Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Mountain Arts Community Center is prepared to host the wide variety of new classes, programs and other ideas Executive Director Barb Storm has planned for the center, thanks to several community groups’ contributions of time as well as funds.
Mountain Fellowship, the recently established Signal Mountain branch of North Shore Fellowship which meets at the MACC, has put in more than 500 volunteer hours scraping, sanding and helping to redo the flooring. Storm said the group also contributed more than $10,000 for building materials and professional labor, including a contractor and interior designer.
“It’s made an immense difference,” she said.
The group’s contributions were recently recognized by a resolution passed by the town of Signal Mountain thanking the church for members’ extensive efforts to improve the facility.
Another room is now available for use due to new flooring purchased by the MACC Foundation, said Storm.
After the work was complete, the Lions Club helped with the massive cleanup efforts. Club members also helped install new air-conditioning units and regularly perform maintenance duties in the building such as repairing toilets or putting in new faucets.
The Signal Mountain Playhouse, which uses the MACC as a venue for its winter productions, recently painted the entire auditorium.
This March, the MACC will host its first theater production presented by an unrelated group, First Draft Productions. This is a result of Storm’s continuous efforts to actively promote the refurbished facility as a venue for events and performances.
“I’m looking at everything Barking Legs, Track 29 and Rhythm and Brews are doing,” she said in reference to the type of entertainment she wants to attract. “Planning more and a variety of events seems to be working; attendance is up.”
Storm recently hired a PR firm to help spread the word about upcoming events, and she said she would like to add an event coordinator to the staff as well.
Storm said she is continuing to promote the MACC as an ideal venue for business workshops and retreats. The building has space for presenting to a large group as well as a number of rooms to use for breaking out into smaller groups, plus a cafeteria where participants can break for a catered lunch.
The MACC has been utilizing the services of On the List Catering, which Storm said offers free hors d’oeuvres and provides a cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks at events.
“People love it,” she said. “It really helps bring people out.”
One big event coming up in March is a songwriters’ workshop featuring three Grammy Award-winning songwriters.
“They decided to have it up here after learning about us,” Storm said. “We wanted to hold a songwriters’ workshop, which is a natural extension of what you can do at an art center.”
New additions to the MACC’s class offerings this winter are individual and group voice lessons from either a male or female teacher.
“There’s always people who love to sing and sing well but would like to have lessons, and I don’t know of anywhere on Signal Mountain that offers them,” said Storm.
Other new courses include group and private Pilates mat classes offered mornings and evenings, as well as Cotillion Club, an etiquette course for sixth-graders, Sundays beginning Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.