WATERVILLE — The Maine Film Center and the Waterville Opera House are among the city’s arts and cultural groups that will share $510,000 from Waterville Creates!, the organization announced Thursday.

The money is part of a $1.5 million multi-year grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation “to encourage collaboration and integration among the city’s arts, cultural, and civic institutions,” Nate Rudy, executive director of Waterville Creates! said in a news release.

Rudy said the money will help the groups “further their missions to offer arts and culture, education, and entertainment to the greater Waterville community.”

Other initiatives that will benefit from the money are the Partner Incentive Fund, through which Waterville Creates! partners “work with existing arts and culture programs to expand and create new offerings to enhance the quality of life in Waterville, and promote Waterville as an arts and culture hub for mid- and central Maine,” the release said.

Shannon Haines, executive director of the Maine Film Center, said “last year we drew more than 40,000 visitors to Waterville to view films at Railroad Square Cinema and attend the Maine International Film Festival, and this support will help us to continue to build new audiences and expand our reach.”

At the Waterville Opera House, the money will help “in enhancing programming, strengthening our professional staff with new hires, and continuing our mission to be the premier destination for the performing arts in central Maine,” said Diane Bryan, executive director, in the release.

Waterville Creates! is a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports arts and cultural assets in the Waterville area.

Rudy said in December, when the Alfond grant was first announced, that the Alfond foundation began supporting the organization through a number of grants starting last year. The financing helped establish Waterville Creates! and provided operational expenses to the Waterville Opera House and the Maine Film Center, Rudy said.

The Alfond foundation gave Waterville Creates! $200,000 and the Opera House $129,500 in 2014, according to its grants report. The awards were part of nearly $33 million the charity awarded in 2014 to 41 organizations focused on education, health care and youth development and aimed at communities in central Maine, specifically the Waterville area. The foundation had assets of just under $800 million last year, according to the report.

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