museum. 

Brown, owner of Bangor-based jewelry studio Decontie & Brown, handcrafts jewelry and traditional beadwork made from various metals and semi-precious gemstones. “My work is motivated by my desire to bring to life the designs created by my imagination,” Brown said. “I find inspiration in nature, and in the designs of my Penobscot culture. Historically, the Wabanaki people hired local metalsmiths to create adornments for them. I feel that as a contemporary Wabanaki jeweler, I am breaking new ground as a metalsmith and jeweler.”

Frey, a Passamaquoddy brown ash basketmaker, specializes in utility baskets such as pack baskets, market baskets, and purses. “I weave each basket solely with brown ash and handcraft leather straps for each basket,” Frey said. “My artistic process includes locating and harvesting basket quality brown ash trees from the woods, processing brown ash logs, and weaving brown ash materials into basket forms. I carve the hoops, rims, handle, and wooden pins to fasten leather straps. The majority of my tools, such as basket molds, gauges, and my shave horse, are adaptations of traditional designs. Maintaining the traditional knowledge of Wabanaki basketmakers is an important aspect of my artistic process.”

Over the past ten years, Secord has won awards for her basketry, including several first places at Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, and the Eiteljorg Indian Market. She is also the first U.S. citizen to receive the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life by the Women’s World Summit Foundation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, for helping basket makers rise out of poverty. “My art journey is currently focused on the use of alternative, natural materials to supplement ash, due to the Emerald Ash Borer beetle,” Secord said. “I’ve been dedicated to the preservation/protection of the sacred ash trees for 23 years, and helped pioneer the use of cedar bark overlay on ash in Maine Indian basketry a few years ago.”

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.

Wabanaki Placenames Tour with George Neptune, Passamaquoddy

Join Museum Educator George Neptune on Friday, June 24th, from 10-11:30 am for a tour examining the history of Wabanaki People at Moneskatik. 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. Traditional knowledge and shared history combine to create a tour experience that is engaging for audiences of all ages.

Cost is $10 for members, $20 for non-members. Children under 10 are free. Not a member?

Sign up here. Please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519 to reserve your spot today!

Please note: this is a walking tour around Bar Harbor, so comfortable shoes and cool attire are recommended. There will be at least two opportunities along the way to sit and rest for a few moments.

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!

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.

Read to ME Challenge

TheRead to ME Challenge is a month-long public awareness campaign beginning in February 2016 to promote childhood literacy in Maine.

Looking for a good book for theRead to ME Challenge February 2 through March 2, 2016? There are some amazing Wabanaki authors out there you should check out! Take a journey of friendship between Passamaquoddy birchbark artist and guide Tomah Joseph and future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Donald Soctomah's book Remember Me: Tomah Joseph's Gift to Franklin Roosevelt. Cross the sky with Muin through the telling of a very old Mi'kmaw legend inMuin and the Seven Bird Hunter's: A Mi'kmaw Night Sky Story by Lillian Marshall, Murdena Marshall, Prune Harris, and Cheryl Bartlett. Follow Kunu as he tries to make an ash basket for the first time just like the other men on Indian Island inKunu's Basket: a Story From Indian Island by Lee DeCora Francis. From ancient oral traditions to contemporary stories, there is something for everyone!

On Saturday, February 20, 2016, the Abbe is partnering with theJesup Library from 1 - 2 pm for a specialRead to ME program. Do you have personal objects that spark a specific memory? Do you have a stuffed animal, toy, or photograph which reminds you of a time you spent with a friend? Bring that with you to the Jesup Library and join Abbe Museum Educator Jen Heindel as we share some of our own memories before we readRemember Me: Tomah Joesph's Gift to Franklin Roosevelt by Donald Soctomah and Jean Flahive. After the story, we'll make miniature faux-birchbark canoes just like the one Tomah Joseph gave to Franklin Roosevelt!

Here are a few more books by Wabanaki authors:

  • Thanks to the Animals by Sockabasin, Allen J., and Rebekah Raye
  • Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Savageau, Cheryl, and Robert Hynes
  • Weska'qelmut Apje'juanu by Fitch, Sheree, and Bernard Francis
  • A Little Boy Catches a Whale by Perron, Judith Carol, and Naomi Mitcham
  • How the Cougar Came to Be Called the Ghost Cat by Isaac, Michael James, and Dozay Christmas
  • How the Petitcodiac River Became Muddy by Maillet, Marguerite, and Raymond Martin. English Version by Allison Mitcham
  • Tihtiyas Et Jean by Gagnon, Nathalie, Naomi Mitcham, and Donald Soctomah
  • Un Petit Garçon Pêche Une Baleine by Perron, Judith Carol, and Naomi Mitcham
  • Nine Micmac Legends by Nowlan, Alden

Happy reading!

October at the Abbe

When I started at the Abbe back in December, I hoped life would never be dull here, and my expectations were, in fact, exceeded—I’ve found creative and remarkable people, ingenious ideas, boundless energy, exciting programming, and stimulating exhibits. I am exactly where I’m meant to be—back home in Maine and working at an organization that not only inspires me every day, but one I believe in wholeheartedly. We're doing all this amazing, important work and I get to play a part in all of it!

And now it's October. One of the things that I haven't quite been able to grasp this year is the passage of time. 2015 has been going at such a fast clip, and the fact that it's October (my favorite month!) is slightly hard to believe. If you're feeling the same way I am, don’t despair—we have plenty to offer at the Abbe this month, including exhibitions, festivals, programming, and activities that will keep you entertained and engaged, whether you’re on a family outing or taking some “you” time to reflect and get inspired.

We're partnering with theMount Desert Island YMCA this year on a couple of programs, the first of which is Thursday, October 8th. The Children's Wabanaki Map Workshop, from 3:30 - 4:30 pm at the YMCA, will explore how Wabanaki people made story-like birchbark maps, orwikhikonik, using specific symbols that were used as forms of communication between two separated parties. You’ll be able to use a piece of imitation birchbark to tell a story of your choosing and create your own  wikhikonik ! This workshop is free and open to the public.

For those of you traveling to Bar Harbor this weekend (October 10th), there's a LOT going on at the Museum. We have two festivals occurring— Bar Harbor Film Festival andBar Harbor Children's Book Festival —and afree Teacher's Workshop. Because of the all the activity, we'll be shuffling around some exhibits, which means not all the exhibits will be open this weekend. If you are hoping to see theWaponahki Student Art Show (which closes the end of this month),  The Greatest Mountain, orLayers of Time, you might want to aim to come by on Monday, October 12th, when all three will be re-opened. And what better way to re-think Columbus Day than by coming to a Native American museum to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day!

We're also doing something this weekend that we haven't done in quite a while: admission will be by donation on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th. Regular admission rates are $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 11 - 17; children 10 and under are free, as are Abbe members and Native Americans.

The inaugural Bar Harbor Film Festival kicks off at the Abbe on Friday evening, October 9th, at 6 pm and admission to the opening reception is free if youRSVP online. Check out theBHFF website for a full schedule of the weekend's film screenings and programs, and you can also purchase tickets for all of the Festival's events (there's different pricing depending on what you'd like to do). Or, stop by the Abbe Museum Shop and pick up your tickets in person.

Abbe Museum members get in free!
The Bar Harbor Children's Book Festival is free and open to the public, so please stop by between 11 am and 3 pm for some author and illustrator workshops.

Our free Teacher's Workshop on Saturday, October 10th from 8 am to 4 pm will focus on how contact with European cultures affects Wabanaki communities. Some of the topics that will be examined include French and British attitudes towards the Wabanaki, different ideals of land ownership and the problems this created, how Wabanaki culture had changed by the end of the

Revolutionary War, and where to find resources and how to evaluate them. Teachers will earn eight (8) Contact Hours for the workshop. To register, please contact Museum Educator Jen Heindel at or call 207-288-3519.

On Thursday, October 15th, our annual film series is back, and this year’s theme focuses on the ideas ofContinuity, Change, and Resistance . The first film, Weaving Worlds, is a documentary about Diné (Navajo) rug weaving, and viewers will see one of the many perspectives on how Indigenous peoples in America have ensured economic and cultural survival through contemporary art. After the movie, join Museum Educators George Neptune and Jennifer Heindel for a discussion about the survival of traditions in the face of globalization. The film series is free and open to the public, and sponsored by Reel Pizza.

One of our most anticipated fall programs, Tea & Popovers Archaeology, will take place at the Jordan Pond House on Monday, October 19th from 7 - 9 pm. Our guest speaker this year is Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, and he'll present on the topic of petroglyph sites in Maine. This is a very popular evening and we've already filled a lot of seats! RSVP to 207-288-3519 or The cost is $20 for Abbe members and $30 for non-members.

Click here for full event listings for October.

Annual Meeting Highlights

The Abbe's 2015 Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 12th and we covered a lot of ground as we reported on fiscal year 2014, as well as our plans for the future. There were demonstrations by four Native artists, a sneak peek at our new strategic plan, and we honored an outgoing Trustee with the highest award bestowed by the Abbe.

Back in July, the Abbe named its 2015 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, recognizing three exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant artist contributions in the future: Donna Brown, Penobscot; Ganessa Frey, Penobscot; and Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy. These fellowships were made possible through support from Dawnland, LLC, the concessioner in Acadia National Park, who was in attendance at the Annual Meeting. All three Fellows gave demonstrations during the Annual Meeting, delighting guests with their art and answering any questions.

Ganessa Frey discussed basketmaking with Abbe supporters Joe and Cathy Gerstner.

Emma Soctomah admitted that artwork is very important to her, and she spends much of her time outside of school making baskets. She's off to the Santa Fe Indian Market this month to try and win some more awards. 

Donna Brown discussed her traditional beadwork with Abbe Trustee Sandy Wilcox.

The fellowships awarded are intended to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. Emma and Ganessa will attend the 2015 Southwestern Association for Indian Art’s Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA), and Donna attended the 2015 Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market last month.

Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, also gave a basketmaking demonstration. A utility basketmaker, Gabe uses his family's traditional knowledge and style to create beautifully woven, sturdily built utility baskets that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Gabe Frey (far right) carries on the tradition, high quality, and style of his grandfather who taught him, while incorporating his own individual aesthetic, forms, and decorative weaves. 

The Golden Trowel Award, the highest award bestowed by the Abbe, was presented to Art Spiess for his invaluable contributions in making the Abbe Museum's annual Field school happen. This school has been an integral part of the Abbe’s archaeological work since the 1980s, and is one of the most significant ways we teach about archaeology and engage people in this important way of learning more about Wabanaki history and culture. The success of the field school over the years has been due in large part to the outstanding contributions of archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, and educators from around Maine. And for the past nine years, nobody has been as essential to that success at Art Spiess.

Art received his PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1978, and he began his career at the Maine Historic Preservation Commission that same year. Art has been on the Board of The Maine Archaeological Society for more than 20 years, and he serves as the Editor of Archaeology of Eastern North America for the Eastern States Archaeological Federation.

Art has generously given his time and expertise to the field school, leading this outstanding annual learning experience. He has also been key in helping the Abbe keep our practices and policies around archaeological research and collections up-to-date with current standards and legal requirements. He has guided archaeology in Maine for over four decades of work at the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and his depth of knowledge has been essential to the success of the field school.

Abbe's Director of Collections & Interpretation presented Art with the Golden Trowel Award.

The night ended on an exciting note: the Abbe's new strategic plan. This plan will guide the next phase of the Museum’s growth and development, from its adoption in 2015, through the next five to seven years. Our mission hasn’t changed, but our vision has a new focus:

The Abbe Museum will reflect and realize the values of decolonization in all of its practices, working with the Wabanaki Nations to share their stories, history, and culture with a broader audience. 

There are three phases to the plan, and phase one will kick-off very ambitiously this fall. The Abbe's President & CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, gave a sneak peek of each goal, which will include a permanent exhibit, new and improved web presence, expansion of our dialogue-based programming, development of an archaeology advisory committee, an online collections database, and producing the Abbe Museum Indian Market. An official plan will be rolled out very soon!

A very big thank you to all those who came to the Museum on Wednesday to celebrate with us! We can't wait to see what happens next!

A Pop Up Program at the Abbe will focus on one of the first transoceanic ships

The Abbe Museum will host a Pop Up Program by Xabier Agote from the ALBAOLA, Basque Maritime Heritage Foundation on Thursday, August 20 from 7 – 9 pm. The discussion will focus on 16th century Basque whalers in North America and the San Juan whaleship replica currently being built in Spain. The program is free and open to the public.

“We are really just beginning to get a better understanding of how important the interactions between the Wabanaki and the Basque were, and how they shaped the longer history of interaction and colonization,” said Julia Clark, director of collections & interpretation at the Abbe Museum. “This program is a great opportunity to learn more about the Basque side of the story.”

Built in Pasaia - which is located in the Basque Autonomous Community of northern Spain - in 1563, the San Juan whaling ship is an example of the first transoceanic ships that set sail from the Basque Country to Newfoundland. It reflects the splendor and worldwide domination of the Basque maritime industry. It sank off the coast of Canada, in Red Bay, in 1565.

Over 400 years later in 1978, the Canadian archaeological team from Parcs Canada found the wreck of the San Juan and investigated it in an exemplary underwater excavation for the maritime archaeological world. After studying it for more than thirty years, it is the best known 16th century ship and has become an icon symbolizing UNESCO Underwater Cultural Heritage.

The Nao San Juan reconstruction began in 2013 in Pasaia within the Donostia/San Sebastián European Capital of Culture 2016, and is backed by the Canadian Government. Just as it joined Europe with North America in the 16th century, the Nao San Juan will allow these two countries to sail into the future together working from their joint past.

Xabier Agote is a shipwright and specializes in the construction of traditional and historical boats. He is the Founder and Director of ALBAOLA, where he has developed a research and education program that includes the construction of Nao San Juan; built a school for boat-building and seamanship; and generated a revival of public awareness of the long and rich Basque relationship with the sea. He is a graduate of the apprentice program at the Maine Maritime Museum, built several gigs for the Atlantic Challenge International Seamanship Program for The ApprenticeShop, Rockland, and has led several open boat expeditions along the coasts of Canada, Ireland, and Spain.

Birchbark Wikuwam Demo with David Moses Bridges

David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, has spent the past three days out at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park reconstructing a traditional wikuwam. David is an award winning birchbark artist who has received national recognition for his work. From splitting spruce root to collecting birchbark, David has spent the past few days demonstrating his craft to more than 750 visitors, sharing stories of his childhood and career as an artist, and answering questions about this labor intensive process.

This program is part of the Cultural Connections in the Park series, which

happen throughout the summer

in and around Acadia National Park. All of these programs are sponsored by Dawnland, LLC, are offered in partnership with Acadia National Park, and are free and open to the public.