26 Mar 2020
As we approach the MAC’s eighth birthday, none of us could have imagined the circumstances we now face together as a local community of artists, art lovers, visitors and stakeholders and as a global community.
The necessary conditions within which we have worked together to achieve the MAC’s purpose – to make Northern Ireland a better place through the creation and enjoyment of and participation in outstanding art – don’t currently exist due to the unprecedented public health emergency.
In the MAC, we are proud to have worked with thousands of artists in the creation of wonderful art and we have always been clear that the MAC is so much more than a beautiful building. When the MAC has succeeded it has been because of the brilliance of the people who perform, create, visit and work within it.
Temporarily closing the doors of the MAC has been very emotional for our tightly knit team. We’re going to miss seeing the unbridled joy on children’s faces when they visit our theatres and galleries for the first time. And we’ll miss serving morning coffee and lunch to so many locals and tourists in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.
However, we know that our closure will help our community tackle the Coronavirus together, which is more important than anything else now.
Since closing on 17 March we have been discussing ways in which we can most usefully respond to the impact of Covid-19. Over the coming weeks, we will use our digital platforms to spark creativity, share artistic inspiration and tell you the exciting plans we have for the future.
With this in mind, we’d love you to check out our Facebook channel on Friday 27th March - World Theatre Day. We are partnering with the Royal Court Theatre who are making their production of Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland free to watch via Facebook for one month. We were delighted to host the show (which was co-produced with the Abbey Theatre) live on our stage in 2018. Cyprus Avenue played to sold out houses and elicited critical acclaim and strong responses from audiences, so this is the perfect opportunity to see it again, or to catch it for the first time from the comfort of your own home.
I want to say a huge thank you to our customers and supporters. Although we can’t deliver the events you had booked for this Spring season, please know that we are determined to reschedule as many cancelled live events and visual art exhibitions as possible. Already, many of you have agreed to support us by donating some or all of your advance ticket payments to the MAC. This is what community in action looks like and we couldn’t be more thankful. Every donation will make a difference as we navigate these uncertain times.
I also want to express huge gratitude for the many kind words and messages of support we have received from our partners in the corporate sector and suppliers, visitors, artistic colleagues and friends in the sector.
Since we opened in 2012, so many of you have played your part in making the MAC an integral part of Northern Ireland’s cultural and civic life. We look forward to the time when we can all meet again safely.
Take great care.
P.S. Although very few will see it in person, the MAC will be illuminated nightly in blue until we open our doors again, in recognition and deep appreciation of the NHS staff and volunteers who are working tirelessly for the greater good.