CMCA Annual Fund

Create the Future

The CMCA Biennial “…reflects some of the hopefulness and re-imagining this particular and historic moment in time calls for.”

– Kate McNamara, Co-Juror

Dear Friends,

In a year like no other CMCA has continued to fulfill its mission of providing exemplary opportunities for public engagement with contemporary art. We have done this by being nimble, resourceful, and imaginative—traits that have been a part of CMCA’s DNA since our founding nearly seventy years ago.

Like everyone everywhere, CMCA has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to CDC guidelines, we closed our doors to the public from March 16 through July 1. The budget was slashed by a third. Exhibitions and events scheduled for this summer were rescheduled to next, and the spring shows held over until the Biennial opened October 3. Throughout this period, our programming and outreach continued unabated.

Since 2018 we’ve created interactive 3D virtual tours of all our exhibitions. This head start in online programming proved invaluable in our rapid response to the needs of our audience during the pandemic. We quickly…

  • added downloadable lesson plans and audio guides for educators and students learning from home
  • offered an online art history course and hosted virtual gallery talks with exhibiting artists
  • livestreamed our popular ArtLab workshops and held summer ArtCamp for kids on Zoom
  • shifted our Artist Toolbox program from in-person to online to continue to serve artists statewide
  • provided free-of-charge art kits to our local school district and teen homeless center for distribution to kids and families at risk

In these difficult times and beyond, CMCA is committed to responding to the needs of our community—in person and online—and to being at the forefront of showing cutting-edge contemporary art by Maine-connected artists. Your support makes all this possible.

This will be the last appeal letter that I sign as Director at CMCA as I retire at year’s end—but not the end of my support of an institution I have helped build and that I believe in. I encourage you to make the most significant contribution to the Annual Fund you possibly can. Your gift will help CMCA rise to current challenges and embrace new opportunities.

We have set an ambitious goal of $275,000*—an increase from last year’s record-breaking effort—as it is critical to compensate for lost income due to the pandemic. Success will mean CMCA can deepen its efforts in creating exhibitions and programs that contribute to a more just, equitable, and representative world. Help us thrive!

With gratitude,

Suzette McAvoy
Executive Director + Chief Curator

*$500+ donors receive a complimentary Good Host membership; $1500+ donors receive a complimentary Steward membership and are recognized as part of CMCA’s annual donor society—The Contemporary Circle—with exclusive benefits and opportunities.

NOTE: Your charitable contribution to CMCA is tax-deductible—and in fact will receive preferential treatment this year due to the CARES Act, which lifts limitations on individual contributions and allows you to take a deduction without itemizing.

Header image: Hubris Atë Nemesis by Wade Kavanaugh + Stephen B. Nguyen | Dave Clough Photography