BELFAST — Artist and Waldo County resident Chris Battaglia, who brought the Village Canoe to Belfast in 2019, announces the Torchlight Projects: a new series of artist-centered projects to be launched in Maine this spring and summer.

The first event is Torchlight Cinema, taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 15, at 40 Main St., which will begin a monthly film screening series wherein local filmmakers share completed works, or films in production with the community. Following the film will be a chance to discuss the film with filmmaker peers and audience-goers. This summer’s theme involves the environment, and several of the films will feature rivers.

“Grand Canyon” by M. Porter will be the first feature film screened. Porter describes the film: “Filmed (without permission) on the home land of: Hualapai, Yavapai, Navajo, Havasupai, Southern Paiute, Zuni, Hopi, Western Apache. Documenting (somewhat) a 21-day voyage down the canyon … everything and nothing all at once. Rapids run, flowing down the passages of time, facing the past and the future. Leave your worries behind, and come along on the trip, your memories aren’t invited … but they’ll still be there when you get back.”

Filmmakers committed to screening their films in-progress include Battaglia, Jim Merkel and Nicolle Littrell. Battaglia is looking for local partners and sponsors to join forces for the event, as well as filmmakers who would like to screen their work in this public forum.

The second event is the Torchlight Songwriters Rounds, taking place from 6 to 8 p.m.  Friday, May 28, at the gazebo at Steamboat Landing on the Belfast Harborwalk. This will be a live musical performance from local singer-songwriters in the Nashville tradition of writers rounds, where a group of musicians will perform round-robin style on stage, sharing their original songs and stories.

A diversity of musical styles and levels will be represented in this first offering, featuring songwriters Louise Marks, Kelly Ravin, Battaglia and Sara Trunzo.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to save the dates, and bring their own chair and flashlight or headlamp. The events will be free, and donations will be accepted to cover the cost of event insurance and production. Since these are outdoor events in May in Maine and while still in the throes of a global pandemic, warm clothing is advised, masks are required, and physical distancing will be the name of the game.

For more information about the Torchlight Projects, visit and follow along on Instagram @torchlightprojects to learn more as details unfold.