AUGUSTA — Eric Gamez from Hope Association, Rumford, is among the more than 30 artists whose exhibits will be on display at the Hall of Flags in Augusta during a special event titled “Lest We Forget” on Monday, May 2, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the official closure of the Pineland Center in Pownal. 

“This exhibit will bring the voices of the people with disabilities we serve into our celebration,” said MACSP Managing Director, Mary Lou Dyer. “The remarkable diversity and creativity of the pieces underscore the value of supporting community integration and self-expression for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.” The decision to close Pineland Center and integrate its residents within the community speaks volumes to the commitment Mainers have to inclusion and fairness.

In 1907 the Maine Legislature established a school for “idiotic and feeble-mined” children. In the late 1950s some 1700 residents lived in approximately 50 buildings. It was a place where people were left and often forgotten. After the last resident left in 1996 Maine has led the nation in welcoming people with disabilities into our communities, our schools, our workplaces and into our art world.

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