Jodi DeBruyne, Director of Collections and Research
Jodi DeBruyne joined the Abbe Museum as Director of Collections and Research in June 2018. Her responsibilities focus on the care of the Museum’s collections and management of the interpretive content through the lens of decolonization. Jodi has had a life-long love affair with museums and is always looking for the opportunity to learn something new. She is passionate about sharing history and culture through the power of art, artifacts, and community stories. Jodi turned her passion into a career by earning a BA in art history from Old Dominion University and a MA in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University. While pursuing her degrees, Jodi worked two years in visitor services at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA, and completed collections-based internships at the Chrysler Museum of Art and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Before to coming to the Abbe, Jodi spent 5.5 years serving as the Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, in Juneau, Alaska. In that position, she was responsible for the care and management of the Museum’s collection of art, photographs, artifacts, and archives. She also managed an intensive exhibit schedule which included a multi-year realignment and update to the permanent galleries so that they became more inclusive and better represented the Juneau community. Jodi loves to travel, scuba dive, play board or card games, and of course, visit museums.
Starr Kelly, Curator of Education
Starr Kelly is the Curator of Education at the Abbe Museum. Her responsibilities focus on education through dialogue in a decolonizing context. Starr leads the museum’s education and public programs work, including program development and delivery, teacher training, and educational resource development. She is a member of the Algonquin First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec. Starr 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. Starr is committed to language and cultural revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities. She is a traditional beadworker in both flat and raised beadwork mediums and enjoys hiking and live music in her spare time.
Starr is a board member of the Maine Archives and Museums where she serves on both the programs and communications committees.
Stefanie Joy Muscat, Director of Advancement
Stefanie Joy Muscat joined the Abbe Museum in May 2018. Her interest in museums, however, extends as far back as kindergarten, when she would catalogue and exhibit her family's art and antique collections. She even made a modest profit, charging visitors a quarter to enter her "museum". In her role at the Abbe Museum, Stefanie leads a team with three areas of focus — donor and fund development, marketing and public relations, and event production.
Prior to her move to Mount Desert Island, Stefanie was the Founder & CEO of Bevara, an international nonprofit management consulting company where she worked for thirteen years. Earlier in her career, Stefanie served as Public Relations Coordinator (MSU Museum), Coordinator (1999 National Folk Festival), Traveling Exhibits Coordinator (New England Aquarium) and Executive Director (Ipswich Historical Society). Stefanie was an Adjunct Professor at Northern Essex Community College for over a decade, and created their Nonprofit Management Certificate Program which launched in 2014. She is also a founding member of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) Faculty Advisory Board, and served as an educator for the Community InRoads Cultural Inclusion Program for Nonprofit Leaders. Stefanie regularly gives presentations at colleges and industry conferences on a variety of topics related to the strategic advancement of nonprofits, fundraising, grant writing, tourism and the creative economy.
Throughout her career Stefanie has been honored for her work. In 1999, she was included on the Detroit Free Press' list of "100 People to Watch This Century", for her work to promote and fund culture and heritage. In 2014, she was selected as a Fellow of The Nantucket Project, a gathering of the world’s leading thinkers, visionaries, and performers to discuss the theme of "art + commerce".
Stefanie is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Bar Harbor (MDI) and the Maine Publci Relations Council. She is also a Board Member of DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism (DART), and serves on the Planning Committee for the Downeast Fisheries Trail. Visit her LinkedIn profile.
Angela Raup, Manager of Guest Experience
Angela Raup is the Manager of Guest Experience at the Abbe Museum. Her responsibilities focus on developing learning and retail opportunities for the museum visitor, 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 handles the recruitment, training, and management of part-time museum educators and guest services associates, and oversees the Abbe’s facility rental program. Angela comes to the Abbe from D.C. where she was most recently the Visitor Operations Manager of the United States Capitol. Serving under the 114th Congress, she facilitated daily operations at the Capitol Visitor Center and provided assistance and direction at Congressional events. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and enjoys utilizing elements of storytelling to create meaningful guest experiences. Angela loves big breakfasts, chai lattes, graphic novels, and painting.
Joanna Robinson-Clarke, Administrative Associate
Joanna is the Administrative Associate at the Abbe Museum. She focuses on facilities and office management and supports the finance and event staff with such responsibilities as vendor and contractor coordination, property rentals, cash management, and financial reporting. A Mount Desert Island local, Joanna studied Anthropology and Sociology at Rochester Institute of Technology before returning home to pursue her love for baking. As an avid volunteer in local communities, she realized her passion for community development and outreach, which she now brings to her role as the Administrative Associate and greening advocate for the Abbe. In her free time, she serves as a board member for Acadia Community Theater, collects board games, and bakes for friends and family.
Jill Sawyer, Associate Director of Advancement
Jill Sawyer is our Associate Director of Advancement at the Abbe Museum. She brings 7 years of experience in the museum sector to this position, which includes a stint at the Abbe as a guest services associate and volunteer from 2010 to 2012. After receiving her B.A. from Wells College, Jill went on to pursue her M.A. from the University of Denver in Anthropology with a concentration in Museum Studies. 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. Outside of this, Jill has worked on several exhibits, including Living with the Memory: Rwanda 20 Years On (2014) and Ludlow: A Living Memorial (2014), both at the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology. She was also the student curator for an online exhibit entitled Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues About the Amache Archaeology Collections. When she isn't immersed in museums, Jill enjoys hiking, a strong cup of tea, and the occasional Netflix marathon. Visit her LinkedIn Profile.
Dawn Spears, Abbe Museum Indian Market Producer
Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, is the Abbe Museum Indian Market (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. As the Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA), Dawn 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. In 2016, NIAA partnered with IFAM and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum to bring the first large Indigenous market to the east with “IFAM East." She has 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. 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. Dawn celebrates 31 years of marriage this year with her husband Cassius and is the 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.