BAR HARBOR — The Abbe Museum will continue its free admission program during part of 2018 thanks to the continued sponsorship of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free through April 28, on Monday, Oct. 8 (Indigenous Peoples’ Day), and from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21.
The free admission program is in its fourth year, said Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “This program is important to our mission and is critical to furthering our work as a Smithsonian Affiliate by being easily accessible to the public.”
According to visitor feedback, half of the guests of the Abbe visit because the museum improves their quality of life. About 55 percent of visitors talk about their visit with friends and family, “which is the ultimate goal of museum work,” said Catlin-Legutko.
For the first time last year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park co-hosted a Wabanaki-led celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the museum’s downtown location. John Dennis, Mi’kmaq, kicked off the day with hand drumming and songs on the front patio, and he also shared traditional and contemporary songs from his community to demonstrate the continued cultural traditions, ending the day with a storytelling hour for people of all ages. A similar event is planned for this year.
The Abbe staff is designing and installing two new exhibits, “Emergence — Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation,” opening in April, and the 2018 Waponahki Student Art Show, opening in May. In addition, the museum’s education team is in the process of putting together a programming schedule that gives visitors opportunities to engage with artists, curators and educators that explore the Abbe’s current exhibitions and vast collections. Last year, the museum hosted 32 schools, more than 1,800 students and 74 teachers with a total of 153 programs held at the museum and 23 programs held outside the museum.
“Everyone at Machias Savings Bank is honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission,” said Branch Manager Matt Horton. “This program helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only nontribal museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”
The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through April 28. From May 1 through Oct. 31, the museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Visit abbemuseum.org.