EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue with a presentation and reading by Chuck Kniffen, author of Fifty Years in a Foxhole (2018) and Rude Awakenings: Making Peace with the Beast Machine (2022), at 3 pm, Sunday, January 22. Kniffen will discuss his experiences in the Vietnam/American war, and his subsequent journey towards natural healing, and share excerpts from his two books. Foxhole is an episodic account of Kniffen’s seven months of combat, which included the Battle of the Hills and Operation Utah, and of his fifty years of living with undiagnosed PTSD. Awakenings, a memoir-in-stories, relates Kniffen’s refuge from the difficulties of the human world in nature, and in finding contentment and peace through encounters with animal companions, wild and domestic.
A combat-wounded veteran of the Vietnam war, Kniffen obtained a GED while serving in the Marine Corps and earned a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Connecticut. Previous to his college education, Charles worked as a truck driver, a milkman, and a herdsman on a New England dairy farm. He was employed as a Mental Health Worker, a Licensed Social Worker, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The uncontested high point in his job-hopping, entry-level career was working with autistic children to write, develop, and produce a series of puppet plays.Kniffen attends a Combat Veteran’s group in Machias, and has been an all-season solo kayaker for 25 years, plying the North Atlantic from Spring Point to the Bay of Fundy. He and his wife, Rhonda Welcome are the co-owners of Turtle Dance Totems, an artist cooperative and gallery at 72 Water Street, Lubec, site of the town’s last sardine factory. Kniffen’s creative artworks, composed of lost buoys, fishing line, driftwood, and other beach-gleaned materials have been enjoyed by visitors to the Lubec Summer Outreach program, the Bangor Children’s Museum, the Addison Point Children’s program, and this past summer, as part of the Eastport ArtWalk, with an installation at Eastport Gallery.A radio interview of Kniffen by Lawrence Knorr for the Sunbury Press Book Show on the BookSpeak Network may be heard here: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/bookspeak/2018/03/30/sunbury-press-books-show–lawrence-knorr-wcharles-kniffen.
Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center programs are held in Eastport Arts Center’s cozy downstairs Washington Street Gallery, amidst rotating exhibitions. Admission is by voluntary donation; proceeds are shared equally between the presenters and EAC constituent group The Concert Series, which offers year-round programming run by volunteers. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport. The EAC abides by the State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, the EAC recommends that people wear masks when in our building.