Waterville Creates! and the Colby College Museum of Art will co-present Space for Conversation, a free speakers’ series designed to establish a shared understanding of best practices for public art and creative placemaking projects. The series also will help to build greater awareness of the Waterville Creates! Public Art Task Group and its initiatives, which are guided by the Waterville Cultural Blueprint.

The first program, Making Space for We: Building Bridges through Art and Social Action, will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at Common Street Arts, 93 Main St. in Waterville. The inaugural speaker will be Elizabeth Jabar, who spent part of her childhood in Waterville and is now associate dean and director of public engagement at the Maine College of Art. Jabar will discuss the role of the citizen, artist, designer and the power of community partnerships in fostering social change.

One of the goals for the Space for Conversation series is to develop a shared language for community discussion concerning public art as a key component of a creative placemaking strategy that includes landscape design, animating public spaces, and other aesthetic considerations.

“Public art is of great interest to the community as we learned through feedback during the Cultural Blueprint planning process last year. This series will provide information and fresh perspectives for all of us to engage in a thoughtful discussion on how art can instigate change, provide meaningful shared spaces for our community, and serve as a catalyst for creative exchange,” said Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates!, according to a news release from the organization.

The second event in the series, Community Discussion with Philadelphia’s Monument Lab, is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Colby’s Given Auditorium, Mayflower Hill in Waterville. Monument Lab is a public art and history project that focuses on social justice and solidarity issues. Community members participating in the free event will work with Monument Lab, Colby faculty and students to explore civic dialogue and imagination as forces for social change and ask what is an appropriate monument for our city?

“Monument Lab presents an inspiring model, as our community explores the intersection between public art, civic engagement and social change,” said Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy director and chief curator at the Colby College Museum of Art, according to the release. “We are thrilled to be working with our partners at Waterville Creates! to bring them to Waterville as part of this exciting series of talks.”

For more information, visit watervillecreates.org.

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