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Author and Waterville native Rhea Côté Robbins will deliver the keynote address for Colby’s third Burst the Bubble, Build a Bridge week, October 23 through 28, which is aimed at fostering the connection between Colby students and the local community. Robbins’s talk is one of many events both on the Colby campus and in downtown Waterville.

Activities throughout the week aim to inform students about the benefits of being active members of the Central Maine community. Events will raise student awareness about opportunities to volunteer and interact with the people of Waterville and about reasons to remain in the area upon graduation.

Robbins will deliver her speech, “Community and Identity,” on Thursday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 1 of the Olin Science Center. Other events during the week include screening of a few short Colby student-produced documentaries that highlight meanings of community in Waterville and a cider social at the REM Center in downtown Waterville.

A graduate of Waterville High School and the University of Maine, Côté Robbins was brought up in a Franco-American neighborhood known as “down the Plains.” She is the author of Wednesday’s Child and a founder and executive director of the Franco-American Women’s Institute. A recipient of the Maine Writers’ and Publishers’ Chapbook Award for Creative Nonfiction, she currently teaches at the University of Maine.

Burst the Bubble, Build a Bridge week is sponsored by students of the Colby South End Coalition (CSEC). The goal of the South End Coalition is to improve conditions in Waterville’s South End and to give Colby students an understanding of life in the area. By bringing Waterville residents and Colby students together in social settings, CSEC aims to reduce stereotypes in both directions and to strengthen relations between the College and the community. The group is active with the South End Neighborhood Association and volunteers at the South End Teen Center and the South End Learning Center.

Full Schedule of Events:

Monday, October 23
I Heart Waterville Day
Students will wear Burst the Bubble t-shirts as a sign of solidarity.

Monday, October 23, 11:30 a.m.
“How Does Community Shape Identity?”
Fairchild Room, Dana Dining Hall, Colby College
At this open forum, students will discuss how community shapes identity and how the Waterville community, in particular, shapes Colby’s identity — and vice versa.

Tuesday, October 24, 4 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.
Historical Driving Tour of Waterville
The tour will start at Castonguay Square and will make its way to various sites of historical and cultural interest in town. The bus will pick students up in front of the Pugh Center at 4 p.m. and all other Waterville residents at Castonguay Square at 4:20 p.m.

Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.
Documentary Night
Room 1, Olin Science Center, Colby College
A screening of a few short Colby student-produced documentaries that highlight meanings of community in Waterville.

Thursday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.
Keynote Address

Rhea Côté Robbins on Community and Identity
Room 1, Olin Science Center, Colby College
Waterville native and winner of the Maine Writers’ and Publishers’ Chapbook Award for
Creative Nonfiction Rhea Côté Robbins will speak about how growing up in the South End of Waterville has shaped her identity.

Friday, October 27, 7 p.m.
Cider Social
REM Center, Main Street, Waterville
The third annual Burst the Bubble Week will culminate in a Cider Social at the REM Forum in Downtown Waterville. This social event is a chance to celebrate our united communities with good fall food and great music.  Transportation from Colby downtown will be provided.

Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28
Haunted House
South End Teen Center, Waterville