WATERVILLE – Colby College officials and city leaders in Waterville are working together to transform the downtown into an arts destination. A recent donation to the college is helping in that mission.
Just across the street from the soon-to-be Lockwood Hotel stands two empty buildings. By the end of the year, that’ll change.
“This is going to be a group of artists working with community members, with faculty, with students…all in the creation of original art, in the research and scholarship of American art, utilizing the resources of the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art,” said Colby College V.P. of Planning Brian Clark.
The buildings that sit at 14 and 20 Main Street in Waterville will be transformed into an arts collaborative that’ll be home to programming and studios with room for performances and exhibitions.
“The arts collaborative is one of five major projects we’re committed to undertaking,” said Clark. “173 Main Street, The Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, The Lockwood Hotel across the street, the arts collaborative and the Paul J. Schupf Arts Center which will start construction later this year as well.”
Clark says it’s all part of the college’s mission to help Waterville become an arts and cultural destination.
“You start to get this really rich and dynamic set of art and cultural aspects that support the creation and exhibition of art, performance of art and enjoyment of art,” said Clark.
He added that the arts collaborative will cost about $6.5 million with a large chunk of it coming from a donation.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity and the vision of Peter and Paula Lunder who are contributing three million dollars towards this project,” said Clark. “This project in many ways marries Peter and Paula’s passions, supporting the arts in Maine and supporting the community of Waterville where they lived for so long.”
Right now both of the buildings on Main Street are empty and unfinished, but according to Clark, in just 10 months the arts collaborative is expected to be finished.