Waterville Creates! is a collaborative consortium established to work directly with community arts, creative and cultural institutions to enhance and strengthen the economic vitality of the Waterville area. At the heart of this initiative is the promotion of the Waterville area as an arts and culture destination for Maine residents and visitors to the state. Through increased collaboration and with its primary arts and cultural entities, Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, Waterville Public Library, Colby College Museum of Art, and Waterville Main Street serving as anchoring institutions, Waterville Creates! is the primary and coordinating entity for arts and cultural programmatic collaborations within the community.
The 15,500 residents, artists and art-lovers of Waterville, Maine have diverse options for participating in the arts and culture scene: The Railroad Square Cinema host of an international film festival; the newly expanded Colby College Museum of Art; exhibits, education and lectures at Common Street Arts; the Waterville Opera House; programs, exhibits and community-engagement at the Waterville Public Library; a vibrant Main Street program; and an emerging collective of studio and living space at a prominent downtown address.
What if Waterville could benefit from investing in and supporting a common infrastructure to benefit all of these organizations and maximize their collective appeal, outreach and sales potential? With a shared events calendar, organized fundraising, collaborating boards and enlightened nonprofit leaders, Waterville’s arts and culture attractions could prove a true economic driver for the city.
Unity Foundation staff and a consultant are working with a collaborative representing the city, the arts organizations and artists, economic development specialists and community leaders to discover if and how this can work. We are eager to discover whether this innovative approach and commitment can be successful and if so, how other communities can benefit from the model.