Fall 2020 Update:

“Where’s The Waldo?”

When I hear this question, sometimes people are literally asking where our historic 1936 movie house-turned-live theatre venue is located. Others are asking me the status of renovations to a building that was shuttered in 2014, and how the capital campaign is progressing. And so many are asking when we’ll be ready - and able to open. I hope you find the answers inspiring. 

Our Home:
Built during the Great Depression with the help of local families, The Waldo stands at the center of the town of Waldoboro, and at the heart of Midcoast, Maine, about 65 miles north or Portland. Despite challenges and hardships, the community of the 1930s recognized the importance of a place to gather, to entertain, and to dream as a means to recover from turbulent times.

Our History and Progress:
Our community still feels the same way. Since a new board formed in 2016 to save The Waldo, dozens of dedicated volunteers have put in hundreds of hours of work, re-building, painting, and making tailor-made Waldo components in order to bring the beloved building at the center of their community back to life. The entire interior of the auditorium and public areas - walls and ceilings - have undergone plaster repair and painting.

New Technology:
In addition to live theatre at The Waldo, we're bringing back live music and films, installing digital projection and audio systems. In September 2020, with the pandemic keeping venues closed, we also invested in high-quality streaming equipment. This is a very exciting advancement for us - evolved from the necessity of quarantine and distance - that will impact our programming into the future, even when we're able to gather in large numbers again. We’ll be able to reach audiences not able to attend due for various reasons - schedule, health, or geography - and allow us to expand our reach further than we could have imagined a year ago.

How is the Capital Campaign going?
Donations from individuals, foundations, and business totaled $300,000 of the $700,000 goal  by January 2020. A construction line of credit of $200,000 in February made it possible for us to continue work after COVID-19 struck. That left $200,000 needed.

The Challenge:
An anonymous donor came forward in February with a matching challenge grant. The donor will provide a grant of $43,000 to The Waldo building project if our community can help us raise the balance of $157,000 by December 2020

Wait, there’s more news: Since receiving the challenge, we have raised nearly $120,000 toward that goal, with grants totaling $15,000 still pending!

Now we're asking for your help to help us raise the remaining $22,000 to meet the challenge by the end of the year.

Under the CARES Act there is now no limit to the deductions you can take for charitable contributions if you itemize your contributions.

Since the start of the pandemic, people have looked toward the arts for inspiration and hope, and as a distraction from worries.  Streaming live performances of music, theatre, and dance is a way to keep our imaginations dreaming. When the time comes for communities to gather again, The Waldo will be ready.

Now that you know “where” the Waldo is, please consider considering making a gift to help us meet this challenge and finally reopen our doors wide to our wonderful community.

With thanks and my very best wishes,

Kate Fletcher
Executive Director

Please make a gift today to help The Waldo meet this challenge!