Simple Gifts: The Shaker Community of Alfred, Maine

"Simple Gifts" was an Official Selection of the Sanford International Film Festival, May 31-June 1, 2014.

“Simple Gifts” was an Official Selection of the Sanford International Film Festival, May 31-June 1, 2014.

After two years of planning and creation, FASM has finished its museum video. It made its debut on May 17, 2014.

Simple Gifts: The Shaker Community of Alfred, Maine was produced by Olof and Sharyn Eckburgh of Westside Avenue Studios (NH), under contract with FASM. The video is approximately 35 minutes long. Here is the trailer:

Simple Gifts Trailer from Olof Ekbergh on Vimeo.

FASM’s Video Committee has shaped the content and structure of the production and helped provide narrators, photos, and historical research to tell the Alfred story and its significance.

Shakers lived in the town of Alfred for 150 years. The video should provide context and background about the Shakers for museum patrons as well as for schoolchildren. FASM intends to make the film available to York County schools and, eventually, to other Maine schools that express interest. The film features music by the Shakers of Sabbathday Lake and the Boston Camerata. Both Brother Arnold Hadd and Sister Frances Carr of the Shaker community in Maine have important roles in the video.

The video contains multiple sections, and proceeds chronologically to tell the story. The section titles explain:

  • Simple Gifts (1783-1931)
  • In the Beginning (1736-1784)
  • Gathering Into Order (1783-1821)
  • Hands to Work, Hearts to God
  • Growing Up Shaker
  • The Declining Years (1865-1931)
  • The Shakers and the Town
  • The Shakers Today

FASM members expended hundreds of hours researching, developing, and shaping the content for the video and working with Westside Avenue Studioto produce it. FASM offers the video in appreciation of the Shakers in southern Maine, and in confidence that others too will come to know, understand, and appreciate their legacy.

Video Committee members were Elizabeth Morrison, Al Carlson, Roz Boyle, Urilla Cheverie, and Mary Lee Dunn Maguire. Museum Curator Linda Aaskov also consulted for the video and appears in it, as does Betty Morrison. Funding came from the Davis Family Foundation, the Narragansett Number One Foundation, the Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation, and FASM’s fundraising events.

New! You can now purchase a DVD copy of Simple Gifts at the Museum.

Museum Hours:

Museum Hours: 1 PM – 4 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and by appointment.

Closing for the season on November 15.

Admission: Free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

We are dog-friendly. Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome in our building.

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