Shaker Village Capital Campaign

A Campaign to Preserve Simplicity, Love, and Community, now and for the future

“We’re not trying to preserve Shaker history. That’s a museum’s mission. We’re a community of people. We’re providing opportunities to live and experience Shaker culture. And, in the process, we’re preserving this place, its mission, and its enduring spirit, and all of the things that are touchstones into our past, present, and future. That’s our mission.”

-Brother Arnold Hadd, 2018

What are the Shakers?”

Brother Arnold asks the audience while opening the Maine Festival of American Music in 2017.

“Christians,” shouts one person.

“Pacifists,” adds another.

“Members of a religious community,” someone else says.

“NOT all furniture makers,” quips someone and the entire audience chuckles.

“These are great answers,” Brother Arnold says as the audience regains focus on him, “in fact, you’re all correct. But, I’m looking for something else. Here’s a hint: It surrounds us outside every window in this Village. It’s how I have spent every single day of my life as a Shaker and how just about every Shaker has spent their lives, too, in some manner or another. It’s how we think about our daily lives and understand aspects of our faith. It’s even expressed in our songs.”

The room falls to complete silence. Seconds pass like minutes and Brother Arnold smirks mischievously that he has puzzled a room of 120 people.

He then breaks the silence. “The Shakers are farmers. Its not a side of our lives that everyone thinks about as much as our history and designs, but trust me, we’re farmers. It’s at the absolute core of our lives and it always will be. We are bound to this land and the abundance that it produces. It supports our lives and it supports our community.”

Philosophies and Goals

The Past Forward

A look at new community developments at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

Acceptance, creativity, inspiration, generosity, inclusion, and empowerment happens in spaces, buildings, and landscapes that are kept in working order, or are purposefully brought into working order. At Shaker Village, it’s this interplay between the historic surroundings, living culture, and people that manifests a sense of “spirit” found at few other places. The preservation of this spirit is as important as the buildings, fields, and forests where it dwells.

The Shakers, with the help of architects, easement stakeholders, and qualified consultants, recently completed a comprehensive plan for Shaker Village, its buildings, and its landscapes. The vision of Sister Mildred, Brother Ted, and other past generations of Shakers formed the baseline of this plan and Brother Arnold updated its scope to ensure that Shaker Village, its mission, and its programs remain true, responsive, and relevant for future generations. Their goal is to increase sustainability, preservation, and meaningful relationships with the people of Maine and beyond.

This plan includes analyses, recommendations, and proposals for the Village’s populations, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, renewable energy, and land use. Tremendous considerations have been taken to ensure beneficial outcomes for the Shakers, their home, and the people they serve.

Rehabilitation, reconstruction, and new construction will create indoor and outdoor spaces that are specifically designed to extend the season of operation, develop new types of experiences, serve new audiences, and further develop enterprise. This represents the Shakers’ intentional shift from a summer tourist attraction toward a year-round, local destination where anyone, including neighbors, local and regional residents, and students of all ages interact as a community and make return visits to engage onsite throughout the year in ways never possible before.

Dedicated to all those good Believers who, by their lives of consecration and ministry, have made it possible for Shakerism to exist in this latter day.
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Our Mission

The past forward

Our Projects

Phase 1

Ways to Give

Make a lasting impact