What do you think of, when you think about Waterfall Arts? Is it the New-Deal-era brick school building where you took classes in the 1970s? Or is it the bustling marketplace where you’ve picked up your fresh produce, flowers and bread from the Belfast Farmer’s Market? Maybe you’ve taken a painting class, drunk wine with friends while throwing pottery on the wheel in the ceramic studio, ambled into a gallery opening during summer, or dropped your child off for a music lesson. Hopefully you’ve heard the resounding battlecries of DJ’s on our city’s very own low-power radio station, WBFY 100.9FM, being broadcast out of the basement.

There’s always a lot going on inside (and sometimes outside!) the walls of Waterfall Arts – or there was, until last week.

We are currently in our second week of building closure in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the hallways are quiet. Our facilities manager, Tim Conte, and our custodian superhero, Jeff Dinsmore, have sanitized, cleaned, and completely overhauled the building 3+ times while it was closed to the public. (Thank you, gents, for all your hard work in helping to keep us safe!) Meanwhile, our staff are largely working from home, classes are on hiatus, workshops have been postponed, and some of our after-school programming has gone digital.

But plenty of artists, makers, and businesspeople who rent studio spaces are continuing their practices and operations. While it’s not at all “business as usual,” we want you to know what some of these folks are doing from home, or from their little, clean corner of the Waterfall Arts building. Here are some glimpses into what our creative community members are up to in this time of social distancing…

One of our tenants – musician Jeff Weinberger – provides lessons, tips, and tricks for ukelele students on YouTube.

I have been able to keep teaching guitar and ukulele from home using the Zoom app, a little bit of FaceTime, YouTube and email. Of my 20 students, 14 are still taking lessons and I’m able to teach my elementary music class at Sweetland School via Google Classrooms. The Uke group I direct, Midcoast Ukes, is learning new songs via tutorials that I post on YouTube.

I am offering “pay what you can” lessons to new students to keep the learning, enrichment and joy happening.

– Jeff Weinberger, musician and teacher

Interested? You can get in touch with Jeff via his website: https://www.jeffreyweinberger.com/

Bridget Matros, our Kids & Families Outreach Coordinator, reading “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Oliver Jeffers, via Facebook Live with her virtual elementary-age BRIDGE, JR. audience of kids and grownups.

AAAH Events are still in full swing! Last night, we had fun in our own homes with the first ever Living Room Dance Party – hosted by DJs Bridget and BowTie Blazr! This weekend we are looking forward to Chalkin’ Smiles on Friday 3/27 & Saturday 3/28. Come on out and make a neighbor smile, and keep checking our Facebook for more AAAH events as they emerge!

Bridget will continue to hold VIRTUAL BRIDGE JR (for all elementary-aged kids) from 12:30pm – 1:00pm on Fridays on Facebook. Click the link below for some weekly inspiration and creativity for the little ones:

https://www.facebook.com/WATERFALLBRIDGE/
Bridget Matros and Heather Marlow with the BRIDGE after-school program right before building closed.

And if you’re looking for a way to continue to support Waterfall Arts and its programming through these times and into the future, you may donate at any time here. Or, if you’d like to be apart of our capital campaign – Waterfall Rising – to revitalizing our building and grounds, you may donate here.

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