Creativity. Collaboration. Community.


Creativity. Collaboration. Community.



The Waterville Downtown Arts Center is designed to bring together under one roof some of Waterville’s most beloved arts institutions along with a dynamic and collaborative creative team to lead them. The Downtown Arts Center will be constructed on the current site of The Center building at 93 Main Street, directly adjacent to the Waterville Opera House / City Hall building and downtown’s central green space, Castonguay Square. Plans for the Downtown Art Center include:

  • The relocation of the Maine Film Center’s Railroad Square Cinema with three film screening rooms and a permanent home for the Maine International Film Festival
  • The Common Street Arts gallery, education classroom, and clay studio
  • A new contemporary gallery of the Colby College Museum of Art, made possible by a $2 million leadership gift from Colby College Trustee Emeritus Paul J. Schupf, LL.D. ’06
  • An elegant physical connection to and greater visibility for the Waterville Opera House
  • A brand-new rehearsal space for the Waterville Opera House that also will serve as a shared space for special events and receptions
  • A combined box office for the Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, and other arts institutions and partners
  • A flexible educational space that can be used as a film editing and new media classroom, a small screening room, a rehearsal space, or a place for workshops and lectures
  • An open concept workspace for the Waterville Creates! creative team, which will include the staff of the Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, and Common Street Arts

Waterville Creates! is leading a community capital campaign to raise $2 million in support of this transformative project.


Q: What is the timeline?
The timeline for construction and opening is dependent on the ability to raise funds for the project. Additional design and pre-construction planning is also required.

Q: What about parking?
The Downtown Arts Center will bring more visitors to Main Street, supporting both the arts in Waterville and local businesses. The December 2016 downtown transportation study commissioned by the City included the assumption that The Center would be redeveloped as an arts center. The study concluded that, even with the many development projects happening in downtown Waterville, the city’s parking supply is adequate to meet the demand if managed properly. More detailed parking discussions will be held as the project moves into the next design phase.

Q: Whose project is this?
Waterville Creates! and Colby College are working together on this exciting project. From the planning and design to the fundraising, the Downtown Arts Center is a collaborative effort. Ultimately, though, this is a community project. More than just a building, the Downtown Arts Center brings together some of the community’s most beloved arts institutions in one centrally located, comfortable, welcoming space in the heart of our city.

Q: How can the community help to make this project happen?
Waterville Creates! is currently leading a community capital campaign to raise $2 million in support of this transformative project. In addition to financial support, the Downtown Arts Center project needs ambassadors who can speak to the value of the project to Waterville’s revitalization efforts, the economic vitality of our downtown businesses, and our community’s arts and cultural identity.

Q: Where can I find more information?
For the latest project information, contact Shannon Haines, President + CEO at





“The arts and downtown development go hand in hand.  We know for a fact that the arts are an economic driver in Maine and when embraced as a key component of community revitalization, are often the primary catalyst for increased tourism and investment.  I applaud Waterville Creates! for making this commitment and I look forward to what the future holds!”

Julie A. RichardExecutive Director, Maine Arts Commission

“Our family has lived in Waterville for eight years. With two active and curious kids, we often had to travel to Bangor or Portland to participate in arts or cultural activities and even discussed moving to more easily take advantage of such offerings. It is magical to be able to drive downtown to engage with educational and entertaining community programming. We are so grateful for all of the work Waterville Creates! does!”

Jessica GrahamResident

“Railroad Square Cinema is such a great place—they show films that you can’t see anywhere else in the state – really good independent films. I can’t say enough about this place.”

Ed HarrisActor and MIFF Special Guest

“Investing in our community’s cultural and arts programs is one of our highest priorities.  Our son has thrived in their Theatre Camps and our entire family thoroughly enjoys the wonderful main stage productions.  Our community is enriched and a better place because of the Opera House and their work.”

Tina LugoResident


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