We recently had the pleasure of a personal guided tour of the Mesa Arts Center, with Casey Blake/Director of Public Relations. The Mesa Arts Center is located at 1 East Main Street in the beautiful downtown area of Mesa. I have to say that I simply in awe at all that is offered to the community through the programs and classes that are offered. I have to admit that I always thought the MAC only offered concerts to the public, but I was amazed at just how much more is offered to the public.
The MAC offers a variety of community outreach programs, Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Glass, Graphic Arts, Movement, Music, Photography, Theater classes, Workshops. Classes are offered to every age group from youth to adults. One of the best programs that’s offered in my opinion is the Arts in Mind program. This program is specifically tailored for adults with Dementia and their care partners.
The Arts in Mind program is for individuals with mild to moderate dementia and their care partners to foster dignity and sense of self, as well as building connections. Research suggests that engagement in arts based activities for older adults contributes to quality of life, increased community interaction and helps build companionship. The goal of the program is to create a space to come together with a community of peers and fine creative expression through the arts with a choice of the following options:
- Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum: Participants meet 4 times over a two-month period (every other week) for interactive gallery walks and hands-on art making.
- Studio Engagement: Participants meet four times over a two-month period (every other week) for hands-on collaborative art making and creative expression through the arts.
- Concert Events: Participants gather four times over the year for a one-hour engagement consisting of a concert performance and conversation highlighting experience and reflections.
For the music enthusiasts, the MAC offers the following shows: Broadway, Classical, Concerts, Dance, Jazz, National Geographic, Speakers and Theater Comedy to name a few. There really are too many to name. Did you know that the Mesa Arts Center also offers events? There are quite a few festivals offered to the public throughout the year and most are free admission.
We were amazed to find that there is also a museum on campus at the MAC which features many artists, but local artists are definitely highlighted. Most of the pieces are also available for purchase and the prices range from very affordable to the upper end of a few hundred dollars.
In addition to the events that are offered through the MAC, you can also rent various spaces throughout the campus to host your own event. Theater spaces are available for rent for your events, or you can rent a space to host weddings and receptions, meetings, Arizona Museum of Natural History (aka AzMNH) and the IDEA Museum are also available for rentals as well.
The MAC also maintains formal relationships with several Mesa-based arts organizations that perform at the facility also referred as Resident Companies, which include: Ballet Etudes, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Mesa Encore Theatre, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Sonoran Desert Chorale, Southwest Shakespeare Company & Symphony of the Southwest. There really is a large variety for everyone’s tastes.
Have you heard about The Store located on the MAC campus? The Store at the MAC is an artists cooperative gallery. Located on the northern end of the campus The Store features many locally made art with a wide range of prices from very affordable to high end. There is no sales tax charged on purchases as The Store is part of the MAC Foundation. A portion of every sale supports the foundation.
Take some time to tour this beautiful state of the art facility and discover all that the MAC has to offer first hand. Guided Public Campus tours of the MAC are available Wednesdays from noon to 1:15pm September through May. We would like to thank Casey Blake for taking the time to host our tour of the facility and to answer all of our questions with enthusiasm and zeal.
It’s very apparent that the workers at this facility not only love what they do but they also believe in the many benefits that the entire facility offers. I’m personally very thankful for the opportunity to have learned so much more and pleased with what we discovered at the MAC and I plan to take advantage of some of the programs that are offered in the very near future. It was an absolute pleasure.