Rachel Ferrante has been named the new executive director of Museum L-A. Contributed photo

Incoming Museum L-A executive director Rachel Ferrante sees Maine as a fine place to raise a family and an opportunity to make the museum one of the centerpieces of Lewiston and Auburn.

She will succeed Audrey Thomson on Sept. 7. 

Ferrante, 33, a New York City native, is a 2010 art and visual culture graduate of Bates College, and has recently moved to Maine with her family. She is currently an exhibition manager at the Met Museum, with stints in the Met’s marketing department and its office of the director. She holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“It feels like coming home a little bit,” Ferrante said. “It is a home away from home, for sure. Very, very excited to be back in Maine. So I met my husband at Bates, and it has always been our dream and our plan to return to Maine to raise our kids.

“The quality of life here is incredible. The schools are incredible and the sense of community here is unlike anything you will find in New York City. We have already been so welcomed by our neighbors.”

She is looking forward to overseeing the museum’s move from the Bates Mill to their permanent home at a 2.5-acre site on the banks of the Downtown Riverfront Island of Lewiston, where the rehabilitation of a former textile mill and creation of a new addition is planned.

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“We don’t have an exact timeline, yet,” she said. “Obviously, the sooner the better. Yeah, we are still formulating our specific timeline.”

Ferrante added that the museum’s new digs will, “make the museum the center of a wonderful community — and a place for people to spend time and gather and really make Museum L-A a really important part of the community and the history — and then ultimately its future.”

Margaret Craven, board chairwoman of Museum L-A, and Thomson said they are pleased to have Ferrante on board to help secure the museum’s future.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of Museum L-A,” Craven said. “Our Board is convinced Rachel Ferrante is the best person to help lead a transformational capital campaign that will shape, guide and create outstanding programming and visitor experiences, and develop a community gathering place to celebrate accomplishments while providing inspiration for the future.”

“It’s been an honor to lead this very special museum,” said Thomson. “I know that the community will continue to support Museum L-A because the work that we do is so important. History is integral to this region’s identity, and the museum is the caretaker of that history. Please join me in welcoming Rachel Ferrante.”

Ferrante wants to make Museum L-A the jewel of the two communities.

“I could not be more excited about the opportunities ahead,” she said. “I began my career as an intern at the Bates College Museum. We have long felt that Maine was the place to raise our family and are thrilled to be returning to do that.”


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