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These are familiar words when you think of the Abbe, for sure, but after a year of discussions, interviews, research, writing, and testing, we’ve created something new. A vision for the Abbe that is groundbreaking, ambitious, and thrilling: 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.
Under the steady guidance of museum consultant Laura Roberts, this new approach to our work makes us strategic and sustainable. It also offers something to the museum field that supports tribal communities across the U.S.
Recently I was asked by my colleagues at the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage to share how we are engaging with audiences. This interview gives you a snippet of where we’re headed and why it matters.
It’s my plan to share updates here on the blog each week. And as projects come together and milestones are realized, we’ll keep you updated on this website. We want you to see the plan in real time. We want you to feel like you’re part of it. We want you to join us on the journey.
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko is the President and CEO of the Abbe Museum. Working in museums for more than twenty years, she believes they have the power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge authority. A museum director since 2001, Cinnamon is a frequent presenter at national museum meetings and is often asked to comment on national museum issues. She has been the driving force behind the Abbe Museum’s decolonization initiative, working with the Native communities in Maine to develop policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and cooperation with Wabanaki people. In 2016 Cinnamon gave her first TEDx talk, We Must Decolonize Our Museums. She’s the author of Museum Administration 2.0 (2016), The Art of Healing: The Wishard Art Collection (2004), and co-editor of the Small Museum Toolkit (2012).