Community-Centered Arts Programming

Waterville Creates is excited to announce the artists and organizations selected to receive funding through its competitive Call for Proposals (CFP) for Community-Centered Arts Programming. The following eight projects were chosen from over 50 submissions based on their responsiveness to established themes, plans for community engagement, artistic excellence, and feasibility:

Tanja HollanderThe Ephemera Project– crowd-sourced archive of personal objects and stories, June 2023-January 2024

The Ephemera Project is a crowd-sourced, photographic archive of personal objects and stories based in memory, self-reflection, and vulnerability. Through a series of “collection stations,” community members are invited to bring their personal objects and stories for Tanja to photograph and document. Ephemera she has collected will be displayed in the windows of the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, both as an exhibition and promotion for the project, and will be archived in an online searchable database.

Peter Bruun, Studio B, Together– community dialogue, artmaking + exhibition, June 2023-April 2024
Studio B, a Maine-based art and community nonprofit, presents Together, a project conceived and led by artist and cultural organizer Peter Bruun in partnership with Waterville Creates. Together will use art-making workshops and conversations to explore what makes a healthy community, culminating at the Schupf Art Center in April 2024 with two days of exhibitions and programs exploring, celebrating, and fortifying connections among Waterville’s diverse populations. Grounded in the truth that there is more that unites than separates us in this world, the project will provide platforms for all voices to be heard, allowing neighbors to collaborate toward the common cause of living well together.

Sayon Camara – workshop + performance, July/August 2023
A superb teacher and master djembefola performer of the traditional Malinke, Guinean cultural music, song, dance and story, Sayon Camara will offer a drumming workshop and performance in Castonguay Square in conjunction with Art in the Park.

Matthew Cumbie + Jenny Ngidi-Brown, Waterville Moves,– community movement class, July 2023-May 2024
Kicking off with a soft launch in July and continuing through May 2024, Waterville Moves will be a bi-weekly, 2-hour, drop-in community movement class designed for people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and experiences with movement.

Tyler French + Catie Joyce-Bulay, writing workshops + public reading, August 2023-May 2024
This series of four 90-minute writing workshops led by different Central Maine writers spanning expertise in poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, and technical writing, will culminate in the publication of a small-run print chapbook to be distributed at a public event where workshop participants will read their contributions.

Kennebec Valley Chordsmen– barbershop harmony workshops + performance, September/October 2023

Kennebec Valley Chordsmen will provide an immersive, intergenerational experience through which youth, along with their parents and grandparents, will learn barbershop harmony in a workshop-style environment and then perform as a chorus at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center as part of Waterville’s October First Friday celebration.

Photography by Molly Haley,

Bess Welden, Death Wings Project, – January-May 2024

Death Wings Project is a web of visual and performing arts offerings that promotes open dialogue and community art-making about grief and loss. This program will feature a series of three mini wing-making workshops for adults at Ticonic Classroom and culminate in a public event featuring a reading of short excerpts from Bess’ award-winning play with songs, Death Wings, and the opportunity for workshop participants to share their work + stories.

Evelyn Wong, Lunar New Year Celebrations, – February 2024

Evelyn will offer a month-long series of workshops centered around Chinese traditions, superstitions, and stories celebrated and honored during the Lunar New Year, including Making Paper Lanterns, Folding Paper Cranes + Flowers, Bookbinding with Handbound Journals, and Printmaking with Traditional Door Decorations.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and realized in partnership with the Colby College Museum of Art and its Lunder institute for American Art.