The MAC is celebrating a decade of bringing art, culture and all kinds of entertainment and debate to Belfast. The award-winning organisation opened in April 2012 and has become a symbol of a new Belfast with over 2.3 million users and visitors, local and international, coming through the doors of the St Anne’s Square venue and now the MAC wants visitors to share their favourite MAC memory over the last decade. The first ten years of the MAC has seen shows, exhibitions and performances from some of the biggest names in arts and culture, as well as opening the door to new and emerging artists.
Chief Executive Anne McReynolds said that there have been a series of highlights over the last decade.
“The MAC’s tenth birthday is a perfect time to reflect and celebrate the incredible things we’ve been able to achieve together with our amazing artistic and community partners. There have been many highlights over the years including bringing the work of globally renowned artists like Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Gilbert & George to Belfast.
“We have built very strong local, national and international partnerships with outstandingly talented musicians, theatre and dance companies.
“The MAC belongs to the people of Northern Ireland and it is gratifying that they have made the venue into a thriving social space, meeting friends and colleagues and enjoying our coffee in a safe, comfortable space.
“At a time of reflection we are also looking forward and we are very excited about the remarkable arts events planned for this year, including the first exhibition in Ireland from the sculptor Ron Mueck whose ‘hyperreal’ sculptures, including In Bed and Dead Dad have moved visitors the world over. This Christmas we will again wow children of all ages with a full-throttle family show in partnership with our children’s theatre company Cahoots.”
“The best thing about my job over the last 10 years has been being part of a team of exceptionally talented Trustees, Directors, staff and volunteers who share the core belief that arts and culture are fundamentally important and should be equally available for everyone to enjoy.
“Now we want to hear from customers, visitors and participants about their favourite MAC memories. It may be something life-changing, or it may be a favoured family memory. Please tell us all about it.”
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, principal funder of the MAC said, “hearty congratulations to the MAC as they celebrate their milestone 10th birthday.
“Throughout the past ten years, the MAC has contributed significantly to the cultural offerings in the region, bringing us an array of exhibitions, theatre, concerts and more, right in the heart of Belfast. The MAC has offered a valuable platform for our local artists and organisations to showcase their work as well as bringing high-profile international work to Northern Ireland for audiences here to experience and enjoy.
“We wish The MAC well as it plans for the next 10 years, and look forward to enjoying many more engaging events in the dynamic art centre in the heart of our city.”
Chair of the MAC, Ray Hutchinson, added “Opening and successfully running an arts and entertainment space like the MAC for 10 years is no small achievement and our success to date is down to the dedication and ambition of the whole MAC team. The arts sector here faces many challenges and Covid made life extra difficult for organisations like the MAC. However we maintain a steadfast commitment to bringing great art to Belfast, to stimulating conversation and debate, and to celebrating all that is great about this city and country.”
As part of a range of 10 year celebratory events, the MAC is asking customers to recall and share their favourite memories of ten years of the MAC. Images and comments can be posted on social media channels and shared by the MAC, with the hashtag #MAC10
NOTE The MAC opened in April 2012. Since then a total of 2,322,733 visitors have been to the venue.