Home to the largest art museum in the state, the only independent cinema in Maine recognized by the Sundance Art House project, a year-round performing arts venue listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a National Medal-winning public library, and numerous other vibrant arts and education venues, Waterville offers diverse, accessible, and high-quality arts experiences for all ages.

Community Partners

Waterville Creates is honored to collaborate with the following arts partners:

Colby College Museum of Art

Founding Partner

The Colby College Museum of Art is a teaching museum, a destination for American art, and a place for education and engagement with local, national, and global communities. Part of Colby College, the museum actively contributes to Colby’s curricular and co-curricular programs and to the region’s quality of life. The museum and its Lunder Institute for American art inspire connections between art and people through distinctive exhibitions, programs, and publications and through an outstanding collection that emphasizes American art and contemporary art within holdings that span a broad range of cultures and time periods.

Waterville Public Library

Founding Partner

Winner of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Services and established in 1896, the Waterville Public Library is a historic Carnegie library and is a center for community and learning, a place where people of all ages connect with ideas, information, and opportunity. Library services and resources are free, open to the public and include a Business, Career & Creativity Center, public computers, wifi, local history collections, art gallery, and youth programs.

Colby College Center for the Arts + Humanities

The Center for the Arts and Humanities sponsors multiple programs and events open to the entire community, encouraging everyone to find meaning in their lives, to engage with the world in innovative ways, and to find inspiration in the transformative experiences that the arts and humanities make possible.

The Lunder Institute for American Art

The Lunder Institute for American Art is an initiative of the Colby College Museum of Art that contributes to the vitality of Central Maine and Waterville by supporting scholars and artists whose work expands the understanding and interpretation of American art. Based at the Colby College Arts Collaborative in downtown Waterville, the institute engages students, faculty, and community members in collaborative and interdisciplinary programs that amplify marginalized voices and challenge convention, providing a platform for generative dialogue on important questions of our time.

Greene Block + Studios

Situated in downtown Waterville, the Greene Block + Studios enhances Waterville’s identity as an arts destination and promotes the development of creative work by Maine and national artists, educators, change agents, makers, performers, scientists, and students. The ground floor presents vibrant arts programming for people of all ages and is a space for interdisciplinary artistic exploration. Anchored by the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, the three upper floors offer studios and research spaces for scholars, community experts, and artists.

Collaborative Programs

Arts in Bloom

Arts in Bloom is an annual, one-day celebration of the arts and spring in downtown Waterville. Waterville Creates, the Maine Film Center, the Waterville Opera House, the Waterville Public Library, and the Colby College Museum of Art partner with area businesses and nonprofits to present a full day of fun, free, family-friendly activities that include artmaking, a film screening, citizen science activities, and more.


First Fridays

First Fridays celebrate the vibrant creativity in Waterville through a wide array of arts experiences. On the first Friday of every month, visit Downtown Waterville to meet artists, see performances, listen to live music, eat delicious food, shop at local businesses, enjoy the arts, and come together as a community.


Community-Centered Arts

Waterville Creates’ 2023 Call for Proposals (CFP) for Community-Centered Arts Programming is the final phase of the Common Threads project. The proposals funded through the CFP represent a diverse range of artists nd disciplines, and are designed to attract people of all ages and backgrounds to the Paul J. Schupf Art Center by providing accessible, meaningful, and joyful arts experiences while also responding to issues and themes that are relevant and important to our community.


Joy to the Ville

Joy to the Ville is an annual, all-day community event celebrating the magic of the holiday season in Waterville. Waterville Creates and its partners at the Waterville Opera House, the Maine Film Center, the Waterville Public Library, the Colby College Museum of Art, and the Children’s Discovery Museum join forces with area businesses and partners to present a day of free, family-friendly holiday programming, including a holiday movie screening, artmaking activities, green screen photos, cookie decorating, ornament and card-making, and more.


Community Initiatives

Waterville Cultural Blueprint

In the fall of 2015, with funding from the Maine Arts Commission, Waterville Creates and Waterville Main Street came together with a shared goal to increase the availability, accessibility, and general awareness of arts and cultural offerings in Waterville. The greater Waterville community was invited to engage in a comprehensive cultural planning process in order to identify barriers to participation and understand the current reach, value, and relevance of arts and cultural offerings. Endorsed by the City Council in the spring of 2017, the Waterville Cultural Blueprint outlines five priorities and associated objectives and strategies which will enable Waterville to build upon its existing arts and cultural assets to expand programs, increase access, and reach a broader audience.

Download the Full Report

Castonguay Square Community Design Project

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Castonguay Square Community Design project began in the fall of 2018 with a series of stakeholder meetings that included downtown business and property owners, representatives from arts and cultural organizations, and city and economic development officials. The initial meetings were followed by a series of three public design charrettes, held in October and November 2018 and January 2019. These interactive workshops explored the history of Castonguay Square, its past uses, and configurations, and the community’s aspirations for this important green space and how it could best serve residents and visitors in the future. Over 150 participants contributed their ideas to the project, resulting in a vision that reflects a diversity of perspectives and experiences.

Download the Final Design