CMCA hires Sam Vail to be gallery’s marketing and development director

Posted:  Friday, February 23, 2018 - 9:15pm

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), in Rockland, has hired Sam Vail as its new Director of Marketing and Development.

Vail, who is a graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School, lives in Camden.

 "Something is growing in Rockland," he said, in a CMCA news release. "If all you hear is the ocean, you're not listening."

The hire comes at an important time in CMCA's history, the release said.

With approximately 40,000 yearly visitors, CMCA has finalized a three-year strategic plan to expand its program and education capacities.

Vail will focus on growing the organization's community and financial resources.

"We are incredibly fortunate to add Sam to CMCA's team," said CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy. "As an organization, we've undergone tremendous growth and reach in a very short timeframe. Sam brings experience, energy, and ideas to help us meet our goals and envision our future."

After studying writing at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, Vail said he was eager to return to Maine.

"Talking with friends at graduation, the question was always the same: 'where to next?'” he said.

Citing a lack of culture and opportunity in rural America, Vail watched the majority of his class head for the cities.

"The answer was almost never Maine,” he said.

Three years later, he remains committed to stopping Maine's talent bleed. He said that the arts hold immense possibility for Maine's future.

"It's about more than jobs – young people want the intangibles: stories, adventures, memories."

Maine has to shake off the feeling of being "out-in-the-woods," he said. "If young people want to see the world, we have to bring the world here."

Vail was formerly a fundraiser for Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity, and has volunteered as a marketing coordinator and youth mentor at the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast in Belfast.

"The question of Maine's future is being answered by a thousand movements,” he said. “Art is one of many."