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mac

  • Date: 8 September 2009
  • Artform: None
  • Area: Midlands

Founded in 1962, mac is the most visited arts centre in the West Midlands, with more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Located on the edge of Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, events at mac include theatre performances, music, comedy, children’s theatre, literature and poetry events, films, dance performances and free exhibitions.

mac and its development partner sampad, the UK’s leading South Asian arts organisation, have reached diverse audiences with 21 per cent of mac’s users from Black and minority ethnic audiences. Of mac’s audience, 43 per cent are aged 25 and under and 22 per cent are under 16. Each year 15,000 people of all ages and abilities are involved in education or participation events including 115 classes held at mac each week.

Refurbishment work began at mac in Spring 2008 and the centre with re-open in 2010, after £14.8 million of work jointly funded by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and a mac and sampad fundraising campaign. The development will dramatically improve physical access, creating a more effective and efficient arts centre, securing the future of mac and sampad for the next generation.

The proposals will mean a 40 per cent increase in public areas and facilities, a 25 per cent increase in exhibition space and a 35 per cent increase in studio space for media and schools.Six artist commissions have been awarded to create work that will engage with mac’s environment and with its audiences in and around the new building. The commissions include the permanent pieces of art for the new building and three projects working with the people of Birmingham to reflect the new mac.

‘By 2010 the mac and sampad building project will have dramatically improved mac’s ability to offer exciting events and activities for all our audiences,' said Dorothy Wilson, mac's chief executive. 'Much more art, much improved physical access, from the new entrance to the bridge lifts, more loos and bigger café and bar areas. I can’t wait to welcome our audience back to the new, extended and refreshed mac.’
                   
mac and sampad are regularly funded by Arts Council England, West Midlands. For more information on mac visit www.macarts.co.uk. To find out more about sampad, visit www.sampad.org.uk.