New Speaker Series Focusing on Public Art and Creative Placemaking Launches March 15, 2018

Waterville, Maine — Waterville Creates! and the Colby College Museum of Art, two of Maine’s leading arts and cultural organizations, will co-present Space for Conversation, a free speakers’ series designed to establish a shared understanding of best practices for public art and creative placemaking projects. The series will also help to build greater awareness of the Waterville Creates! Public Art Task Group and its initiatives, which are guided by the Waterville Cultural Blueprint.

The first program in the series, Making Space for We: Building Bridges through Art and Social Action, will take place on March 15th at Common Street Arts, located at 93 Main Street in downtown Waterville. The inaugural speaker will be Elizabeth Jabar, who spent part of her childhood in Waterville and is now associate dean and director of public engagement at the Maine College of Art. Jabar will discuss the role of the citizen, artist, designer, and the power of community partnerships in fostering social change.

One of the goals for the Space for Conversation series is to develop a shared language for community discussion concerning public art as a key component of a creative placemaking strategy that includes landscape design, animating public spaces, and other aesthetic considerations.

“Public art is of great interest to the community as we learned through feedback during the Cultural Blueprint planning process last year.  This series will provide information and fresh perspectives for all of us to engage in a thoughtful discussion on how art can instigate change, provide meaningful shared spaces for our community, and serve as a catalyst for creative exchange,” says Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates!

The second event in the series is titled: Community Discussion with Philadelphia’s Monument Lab. This free event will be hosted at Colby’s Given Auditorium on April 24th at 6:30 pm. Monument Lab is a public art and history project that focuses on social justice and solidarity issues. Community members participating in the event will work with Monument Lab, Colby faculty and students to explore civic dialogue and imagination as forces for social change and ask what is an appropriate monument for our city?

“Monument Lab presents an inspiring model, as our community explores the intersection between public art, civic engagement, and social change,” according to Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy director and chief curator at the Colby College Museum of Art. “We are thrilled to be working with our partners at Waterville Creates! to bring them to Waterville as part of this exciting series of talks.”

To learn more about the upcoming Space for Conversation events, visit

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! promotes, supports and grows our community’s 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.  For more information visit