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CMCA 2021 Distinguished Lecture | Chris Newell

September 10, 2021 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT

| $20 – $25

Friday, September 10 | CMCA’s Main Gallery, 21 Winter St., Rockland | $20 CMCA members, $25 non-members

Chris Newell, Executive Director at the Abbe Museum & Senior Prater to the Wabanaki Nations will present CMCA’s annual Distinguished Lecture on Friday, September 10, 2021. The talk will take place at 5 pm at CMCA’s Main Gallery, 21 Winter Street; a public reception will immediately follow at CMCA.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) invites the public to its 2021 Distinguished Lecture presented by Chris Newell, Executive Director of the Abbe Museum & Senior Partner to the Wabanaki Nations on Friday, September 10 from 5-7pm. The lecture will be held in CMCA’s Main Gallery, 21 Winter Street. Tickets are $20 for CMCA Members, $25 for Non-members and are available for purchase online at our events page at cmcanow.org. Capacity is limited to 50 seats and a reception will immediately follow the lecture.

An educator helping lead the charge in decolonizing museum practice, Newell will speak on the need for reconnecting Indigenous knowledge to historic conservation and collection spaces, including museums and National Parks. In 2021, conservation is quickly catching up to the fact that divorcing Indigenous intellectual and cultural property, knowledge, and context from collections they govern has created a huge void of knowledge about the collections themselves.

Newell is a multi-award-winning museum professional born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the New England Museum Association, Tides Institute and is a current member of the Maine Arts Commission. Chris is a long-time singer with the acclaimed Mystic River singers based out of Connecticut and has travelled the US and Canada singing participating in cultural celebrations, pow wows, and live stage performances. A co-founder of educational consultancy Akomawt Educational Initiative, he works with schools, universities, museums, and all areas of education to incorporate Native perspectives in a culturally competent manner.

Lecture Summary:
“Since its inception in the 19th century, the conservation movement in America created collecting institutions including museums and land conservation spaces like National Parks.  For Native peoples in this country, these spaces are often devoid of Indigenous knowledge. The result is skewed, controversial, and sometimes misleading information about America’s history.  Counteracting this long-time phenomenon involves the decolonization and re-Indigenization of Native information, objects, arts, and cultures. Newell’s lecture will explore key questions, such as “What lies at the crossroads of science, culture, history, and art?” and “How can it benefit us all?” – Chris Newell

About the Distinguished Lecture Series

Now in its 7th year, CMCA’s annual Distinguished Lecture brings to CMCA some of the leading artists and cultural thinkers of today. Past presenters include Dr. Lonnie Bunch, newly appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; artists Alex Katz and David Salle; Jerry Saltz, Pultizer Prize winning art critic at New York magazine, and John Yau, poet, art critic, and weekend editor for the global online art magazine Hyperallergic. For additional information about this year’s lecture or CMCA, please visit our events page at cmcanow.org or call 207-701-5005.


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September 10, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
$20 – $25
Event Category:


Main Gallery
21 Winter Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States


207 701 5005