Maine Contemporary Art center to move to Rockland

The Maine Center for Contemporary Art will be moving from Rockport to downtown Rockland in 2015.
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The Maine Center for Contemporary Art will be moving from Rockport to downtown Rockland in 2015.
Posted May 31, 2013, at 3:42 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 61-year-old nonprofit art center will move from its historic home in Rockport to join the thriving art scene in downtown Rockland.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art also announced Friday that it is in the midst of a campaign to raise $4 million for the relocation planned for 2015.

The art center stated it has signed an agreement to purchase 21 Winter St., although the sale is not final. The property, consisting of a 12,000-square-foot building on a third of an acre, is adjacent to the Strand Theatre near the Farnsworth Art Museum.

The decision to move the nonprofit art institution from Rockport village to “a more accessible location in the flourishing arts center of central Rockland” was made after a yearlong study by CMCA’s Strategic Planning Committee, according to a news release from the organization.

CMCA will continue with its exhibition schedule and programing over the next two years in Rockport.

The arts organization also announced that philanthropist Marilyn Moss Rockefeller is returning as chair of the Board of Trustees at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art to lead the fundraising effort.

“Once we decided to make the move and identified a suitable property to renovate, it only remained to find the right person to lead us in raising the millions of dollars we will need for the purchase and renovation of our new home,” said Judith Daniels, the center’s retiring board chair.

Rockefeller noted in the news release that she conducted the organization’s first major capital campaign 25 years ago to shore up the then-sagging Rockport firehouse gallery.

“CMCA has never been far from my heart. It’s been such an important asset for Maine and its artists through the years,” she stated.

The new board chair said cash and pledges are already at about a third of the $4 million goal and the arts center intends to solicit more from individuals, businesses and foundations before going public with the general campaign in 2014.

The center’s goal is to advance contemporary art in Maine through exhibitions and education. The organization had revenue and expenses of about $320,000 in 2012.

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