The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine’s 2022 Flying Colors Art Auction Benefit was a success and the museum is hosting another from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 10. Contributed / CMTM

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine will showcase an array of works by local artists at a 21-plus event complete with food and cocktails, both a live and silent art auction, featuring music and comedy. The proceeds will all go toward its Community Fund, which supports kids and families who face barriers in accessing the facility.

This will be the museum’s second Flying Colors Art Auction Benefit and will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 10.

“This year we have 164 pieces we’re featuring, and 115 artists,” said Julie Butcher Pezzino, executive director of CMTM. Some artists have donated their pieces in full, while others will donate half or more of the commission, depending on financial capacity. “The art community has been incredible in their generosity,” she said.

Pezzino said she’s excited to showcase an array of local talent – a mix of both well-known artists, as well as “budding, newer and less known artists” at Friday’s event.

“Rovinji, Morning” by Liz Prescott will be available at this year’s auction. Prescott has been making art in her Freeport studio for over 20 years. Contributed / Art by Liz Prescott

The art, she said, will be displayed and available largely through silent auction, and there will also be a live auction with paddle raising during the night.

“There will be a wide range of prices,” she said, “so there’s something for everyone depending on budget.”


The funds raised for the museum’s Community Fund help to remove barriers to entry like financial restraints, access to transportation, language barriers, physical or cognitive disabilities and anything else that may prevent families from accessing and enjoying the facility.

“It supports our scholarship membership program, our Museums for All program and our Play Your Way sessions we offer monthly, which are open and free to anyone who might struggle to come in on a more standard and busy day,” she said. The fund also supports free or low-cost field trips for low-income schools.

Pezzino said last year CMTM was able to subsidize over $150,000 for people to visit the facility.

“I think too often folks view institutions like ours as places that only those who can afford it have access to,” said Pezzino.

“There are all kinds of barriers to why a family might not be able to get here,” she said. “We’re committed to making it as easy as possible for anyone who wants to come through our doors. … Over 20% of our visitors last year came through some kind of access initiative, and we’d love for that to grow.

“Everyone has a right to experiential learning like what happens here at the Museum and Theatre,” she said.


“When dealing with kids with any sort of trauma or challenge,” the museum focuses on bringing “more joy into that child’s life,” she said.

An untitled work by Portland artist Kifah Abdulla to be sold at the auction. Contributed / Art by Kifah Abdulla

Kifah Abdulla, a Portland resident and contributing artist to the event, said, “The main (themes) in my works are often focusing on humanity and its challenges. Sometimes I highlight chaos and complexity, and other times simplicity and spontaneity.”

Abdulla contributed art to the event in 2022 and has also worked with the museum as a play assistant, running mural making projects for visiting children.

“What motivated me to participate is the children,” he said. “They are naturally creative.”

“We need to invest in children and provide the right and creative environments for them to enjoy a healthy childhood,” he said. “As an artist who loves children’s creativity, they often inspire me in making art.”

Tickets are available for Friday’s event, both to join the host committee and for general admission.

More information and tickets can be found at To learn more about the Community Fund, go to

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