‘Friends of the MAC’ Launch

We're starting 2023 with an exciting partnership with businesses at home and abroad, including legendary New York bar and ‘World’s Most Awarded Pub’, The Dead Rabbit. We launched Friends of the MAC in Belfast last week ahead of a unique fundraising event in Manhattan this week.

In addition to being an award-winning arts and social space, the MAC is also a charity. Through the Friends of the MAC membership scheme, businesses will support our work whilst enabling us to continue our vital charity and community work. In return, the member companies will play an important role in supporting and protecting the arts in Belfast and will receive associated benefits including exclusive preview invites, staff and client entertainment opportunities, and public association with the MAC.

MAC Chief Executive, Anne McReynolds called on businesses to support the charitable work of the MAC.

Last year we celebrated our tenth anniversary. That was a chance to evaluate the amazing impact the MAC has had on Belfast and on Northern Ireland as a whole, not just on promoting and the celebrating the arts but on individuals and communities. We are now one of Northern Ireland’s top visitor attractions and an award-winning home for the arts and a champion for social change. Since 2012 we have welcomed over 2.6 million visitors to our galleries, theatres, event and social spaces and we connect with an active social media audience too.

But the MAC is also a charity, we exist for everyone and we deliver on our inclusivity through our outreach work, through affordable ticket prices, through our free playroom for families, subsidised transport for school groups, and close partnerships with some of our socio-economically deprived communities here in North Belfast and across Northern Ireland. Last year alone the MAC worked with 50,574 people from our poorest neighbourhoods including people who are struggling with addiction, mental ill health, homelessness and children living in poverty.

With the support of the business community at home and abroad we could do so much more to promote a sustainable and shared community in Northern Ireland. That is why the Friends of the MAC project is so important and I hope more businesses will get involved.

At the event at the MAC last week, The Dead Rabbit was recognised for its generous donation to the MAC, alongside four more inaugural Friends - Gilbert Ash, Belfast Harbour, Pinsent Masons and Options Technology. This week Friends of the MAC goes global with a sister event in The Dead Rabbit, New York, on 26 January, kindly hosted by Geraldine Hughes and Conor Allen, to begin its U.S fundraising in earnest.

Jack McGarry, owner of The Dead Rabbit said they were delighted to be supporting the MAC.

"My mother, Donna McGarry was always a staunch supporter of the arts and their capacity to nurture community growth in Ireland. She devoted over 20 years of her life to various arts focused non profit projects including Féile and Phobail, Dubblejoint and Just Us Theatre. Additionally she co-founded Brassneck and wrote ‘A Night With George’ which toured across the country including shows at the MAC in Belfast, a place that held a special significance for her. At The Dead Rabbit we are passionate about supporting the arts and connecting communities, just as my Mum was. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the amazing work of the MAC and to enable them to keep up their vital work in these areas."

Details of Friends of the MAC and how your business can get involved can be found here.