U.S. ‘Friends of the MAC’ launches in New York City
Following the successful local launch of ‘Friends of the MAC’, the next stop was launching the fundraising initiative globally from New York's legendary bar The Dead Rabbit.
The MAC was in New York last week to share how its work has been helping to transform communities in Northern Ireland over the past ten years. An array of special guests were present including acclaimed producer, actor and host Geraldine Hughes, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, and Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, Geraldine Byrne Nason.
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, donors will support our work including bringing local and international art to the people of Belfast across theatre, visual arts, dance, music and more, whilst enabling us to continue our vital charity and community work.
Belfast born producer, executive producer and award-winning actor Geraldine Hughes explained where her passionate support for the MAC comes from.
“I want America to know about the MAC in Belfast. A Metropolitan Arts Centre, where everyone is welcome, a tardis of a building where you can go have an important conversation over a cup of coffee and then go experience some world class art. Every single member of the community has a place there.
“The delicate peace we have in the North of Ireland needs to be nurtured and art in all its forms has this wonderful ability to bring people together. Bringing together communities through art and education is a mission that is very close to our hearts. With more funding and support, the MAC can expand its work and continue to be a place where people feel safe while they experience incredible art, or even make some of their own.
“Art is hope, and the MAC is helping to keep that hope alive during this time when the peace we have won is still so very fragile. The MAC is an important place and America needs to know about it and support it. My husband Conor and I are thrilled to host this special evening at The Dead Rabbit for the US friends of the MAC.”
MAC Chief Executive, Anne McReynolds was in New York to address the audience of artists and businesses.
“In the last decade, the MAC has had an instrumental impact on Belfast and the region as a whole, promoting and celebrating the arts whilst also becoming an active civic space for individuals and communities.
“Since 2012 we have welcomed over 2.6 million visitors to our galleries, theatres, event and social spaces to see work by local contemporary artists alongside exhibitions by Ron Mueck, Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, to name a few.
“The MAC is also a charity. We exist for everyone and we have close partnerships with socio-economically deprived communities in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. With the support of our friends here in the USA, we could do so much more to promote a sustainable and shared community at home. That is why the Friends of the MAC project is so important and I look forward to meeting lots of friends here in America, to add to our growing network of friends back home in Belfast.”
Andrew Elliott, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in North America said that the MAC was an incredibly special place, now located in a vibrant new university area at the heart of the city of Belfast.
He said "There's a powerful creative energy about the place and an ability to connect to many different communities that makes the MAC simply unique. It has an important role to play at the artistic heart of a city that itself has become somewhere special not just to visit, but also in which to study or invest.”
Find out more about how you or your business can become a Friend of the MAC.