MaineGeneral Gifts $25,000 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 of $25,000 from MaineGeneral Health in support of the community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center.

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.

“Our mission is to enhance the everyday health of our patients, our families and our communities,” says Chuck Hays, president and CEO of MaineGeneral. “Research shows that art can help people with depression, anxiety, or life-threatening diseases. The act of creating and experiencing art has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience in healthy older people. In supporting the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, we’re investing in our region’s overall health.” MaineGeneral’s gift was pledged in support of the $2 million community capital campaign led by Waterville Creates! as part of the overall fundraising goal of $18 million for the project. $629,420 has been pledged to the campaign to date, representing businesses, individuals, and foundations.

“MaineGeneral Health is an incredible community partner and supporter of the arts. They truly value the impact that our arts and cultural organizations have on quality of life in the region, as reflected by their long-standing annual support of the Maine International Film Festival and the Waterville Opera House,” says Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates! “Now, with this generous gift to the capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, they are demonstrating that they share our belief that investing in the arts will lead to a more vibrant future for Waterville and the surrounding area.”

According to the Business Contributions to the Arts: 2018 Edition, a study by The Conference Board in conjunction with Americans for the Arts, 79% of companies believe arts help to improve quality of life in the community. The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, published by Americans for the Arts in 2017, found that Waterville’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences generate over $6 million in direct economic activity per year.

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! connects artists, cultural organizations, and the public with arts and cultural events and programs happening in our community. We firmly believe that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. We promote and support arts education, exhibitions, theatre, film, music, and dance that is accessible to all residents and visitors. By helping to build a creative economy, 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. For more information about the ongoing community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center visit http://www.downtownartscenter.org.

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 vibrancy to the core of Main Street and be a major contributor toward establishing the city as a destination for the arts.

This gift launches the project into its next phase—a more detailed design process that will lead to a beautiful new space for Waterville residents and visitors. Colby and Waterville Creates! will resume design with confidence in their ability to reach the $18-million fundraising goal and redevelop 93 Main Street into a distinctive hub for visual arts, performing arts, arts education, and film for children and adults.

In honor of Mr. Schupf’s generosity, the building will be named the Paul J. Schupf Art Center.

“Our collective efforts to bring new life to Main Street have moved from conceptual to tangible,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “Downtown is visibly more vibrant than it was just a few years ago, and Paul Schupf’s incredible gift adds to this momentum, making possible a leading center for the arts at Main Street’s core that will be a catalyst for the city’s cultural and economic expansion. I am so grateful to Paul, long an expert on and benefactor to the arts, who made Colby his adopted home and the future of Waterville his passion.”

The Paul J. Schupf Art Center will be at the heart of downtown activity and tie into the redesign of Castonguay Square to create a lively outdoor space for complementary programs and activities. The preliminary design, created by an architectural team of Susan T. Rodriguez of New York City and OPAL of Belfast, Maine, includes a contemporary gallery of the Colby College Museum of Art on the ground level; three screening rooms to bring the Maine Film Center, Railroad Square Cinema, and the Maine International Film Festival to downtown; Common Street Arts gallery; and multidisciplinary educational spaces. The concept for the 32,000-square-foot building carefully preserves the building’s historical façade while creating a Main Street presence for the Waterville Opera House.

“This project will strengthen the arts and cultural institutions that have enriched our community for decades and have a tremendous economic impact on the city,” said Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates! “By bringing a diverse mix of arts programming together in one beautiful, modern facility, we will enliven downtown during the day and in the evening hours as well. We are so thankful for Mr. Schupf’s investment in Waterville’s future.”

Schupf, an emeritus member of the Board of Governors at the Colby College Museum of Art, has been a generous supporter of Colby over many decades.

“I find it invigorating to see plans for Main Street taking shape, particularly the efforts to create an arts and cultural renaissance downtown,” said Schupf. “Colby’s unique culture and innovative spirit are making a lasting impact on Waterville, bringing new sources of economic growth to the region.”

Schupf has been one of Colby’s greatest supporters since being introduced to Colby through the Colby College Museum of Art in 1985. His contributions include naming gifts for the Paul J. Schupf Scientific Computing Center, the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz, the Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court at the Colby museum. He was also the lead donor for the Anthony-Mitchell-Schupf residence hall, and, most recently, he created the Paul J. Schupf Colby College/Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Internship and named the Lorey/Schupf Handbell Choir. A serious art collector, Schupf has also donated numerous works to the Colby museum by artists Alex Katz, Richard Serra, Edward Ruscha, Christo, and many others.

“Paul Schupf’s generosity toward the Colby College Museum of Art has been transformational,” said Director and Chief Curator Sharon Corwin. “And now, he is doing for Waterville what he did for Colby—making possible an exceptional art experience for all. For decades he has supported the arts at Colby, and now his vision extends to the region. He is a dear friend, and we are forever grateful to him.”

“The people at Colby are great to work with,” said Schupf. “Dan Lugo in advancement was instrumental in this process, Provost Margaret McFadden, CFO Doug Terp—and of course President David Greene—make giving to Colby exciting and great fun.”