CMCA 2018 Distinguished Lecture July 24

Jul 10, 2018
Photo by: Platon Lonnie G. Bunch III

Rockland — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art invites the public to its 2018 Distinguished Lecture presented by Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Tuesday, July 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

Tickets are $20, $15 CMCA members, available for purchase online at or by calling 701-5005. A reception at CMCA, around the corner at 21 Winter St., will immediately follow the lecture.

Bunch, one of the most esteemed historians and museum directors of our time, will speak on The Challenge of Building a National Museum. Established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public in 2016.

Located on the National Mall in a stunning contemporary building designed by architect David Adjaye and his team, the NMAAHC encapsulates the powerful narrative of African-Americans and their significant journey to and within the United States. As the 19th member of the Smithsonian Institution, it attracted more than 2.1 million visitors in its first year of operation.

“What’s clear is that the museum has struck a nerve,” said Bunch. “It’s become an important symbol, an important metaphor, an important pilgrimage site.”

Artist and scholar David C. Driskell, whose striking painting “Behold Thy Son” is on view in the NMAAHC’s Visual Arts Gallery, will introduce Bunch. Driskell is a longtime summer resident of Falmouth and his work was the subject of a critically acclaimed solo exhibition, "Renewal and Form," at CMCA last year.

"It is an immense honor for us to have Dr. Bunch as our 2018 Distinguished Lecturer," said Suzette McAvoy, CMCA's executive director. "A brilliant educator and historian, and a passionate storyteller, Dr. Bunch has led the National Museum of African American History and Culture from a dream to a triumphant reality … It's a privilege to have him speak in Rockland and an opportunity for us to engage with some of the most critical issues of our time on a national level."

Under Bunch’s leadership, NMAAHC has collected and exhibited thousands of artifacts, collaborated with conservationists, historians, and other museums; created noted public programs; and unified a community with an important mission. As an educator and historian, Bunch is a widely published author and has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally. His books include the award-winning “Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on Race, History and Museums” and “Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives.” In 2017, for the World Economic Forum’s blog “Agenda,” he wrote, “America, Slavery and how Museums can help to heal Fractured Societies.”

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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