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DeCordova Museum And The Trustees Of Reservations Plan To Integrate

Yayoi Kusama's "Where The Lights In My Heart Go" at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. DeCordova is slated to merge with The Trustees of Reservations. (Courtesy deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum)
Yayoi Kusama's "Where The Lights In My Heart Go" at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. DeCordova is slated to merge with The Trustees of Reservations. (Courtesy deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum)
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The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln and The Trustees of Reservations this week announced plans to integrate, in an effort to ensure the future financial stability of the sculpture park.

Under the proposed agreement, the deCordova would maintain its identity as a separate nonprofit, but would fall under the umbrella of The Trustees, which oversees 116 properties in the state, including cultural institutions, houses and natural space.

Both boards approved the integration and the plan was presented during a recent State of the Town meeting in Lincoln.

In a statement, John Ravenal, deCordova’s executive director, said the two organizations share an artistic sensibility.

“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,” he said.

The agreement — which is distinct from a merger or a takeover — is pending voter approval from Lincoln residents. The integration is reliant upon the vote, along with a fundraising campaign by both organizations of $15,000,000 to secure deCordova’s endowment and operational stability.

As the largest park of its kind in New England, the bulk of deCordova's 30 conserved acres and buildings are owned by the town of Lincoln, which would continue to retain ownership after integration.

The Trustees of Reservations oversees 116 properties in Massachusetts, including the Crane Estate right along the shore in Ipswich. (Courtesy The Trustees)
The Trustees of Reservations oversees 116 properties in Massachusetts, including the Crane Estate right along the shore in Ipswich. (Courtesy The Trustees)

The town formed a special task force to review the proposal. Town Manager Tim Higgins said the task force will allow for a transparent process for the residents.

The Trustees, founded 127 years ago, is one of the largest nonprofits in Massachusetts with more than 140,000 members. It cares for cultural and nature sites for public use, including Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and World’s End in Hingham.

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