Waterville, Maine — Waterville Creates!, a non-profit supporting and promoting high-quality, accessible arts and cultural programs and institutions in Waterville, Maine, announces a gift in the amount of $25,000 from MaineGeneral Health in support of the community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center.
Designed to bring together under one roof some of Waterville’s most beloved arts institutions, including the Maine Film Center, Common Street Arts, and a new gallery of the Colby Museum of Art, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center will be constructed on the current site of The Center building at 93 Main Street, directly adjacent to the Waterville Opera House and City Hall building and downtown’s central green space, Castonguay Square. Waterville Creates! and Colby College are partnering on this transformative project, which will create a distinctive hub for visual arts, performing arts, arts education, and film for children and adults. In addition to enhancing Waterville’s reputation as a destination for arts and culture, this new facility will add vitality to downtown Waterville during both the daytime and evening hours and serve as an economic driver for the region.
“Our mission is to enhance the everyday health of our patients, our families and our communities,” says Chuck Hays, president and CEO of MaineGeneral. “Research shows that art can help people with depression, anxiety, or life-threatening diseases. The act of creating and experiencing art has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience in healthy older people. In supporting the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, we’re investing in our region’s overall health.” MaineGeneral’s gift was pledged in support of the $2 million community capital campaign led by Waterville Creates! as part of the overall fundraising goal of $18 million for the project. $629,420 has been pledged to the campaign to date, representing businesses, individuals, and foundations.
“MaineGeneral Health is an incredible community partner and supporter of the arts. They truly value the impact that our arts and cultural organizations have on quality of life in the region, as reflected by their long-standing annual support of the Maine International Film Festival and the Waterville Opera House,” says Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates! “Now, with this generous gift to the capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, they are demonstrating that they share our belief that investing in the arts will lead to a more vibrant future for Waterville and the surrounding area.”
According to the Business Contributions to the Arts: 2018 Edition, a study by The Conference Board in conjunction with Americans for the Arts, 79% of companies believe arts help to improve quality of life in the community. The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, published by Americans for the Arts in 2017, found that Waterville’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences generate over $6 million in direct economic activity per year.
About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! connects artists, cultural organizations, and the public with arts and cultural events and programs happening in our community. We firmly believe that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. We promote and support arts education, exhibitions, theatre, film, music, and dance that is accessible to all residents and visitors. By helping to build a creative economy, Waterville Creates! is leading the effort to make Waterville an exciting cultural destination and a thriving, vibrant community. Learn more at https://www.watervillecreates.org. For more information about the ongoing community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center visit http://www.downtownartscenter.org.