Abbe director to head Illinois State Museum

BAR HARBOR — Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko will be leaving the museum this month, according to the museum’s Board of Trustees and Native Advisory Council. Catlin-Legutko has accepted a post as executive director of the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

Catlin-Legutko has directed the Abbe Museum, Maine’s only Smithsonian affiliate, since 2009. Under her ten years of leadership, the museum significantly advanced its mission of “inspiring new learning about the Wabanaki nations with every visit,” a statement from the museum said, through initiatives including the People of the First Light exhibition, the Abbe Museum Indian Market and the Museum Decolonization Institute (MuseDI).

Museum Decolonization is a movement Catlin-Legutko promoted through her work at Abbe Museum. According to the Abbe’s website, the project involves “correcting harmful representations of the past” by collaborating with native people to interpret their own history and tell their story.

“Cinnamon has been an exceptional CEO and leader of the Abbe Museum. During her tenure she has worked with the Wabanaki communities to build important relationships that have created a space in which the Abbe’s mission for a decolonized museum can be fully realized in the years ahead,” said Chris Sockalexis, chair of the museum’s Board of Trustees.

“Over her ten years at the museum,” he continued, “Cinnamon has played a critical role in the development and success of the Abbe, and while we will miss her and her inspiring leadership, we are excited that she will bring her talents and leadership to Illinois.”

Catlin-Legutko also served as board member and former chair of the Bar Harbor of Commerce and as advisor to the Island Housing Trust. She is the author of numerous articles on museum administration and fundraising.

The Abbe Museum Board of Trustees is currently in the process of choosing an interim leader for the organization.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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