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, Actor

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 $75,000 from actor Ed Harris in support of the community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center. Harris, who worked and lived in Waterville in the early 2000s while filming the HBO movie Empire Falls, cited his fondness for the people of Waterville as one reason for the gift.

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.

“Ever since living in Waterville and working on Empire Falls some 15 years ago, the town and the people in it have held a fond place in my heart,” said actor Ed Harris. “This project is such a great idea and will enrich the lives of so many that I felt compelled and honored to contribute in what I hope is a meaningful way.” Harris’ gift was pledged in support of the $2 million community capital campaign being led by Waterville Creates! as part of the overall fundraising goal of $18 million for the project. In recognition of his generous support, the box office of the new facility will be named the Ed Harris Box Office.

“Over the twenty-two-year history of the Maine International Film Festival, we have had the honor of welcoming some incredible guests to Waterville, and Ed Harris was certainly one of the most memorable,” says Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates! and past director of the film festival, which presented Harris with its annual Mid-Life Achievement Award in July of 2004. “Ed was not only incredibly generous with his time at the festival, but he also used the opportunity to advocate for Railroad Square Cinema and independent film programming. We are so grateful for his remarkable gift.”

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! connects artists, organizations, and the public with arts and cultural events and programs happening in our community. Supporting and promoting arts education, exhibitions, theatre, film, music, and dance that is accessible to all, Waterville Creates! is leading the effort to make Waterville an exciting cultural destination and a thriving, vibrant community. Learn more at http://www.watervillecreates.org and for more information about the ongoing community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center visit http://www.downtownartscenter.org.