Friday, April 15, 2022

Shakers get $750,000 federal grant to renovate Herb House – Yahoo News

Apr. 15—A project to rehabilitate the Herb House at the Shaker Village in Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

The building will be renovated and provide educational and cultural space at the village, which was established in 1783 and is home to the world’s only active Shaker community.

The plan is for the building to provide free self-guided access for visitors to daily Shaker operations, demonstrations of folk traditions and space for master classes in herbalism, agriculture, culinary arts and traditional crafts. The renovated structure will contain workrooms, gathering spaces, a commercial kitchen classroom, a traditional arts and production studio, and a storeroom where Shaker-grown herbs can be purchased.

This is the first time the Shaker Village has sought federal funding and also represents the largest award the village has ever received.

The NEH announced its grant recipients Wednesday, awarding more than $33 million for 245 projects across the country and the Herb House Cultural & Traditional Arts Center was one of eight projects to receive a maximum grant award of $750,000. A spokesman for the NEH said the grant for the Shaker project was unanimous by the endowment’s review board.

The Herb House is the fourth oldest structure at Sabbathday Lake. Shakers pioneered the production of medicinal and culinary herbs in America, but the Shaker’s business collapsed about a century ago as the country’s population moved west and the cultivation of medicinal herbs was supplanted by the pharmaceutical industry, the Shakers’ website said.

The community’s herb gardens have been reclaimed and revitalized, the Shakers say, but the Herb House had fallen into disrepair.

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