Memories of Kingdom Falls

Photo: Chris Battaglia

In December 2020, we solicited memories of Kingdom Falls from our community. Kingdom Falls, a 12-acre property in Montville, Maine, was where Waterfall Arts began; it inspired the founders’ vision to create community in harmony with nature, through the transformative power of the arts. With Kingdom Falls transferring hands and Waterfall Arts enhancing capacity at its Belfast location, we wanted to honor the early days of Waterfall Arts by sharing stories of summers at Kingdom Falls.

Below are some reflections from art educator, Nancy Glassman. Do you have a memory you would like to share? Please send it along to: chris@waterfallarts.org

I remember the excitement of the inaugural, opening day at Kingdom Falls. Al and Lorna had set up a terrifically large sand table, near the office building, that turned out to be popular with all ages. 

One summer, I had a group of young children over in the Mill House, who picked up on the romance of the place. They developed a collective fantasy that the house was an old castle. Their romantic storyline built over the weeks. They were having so much fun with it that I adapted the projects to fit the castle theme. One day, we retrieved some old tiles from the stream. “Rita” asked me what some marks on a tile meant. I mused that they might be a secret message from the prince and princess. Brandishing the tile, she ran right past her mother, outside, to a volunteer clearing brush, and brandishing the tile  over her head, announced that they had found the secret message!

It was always exciting to see what new spaces were being developed each summer, as more classes were added in. The visiting artists were extraordinary! There were installations in the woods and by the pond. There were aesthetic, invented machines. I will always carry with me, the enchanting power of the choreography and performance by Dylan and his dance partner, in the Grotto. 

Between teaching the children’s classes and the adults, I sometimes had time to paint the cardinal flowers in the stream. Kingdom Falls had everything you’d want in an Art Center: a creative, resourceful and energetic administration; a noble heritage; an ever expanding and changing roster of teachers, with a wide range of offerings;  a treasure of beautiful land to explore; and an enthusiastic response from the community.

It was a pleasure to have been a part of it. I am glad that Waterfall Arts continues.

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