Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín visits as the MAC reopens

Minister for Communities, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA made a visit to the MAC this weekend, as we reopened our doors to the public, following an eight week closure due to the Covid19 regulations.

Pictured from left: Chief Executive Anne McReynolds, Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín and MAC Chairman Ray Hutchinson

During her visit, the Minister was given a tour of exhibitions by Peter Liversidge, Frederic Huska and a special display of work by the public, children and professional artists entitled ‘In a Rainbow of Coalitions’, which reflects the lockdown period and the impact COVID-19 has had on society. She was also given a preview of the MAC’s newly repurposed and secure ‘Luminaire Cinema’.

Minister Ní Chuilín said:  “I am delighted to be here on what is the re-opening weekend for the MAC. It is great that they can open their doors to the public again and welcome them into their galleries in a safe and carefully managed way and with two wonderful exhibitions on display.

“This has undoubtedly been a difficult time for the arts sector and while the restrictions for theatres, concert halls and live music remain in place, the restrictions are intended to be temporary and will be relaxed and ultimately removed as soon as circumstances permit, and hopefully those circumstances have moved a little closer given recent events.”

Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC, welcomed the Minister to the city centre arts venue. She added:

"Arts and culture are a vital part of Northern Ireland's recovery as we look positively towards 2021. Improving the health and wellbeing of our communities is why places like the MAC exist.  The pandemic has forced our theatres, music venues and organisations to close at a time when our communities needed us the most, so we hope that as we reopen, we can bring some much-needed colour and light to our visitors' lives. 

“Like other venues and public spaces, we have taken robust steps and adapted the experience to ensure that all of our visitors and staff can safely enjoy our exhibitions, events and cafe bar.

"We are delighted that the Minister has been among the first visitors back to the MAC, to experience how the MAC is helping to keep arts and culture at the heart of our community during these difficult times. Working with the wider arts sector, the MAC has been clear on the important value we collectively bring both as an economic driver and in providing vital mental wellbeing benefits to our people and communities. We know the Minister shares these values and is encouraged by the work we are all doing.”

The MAC has achieved the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry-standard mark under Government and public health guidance, having implemented a carefully planned social distancing system, pre-booking of its galleries to monitor visitor numbers and an enhanced hygiene regime throughout the venue. All visitors are also asked to sanitise their hands regularly and wear a face covering during their visit.