Maine's Kennebec Valley

arts and culture

Inspiration is everywhere.  The lone voice of a guitarist breaks the silence. Over three centuries of American art. Concertos and country music standards. Shakespeare. Visitors will discover that arts abound in Maine’s Kennebec Valley.

Bowl in the Pines, Snow Pond Center for the Art

The Art of Performance

For classic and contemporary theater productions and shows featuring top-tier, national level musical acts, book a seat at the Waterville Opera House or Augusta Civic Center.

Enjoy an outdoor concert at Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney or on the river at Johnson Hall’s Free Waterfront Concert Series on summer Fridays during the summer. Check out what’s happening at The Elm, an incredibly popular venue in Waterville for live music and performances.

Lakewood Theater raises its curtain on compelling dramas and laugh-out-loud comedies every season in Madison. The Gaslight Theater in Hallowell is Maine’s oldest continuously operating community theater. Now a music and comedy venue,
Madison’s Somerset Abbey was once a historic church. Catch a show at the historic Theater at Monmouth.

Screenings

Each July, Downtown Waterville and The Maine Film Center welcome the renowned Maine International Film Festival. The 10 days of the festival showcase nearly 100 films, representing the best of American independent and international cinema, and spotlight some of Maine and New England’s most exciting and innovative filmmakers.

Throughout the rest of the year, the Film Center maintains an independent movie theater, offering art house, classic, and first-run movies. Plus, some of the best popcorn in the known universe.

Welcome to the Maine International Film Festival. @CapShore
Blistered Fingers Blue Grass Festival
Blistered Fingers Blue Grass Festival

Music for all tastes

Warm weather brings live music with it to Maine’s Kennebec Valley. In Gardiner, Johnson Hall puts on its Free Summer Waterfront Concert Series, with bands like The Mallett Brothers, Muddy Ruckus, and the Juke Joint Devils. Bring your camp chair and enjoy music with a views of the river.

Hallowell offers an abundance of music venues, including a stage right on the Kennebec River banks. Bluegrass lovers should not miss the Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Festival in Litchfield (held twice each summer). If your soul is stirred by classical music, bathe in the experience of Waterville’s multi-week Atlantic Music Festival.

Speaking of Waterville, Waterville Rocks! is a FREE, family-friendly concert series held at beautiful Head of Falls each summer. And, if it rains, shows are held inside the Waterville Opera House.

Maine’s largest art museum

The Colby College Museum of Art is a modern architectural wonder housing a vast collection of works of art from diverse cultures and historic periods, focusing on American and contemporary art. 

On the Colby campus, the museum features thematic displays that draw from its collection of nearly 11,000 artworks as well as a vibrant schedule of rotating exhibitions and programs. While in the heart of downtown, the Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art, a dedicated gallery space at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, presents rotating exhibitions of contemporary art and selections from the Colby Museum’s collection. 

For art on a smaller scale, browse Gardiner’s Monkitree for hand made crafts and Alan Claude Gallery, featuring his poster style art of lighthouses, coastal and lake scenes of Maine. Be sure to stop by Skowhegan’s River Roads Artisans Gallery, or Ticonic Gallery + Studios in Waterville. 

Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine's Kennebec Valley
Football Scrimmage, Bernard "Blackie" Langlais, Showhegan
Football Scrimmage, Bernard "Blackie" Langlais, Showhegan

Unique to the Kennebec valley

Built in 1842, the South Solon Meeting House was meant to house religious and community activities. It has since become known for its floor-to-ceiling frescoes, painted by contemporary artists who were part of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the 1950s. The building is always open to welcome visitors.

The region is a prime destination for environmental art fans. Skowhegan is home to 21 pieces by Bernard “Blackie” Langlais. He is a prolific artist known for his impressionistic folk-art style and oversized sculptures made from scrap wood and found objects. Langlais was a student and teacher at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

Scroll to Top