Attendees, including the city’s Mayor, were welcomed into Belfast’s Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project kick-off last Sunday by the melodious strains of piano and fiddle music. The musicians were three young brothers, well-known locally for their talent and poise. As they played, more than 50 people filled the Belfast Free Library’s gorgeous Gammans Room.
In addition to the period music, the kick-off included an overview of the project components by library staff members Betsy Paradis and Brenda Harrington, an introduction of the “One Story” books the community will be reading (The Killer Angels and Gettysburg: The Graphic History of America’s Most Famous Battle), and an explanation of how teens from the Game Loft will be involved in the theatrical aspects of the project.
Two of those teens then proved the point–and highlighted the inter-generational appeal of the project–by participating in a stellar closing segment led by Belfast Historical Society curator Megan Pinnette. Megan’s presentation about Belfast during the Civil War era was peppered throughout with various dramatic readings of historic documents by community members (including Belfast’s poet laureate) and the Game Loft teens (attired in period dress). These included a call to enlist, a letter home, a newspaper editorial, a poem by a mother who lost two sons, and more.
Following the program, cider and locally-made cookies were enjoyed by all, and a number of attendees walked over to the Belfast Historical Society for a tour and to see the Civil War quilt, which will be a highlight of the team’s Maine Memory exhibit.
To follow Belfast’s Local & Legendary activities, “like” the team’s Facebook page.