The Jamesport Meeting House will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its preservation as a community resource Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The event will include a film created by video artist Cliff Baldwin.
Baldwin says that the show, titled “Jamesport Meeting – A Cinematic Exploration of the Building in Pictures and Sound” will be projected on the building’s century-old tin walls.
Baldwin, a video artist whose work has been featured at the Parrish Art Museum, the Kitchen and Anthology Film Archives has composed music mixing 17th century American and English hymns, cast iron radiator sounds, church bells, violin and piano music from over 100 recordings all sourced from inside the Meeting House.
The performance will be live, with Baldwin sequencing film images from a laptop. He promises this “will be an unorthodox portrait but a very real one that exposes the details of the building and its character” according to a press release issued by the Meeting House’s publicist.
The Jamesport Meeting House, built in 1731, is the most significant historic structure in the town of Riverhead. It is not only the oldest building in Riverhead, but is also the oldest public building on the East End of Long Island. The Meeting House is a Riverhead Town landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“It seemed almost impossible ten years ago that we would be able to purchase and preserve the 1731 building, which was for sale and faced the possibility of conversion into a shop or restaurant,” said Richard Wines, president of the Jamesport Meeting House.
In 2008 a group of local residents came together and arranged financing to buy the building. Since then, it has become a vital not-for-profit venue for a broad range of events including classical concerts, Broadway performances, bluegrass, folk music, Shakespeare, civic association meetings, lectures, community spelling bees and weddings.
A gala reception will follow featuring a Meeting House cake baked by Junda’s Pastry, Crust & Crumbs and wine from Jamesport Vineyards.
Admission is free, but donations to support the restoration of Eastern Long Island’s oldest public building will be appreciated.