Tuesday February 17th, 2009 home > organizations > play, read, act > macc
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Signal Mountain Arts Community Center

How the Center Began

The Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC) is a non-profit organization operating as a division of The Town of Signal Mountain. In 1998, a small group of citizens began meeting to discuss how to save our 75 year old historic landmark, formerly Signal Mountain Elementary. After months of research and deliberation, a group of interested people came to the conclusion that an arts center and community center would add to the quality of life that already existed in our community. Offering classes in the arts and renting the facility for community events would help generate maintenance/operational expenses. The auditorium was the perfect place for our Community theater group to have their winter show. The group of visionaries moved forward, and with the financial support of Signal Mountain, the vision of this group came into fruition. In the spring of 1999 the doors were closed on Signal Mountain Elementary and re-opened in the fall of 1999 as the Mountain Arts Community Center. MACC was accepted to the National Historic Registry in 2001.

The building itself has an interesting history. SME was built in 1927 by Hamilton County Board of Education to serve the children of the mountain in education and was among the first public buildings on Signal. Church groups used it before they had their own buildings. SME was used for public and civic activities and was the location of a community/volunteer library. As the mountain grew, SME became solely an educational building.

Today, MACC is a place of diverse activity. Classes in the arts, including dance, visual, music and theater are offered at MACC. At any given time, the halls are filled with children?s laughter or adults excitedly discussing their pottery, watercolor or weaving class. Garden Clubs host luncheons and workshops, Signal Mountain Playhouse presents their February production at MACC, and community organizations, including the Lion?s Club, have found a permanent meeting place. In health and awareness, Yoga, Tai Ji, and Weight Watchers are on the list of weekly activities. It seems that this historic building has come full circle to once again reflect its early years.

A non-profit organization, Friends of MACC, has been established for the sole purpose of financial support to MACC. They host several fundraisers throughout the year and apply for grants. Grants have been awarded to MACC by the Benwood Foundation for replacing the roof and updating restrooms. The Raymond Porter Foundation awarded two grants to MACC to purchase and install theatrical lighting in the auditorium. As a result, Signal Mountain now has a theater. They also provided a grant for the purchase of five table looms, allowing us to offer weaving, and a much needed electric pottery wheel that has allowed students to progress with their classes. Another grant, from the Irwin Porter Foundation, was used as an outreach to our local schools. The grant was for a two year period and monies were divided among the PTA?s to be used for art programs in conjunction with curriculum, as well as supporting one of MACC?s summer fun camps.

The Town of Signal Mountain receives a portion of all revenues generated by classes in addition to all revenues generated through rental of the facility by both public and private organizations. The Town supports the remaining budget of MACC. With the primary source of revenue for the Town budget being that of the taxpayers of the Town of Signal Mountain, all residents of the Town are members of MACC. Residents of The Town of Signal Mountain are entitled to a reduced tuition fee.

MACC has been busy during its first four years. Call and let us know if we can serve your needs by providing a meeting place for your group or let us know what class you would like to have offered at MACC. Come on over and get involved. YOU make a difference. MACC is the place for you, your creativity, and your adventures!!! We look forward to hearing from you!