AUGUSTA — The Colonial Theater Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Kathi Wall as the theater’s interim executive director. Wall will lead the theater’s ongoing restoration efforts and fundraising, filling a vacancy left by outgoing director Peter Bezemes.

Wall is a longtime advocate and supporter for the arts and community youth programs in central Maine, and served as the President of the Augusta Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors after being the executive director for 12 years. Originally from New York, Wall began her career in nursing in 1965, quickly ascending to leadership roles in oncology and transplant units in Buffalo, Boston, and Cooperstown. In 1978, Wall and her husband Dr. Alexander Wall, a general surgeon, settled in the Augusta area and raised two children now in their forties — a daughter Jennifer, and a son Alex. Today, they are also the proud grandparents to Charlie (12) and Claire (16).

After a successful career in nursing, Wall’s passion for education, children, and the arts led her to pursue a liberal arts degree from Skidmore College in 1993. In the decades since, Wall has worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellness of underserved children and youth in the Kennebec Valley region. In addition to her most notable achievement of forming the Teen Center (now the Boys & Girls Club) twenty years ago, Wall worked to create a Children’s Health Collaborative for Maine General Medical Center and formed clinics to support victims of child abuse and domestic violence.

When asked why she is interested in the Colonial, Wall responded by saying: “My interest in the success of this project lies in the fact that after living in the area for 42 years, I am tired of Augusta being a cultural desert for area people. It used to be so much more, and can be again. Arts should be everywhere. We have the seeds. They need to be planted and nurtured so they can grow into a place that draws people to its center — art shows, concerts, music venues, plays, movies — the downtown area deserves this. So, let’s get to it.”

In the short term, Wall will focus efforts on the completion of the theater’s façade and reconvene working committees to strategize how best to move forward, especially in light of new challenges posed by COVID-19. Wall’s term is expected to continue for one year, at the end of which time the board may hire a permanent, full-time staff person.