NEW GLOUCESTER – The United Society of Shakers at Sabbathday Lake and the The Portland String Quartet next month will debut The Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions, thanks to a $4,000 grant from a component of the Maine Community Foundation.

A $2,000 grant was also awarded to the Shakers through The LARK Society for Chamber Music to support the festival.

In this new venture, the Shakers will host the Portland String Quartet for a four-day festival designed to present the history of American music, factors that influenced its development and its evolution to the 21st century. The Portland String Quartet has been performing, teaching and recording nationally and internationally since 1969.

The Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions will take place June 21 through June 24 on the Shaker grounds.

The Shaker Community in New Gloucester was founded in 1783 by Shaker missionaries and became a formal community in 1794. Today, it is the only active Shaker community in the world. The Shakers conduct an assortment of educational outreach programs throughout the year, as well as operate the Shaker Museum and Shaker Library, which houses the second largest Shaker collection in the country.

Recognizing music as an integral part of their lives and history, the Shakers have over the years successfully partnered with musicians and artists throughout New England, including The Enfield Shaker Singers, The Boston Camerata, and art curator and historian France Morin.

For more information, write to The Maine Festival of American Music, P.O. Box 202, Brunswick, Maine, 04011, or call 729-8512.