Waterville, Maine — Waterville Creates!, one of Maine’s leading arts and cultural organizations and a key driver in making the city a vibrant destination in central Maine, has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town program to undertake, in partnership with the City of Waterville, Colby College, and other partners, a community re-design process for Downtown Waterville’s central greenspace, Castonguay Square.
“Castonguay Square is a lovely greenspace located in the heart of our historic downtown district, but its current design is not particularly inviting,” said Shannon Haines, President and CEO of Waterville Creates! “In this time of unprecedented investment in the downtown, this project will give the community an exciting opportunity to help create a dynamic, welcoming space right in the center of it all. The process will also build community capacity for future projects and help to restore a sense of pride and civic engagement.”
The project will kick off with a special workshop focusing on downtown revitalization and creative placemaking in the fall of 2018 and will be followed by a series of community design charrettes designed to understand how the park is currently being utilized and what is the community’s collective vision for its future. The project will conclude with a final design concept for presentation to the City Council in early 2019.
In the creative placemaking process, public, private, not-for-profit, and community sectors partner to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired. Key elements of this process are inclusivity, intention, and relationship building with all community stakeholders.
The NEA announced 60 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program. “The variety and quality of these Our Town projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Waterville Creates! in Waterville, Maine, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”
About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! promotes increased awareness of cultural opportunities and events while supporting enhanced programming and operations for its community partners and audiences. Waterville Creates! provides marketing, administrative, and development services to arts and cultural institutions in the greater Waterville area. Learn more at https://www.watervillecreates.org