Waterville Creates! to Share Initial Data Findings from 2016 Cultural Survey

95% agree that arts and culture should contribute to the positive image of the community; 88% agree that arts & culture should attract tourism, new residents, & businesses

Waterville, Maine — Waterville Creates!, a non-profit promoting, supporting, and growing greater Waterville’s arts and cultural scene, is pleased to announce it will be sharing the initial data findings of the 2016 Cultural Blueprint at a series of public meetings being held at the Waterville City Council Chambers starting on May 19. The Cultural Blueprint is an inclusive study undertaken to discover creative new ways to increase the reach, value and relevance of Waterville arts and cultural resources.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cultural Blueprint is a first-of-its kind study researching Waterville’s collective perceptions of strengths, opportunities, aspirations and realities of Waterville’s existing arts and cultural resources. As part of the Cultural Blueprint, more than four hundred surveys were gathered from Waterville residents and visitors, artists and cultural organizations and businesses.

“Conducting the Cultural survey was the first step in a process to better understand what
Waterville area residents, visitors, artists and businesses think about the value, relevance, challenges, needs and access to arts and cultural resources,” said Nate Rudy, Waterville Creates! Executive Director. “The next step is to meet as a community to discuss and improve plan priorities and objectives while identifying collaborative partners to help finalize the Cultural Blueprint priorities and strategies moving forward.”

When survey respondents were asked: “What do you hope Waterville will be known for in the future?” the words that came up most frequently were: community, downtown, arts, culture, place, and vibrant. These findings and more will be shared and discussed at a series of Cultural Blueprint public meetings being held at the Waterville City Council Chambers:

Data Findings and Initial Recommendations

Thursday, May 19th from 12pm – 1:30pm
Thursday, May 26th from 11am – 12:30pm

Strategy Recommendations
Thursday, June 2nd from 12pm – 2pm

Plan Summary and Finalization
Thursday, June 16th from 5pm – 6:30pm

The Cultural Blueprint is being developed with help from Reinholt Consulting LLC, a Maine based team of consultants specializing in assessment and planning for creative organizations and communities.

“Our team at Reinholt Consulting is passionate about the work we do because we see the direct effects that arts and cultural organizations have on a community’s vitality and quality of life. When we work with an organization to do an assessment we strive to reach out to all facets of the public to gain their input which provides a scope of how changing populations value, perceive, and identify existing cultural opportunities. This allows an organization to fine tune their vision based on what the community needs and desires.”

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! promotes, supports, and grows community arts and cultural assets in order to strengthen Waterville as a vibrant creative center, increase access to creative opportunities for residents and visitors, and advance community and economic development goals from its offices in The Center, a 68,000 square foot, mixed-use building on Main Street in historic downtown Waterville.