5 years of success for the MAC

This week at the MAC we are celebrating our fifth birthday. We're asking visitors, past and present to record their favourite #myMAC moments through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Since opening in 2012, the MAC has quickly become a beacon for the ongoing regeneration of Belfast. To date, we've welcomed 1.5 million visitors from within Northern Ireland and beyond, far exceeding the original numbers predicted. The target-breaking visitor numbers are thanks in part to blockbuster exhibitions like Andy Warhol and David Hockney, along with the MAC’s ever popular Christmas family offering.

Chief Executive Anne McReynolds said that all targets set at the beginning of the MAC project have been surpassed.

“The last 5 years have been a whirlwind of activity and it is important now that we take stock of what has been achieved at the MAC. Along with the high-profile exhibitions and events like David Hockney, L.S. Lowry, Beckett and Cabaret, we have also created a new international art competition, MAC International, which has placed Belfast on the global arts scene. We were also shortlisted for the prestigious Museum of the Year award in 2015, one of the youngest organisations ever to have made the shortlist.

“However, one of the most rewarding things about working in the MAC is witnessing the results of our schools and community work. Those who really need the MAC, from children and young people with additional learning needs to community groups who would never normally darken the door of a contemporary arts venue, are using the MAC as their social space every day and that’s something I’m truly proud of.

“So we celebrate our 5th anniversary by looking to the next 5 years and imagining what might be possible. With the right support, the MAC will continue to symbolise all that is good about our city and Northern Ireland for years to come.”

The MAC is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, added:

“In the last five years, the MAC has been a wonderful home for the arts in the heart of Belfast showcasing exhibitions and events that have been a major attraction to locals, visitors and tourists alike; bringing great art within the reach of all. The building itself is iconic with an outstanding range of facilities including an international-quality arts gallery and inspiring performance spaces.

“The Arts Council is delighted to have played our part as a significant funder and the MAC is a testament to the ability of public funding to transform our economy and generate positive creative energy within our society”.

MAC Facts: In the last 5 years…

  • 1.5 million people have visited the MAC
  • 133,432 people from schools and community organisations have taken part in the MAC
  • 1,020 children with special educational needs have experienced theatre for the first time through our unique MACtile Tours programme
  • 91 young people gained a nationally recognised qualification through our ‘Arts Award’ training programme
  • 16,742 volunteer hours have been delivered by MACtivists
  • 9,649 NI primary school children have benefited from free transport to the MAC

MAC fans are being asked to post their own MAC moments using the hashtag #myMAC and to include their own videos, memories and photographs which will be shared by the @TheMACBelfast