Creativity. Collaboration. Community.


Creativity. Collaboration. Community.



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 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 / City Hall building and downtown’s central green space, Castonguay Square. Plans 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
  • 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: Why is this project important to Waterville? What will be different?
The Paul J. Schupf Art Center is an opportunity to strengthen the arts and cultural institutions that have enriched our community for decades. This project will provide a new home for Railroad Square Cinema with improved seating, projection, and sound capabilities, while also relieving the financial pressures of maintaining an aging building and paying a monthly lease for parking. The Paul J. Schupf Art Center will also bring a piece of the Colby Museum to downtown, something that both residents and visitors alike have long advocated for, alongside the community-developed exhibition space of Common Street Arts. One of the most exciting pieces of the project is the creation of several flexible classroom spaces, which will allow for expanded arts education opportunities for residents of all ages. With this entire facility connecting directly to the Waterville Opera House in an elegant, highly visible way, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center will be a facility unmatched anywhere in the state of Maine.

Q: What is the timeline?
The timeline for construction and opening is dependent on the ability to raise funds for the project. The generous naming gift from Paul J. Schupf, announced April 23, 2019, launches the project into the next phase of additional design and pre-construction planning. Once the construction design and plan are complete, the construction period for this project is anticipated to be around 18 months.

Q: What about parking?
We understand that parking and access are of vital importance to our arts patrons and to the entire downtown community. We are committed to working with the city, business leaders, and community members to ensure that there is adequate parking to meet our patrons’ needs both on a day to day basis and for special events. Parking and accessibility issues will be key discussion points as the center moves into the 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 Paul J. Schupf Art 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 Paul J. Schupf Art 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


Northern Light Inland Hospital makes $25,000 Gift to Waterville’s Paul J. Schupf Art Center

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…

Award-winning actor Ed Harris makes $75,000 gift to Waterville’s Paul J. Schupf Art Center

“The people of Waterville hold a fond place in my heart” – Ed Harris, ActorWaterville, Maine — Waterville Creates!, a non-profit supporting and promoting high-quality, accessible arts and…

Colby Secures Naming Gift for Downtown Arts Center

Colby College Trustee Emeritus Paul J. Schupf, LL.D. ’06 has made another remarkable gift to the College, this time to support the construction of downtown Waterville’s arts center, which will bring…

Tenants of future Waterville arts center building find new homes

When Waterville Community Dental moved out of 93 Main St., Waterville, at the end of December, it was the last of nine tenants to move from the building to make way for a new arts center.The 64,000-square-foot…

Colby, Waterville Creates! collaborate on downtown arts building renovation

WATERVILLE — A landmark downtown building will be renovated, reduced and developed into an arts hub in a collaboration between Colby College and nonprofit Waterville Creates!The building, at 93 Main…

Colby Secures $2-Million Commitment for Contemporary Gallery in Downtown Arts Center

Through the generosity of longtime supporter and great friend of Colby College Trustee Emeritus Paul J. Schupf, LL.D. ’06, the Colby College Museum of Art will expand into downtown Waterville, offering…

Plans Made for Waterville Arts Center

WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - The non-profit group Waterville Creates is partnering with Colby College to redevelop 93 Main Street into an art center in downtown Waterville.One of the plans in place…

Waterville Creates! and Colby College Partner to Establish New Downtown Arts Center

Waterville, Maine — Colby College and Waterville Creates! have announced plans to transform a historical downtown building into a new center for contemporary art and film, making Waterville a singular…