June 26, 2019
deCordova Museum Agrees to Merge with The Trustees

October 27, 2018 — Two Massachusetts nonprofits— the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln and The Trustees, based in Boston—this week announced their intention to merge, a move aimed at strengthening the finances of the museum while supporting the mission of the Trustees to connect people through art and the outdoors.

Upon integration, as the two organizations described the move, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum would continue to operate as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit under The Trustees umbrella while the bulk of the land and buildings would continue to be owned by the Town of Lincoln.

The decision to pursue a permanent relationship with The Trustees came after a comprehensive strategic and financial planning process by the deCordova board and staff.

The proposed combination is contingent upon a townwide vote in Lincoln and completion of a fundraising campaign by both organizations of $15,000,000 to secure the deCordova’s endowment and operational stability.

The agreement, which has been approved by both organization’s boards, was presented at the Oct. 20 State of the Town meeting in Lincoln and will be added to the agenda for a final vote by residents in March 2019.

Barbara Erickson, Trustees president and CEO, said, “The Trustees are excited about the prospect of welcoming deCordova into our network of dynamic cultural and natural sites located around the Commonwealth. It is a beloved institution with an incredible legacy of engagement around contemporary art and conservation, areas that are both an important part of our mission to connect more people to the land, history, culture, and art experiences.”

“DeCordova and The Trustees share overlapping missions to connect people to special places of cultural and natural importance and inspire unique experiences that improve quality of life,” said John Ravenal, deCordova’s executive director. “We look forward to working closely with The Trustees, the Town of Lincoln, and our many supporters to move this integration forward and secure an even more successful and sustainable future for this treasured institution.”

Lincoln Town Manager Tim Higgins noted, “The Town of Lincoln regards deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum as one of our most treasured community resources. Town officials and our special task force intend to lead an integration process which is transparent and provides Lincoln residents with ample opportunity to be part of the discussion."

The Trustees is one of the state's largest nonprofits, with a membership of 140,000 people, was established in 1891 to care for cultural and nature sites for public use and enjoyment, including more than 120 miles of coastline, as well as community gardens, farms, historic homesteads, designed landscapes, and hiking trails. It is the nation’s first and the state's largest preservation and conservation nonprofit.

Founded in 1948 to fulfill the terms of a gift from Julian de Cordova to the Town of Lincoln, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest park of its kind in New England encompassing nearly 30 conserved acres, with a mission to inspire, educate, and delight with contemporary art from New England and beyond through sculptures in the landscape and museum exhibitions.

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