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MACC striving to recover after recent theft

Following a recent theft at the Mountain Arts Community Center, Director Barb Storm and associates are striving to replace the equipment that was stolen.

Though Storm said it does not have a high resale value, the lost equipment, which includes a light board, two amplifiers, a floodlight, two toolboxes full of tools and a small television, is extremely valuable to the ongoing functions at the MACC.

“We couldn’t believe somebody would break into this old, decrepit building and steal equipment,” she said. “It’s like stealing from the poor.”

Storm and her colleagues realized certain equipment belonging to the MACC as well as personal tools belonging to local resident Colleen Laliberte, who was putting on “The Blue Bird” puppet show performance, was missing on the morning of Nov. 15, right before one of Laliberte’s performances. On the previous night, Laliberte had held a performance in the auditorium, and the building was locked up afterward by the evening staff, said Storm. The next morning, the equipment was gone.

“We’ve never had this kind of theft; nobody thought somebody had stolen it,” Storm said.

The MACC often shares equipment with the Signal Mountain Playhouse, so she began calling around to see who might have borrowed the equipment without realizing it was needed at the MACC, Storm said. After finding that no one knew anything about the equipment, she said she began to realize that more items were missing than she had originally thought.

Storm and Laliberte walked around the property and found a window had been kicked in. That’s when she called the police.

“We feel quite sure it is somebody who has been in the MACC before. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have looked twice at this building,” said Storm.

She said she is extremely saddened at this loss and the fact that it could take away from other planned projects, including a new stage curtain, lights, new climate control system and removal of the old theater seats to install new ones that have already been purchased.

According to Storm, the police are keeping tabs on pawn shops in order to get a lead for who might have stolen the equipment. She said all the equipment has “MACC” written on it in Sharpie.

In the meantime, she is trying to find ways to replace the equipment that is integral to the MACC. Insurance has covered some of the loss, and the Signal Mountain Playhouse offered to pay half of the cost for a new light board, said Storm. At the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, residents contributed $370 toward replacing the stolen items.

“The MACC is really a source of enrichment to this community and it provides a great service with all the fine-arts classes we offer, performances and exhibits we’ve brought to the community for 12 years,” Storm said. “It’s very disappointing to think that somebody who knows the MACC took from the MACC, but it restores your faith in people when they step forward to replace things that somebody else took.”

To contribute to help replace the stolen items, call 886-1959. Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation, with “MACC fund sound system” on the memo line.

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