ROCKLAND — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), 21 Winter St., invites the public to its 2021 Distinguished Lecture presented by Chris Newell, executive director of the Abbe Museum and senior partner to the Wabanaki Nations, on Friday, Sept. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for CMCA members, $25 for non-members and are available for purchase online at the events page at Capacity is limited to 80 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, Maine) 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. Newell is a long-time singer with the acclaimed Mystic River singers based out of Connecticut and has traveled the United States and Canada, 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.

Now in its seventh 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, visit the events page at or call 207-701-5005.