Blessing of the Creatures

Blessing of the Creatures

Blessing of the Creatures
September 22, 2024 — Fall Equinox Evening
A public celebration and call-to-action on behalf of all the creatures here in Maine on the evening of September 22, 2024. Blessing of the Creatures is envisioned to take place at Portland’s City Hall Plaza where puppets of some of Maine’s endangered creatures will be featured including a full-size Right Whale, a flock of Katahdin Yellow Arctic butterflies, a fluffle of New England Cottontail Rabbits and a flotilla of Leatherback Sea Turtles. Each group of creatures will be accompanied a poet and a musician sharing original compositions.

Blessing of the Creatures will be a chance for us humans to honor, learn about, and appreciate these precious creatures, as we discover ways that each of us can make a difference. Our partner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will be on hand before the event, along with a host of local organizations helping make a difference. For more information, to volunteer or to donate, please email or go to

Thanks for all you do to help the creatures of Maine, including each other.

A Brief History of Blessing of the Creatures
We started working on “Blessing of the Creatures” to celebrate Earth Day 2020 and honor the creatures of the Earth, including us humans. But the pandemic made that impossible, so Art At Work created this 4-minute ‘listening video’, with the help of Passamaquoddy Vera Francis, who shares this Passamaquoddy Drum Song in a moving weave of Passamaquoddy and English.

A Brief History of the Passamaquoddy Drum Song
This Drum Song was reunited with the Passamaquoddy people through recordings that were made in 1890 on wax cylinders. It is held in reverence as one of the most ancient songs and offered here as a Blessing of the Creatures.

We hope you are moved to share this on social media or email or to embed on your website.

This ‘Blessing of the Creatures’ marks the public kickoff of a community performance project called MAINEUSA: the history of Maine from the Ice Age till Now. As soon as it is possible to gather together again safely, you are invited to join the performance here in Maine – featuring puppets, live music, dance, lots of stories, and a life-size Right Whale puppet.

This now-virtual Blessing of the Creatures was created by Vera Francis, Passamaquoddy and Marty Pottenger. A project of arts nonprofit Art At Work, MAINEUSA was scheduled to premiere in July 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

We are grateful for the support of our sponsors – 350 Maine and Sierra Club Maine – and our partners, volunteers, activists, historians, artists, the City of South Portland, the Maine Arts Commission, the MAP Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, and the Maine Bicentennial Commission.

If you are able to contribute, please consider helping an organization that needs your support:

Wabanaki Health and Wellness
Click here to donate.

May this time of grief, challenge, and change become a time of renewal, reevaluation, and recommitment
to the well-being of the Earth and all her creatures, including us.

Vera Francis, Passamaquoddy, Environmental Activist, Storyteller, Scholar

Marty Pottenger, Director of Art At Work, South Portland, Maine