Our Story

Welcome to the Heart of the Arts

Homage by Dave Krupienski from MAC Color Exhibit: RED 2020

Welcome to the home of Milford Arts Council. Or as we like to call ourselves – the MAC. As the City of Milford’s premier non-profit arts organization since 1972, Milford Arts Council supports and presents every discipline of the arts to audiences of all ages. We have been offering art and photo exhibits, theatre, music, lectures, classes, written word, dance, and other arts experiences for 50 years.

 

With two venues we welcome over 12,000 patrons, visitors, and audience members to the Downtown and Walnut Beach business districts with over 250 events per year while engaging over 800 performers and artists.

In 2021 we added  new summer events making our season year-round and embracing the outdoors! 

Mission Statement

The Council shall support and foster artistic, cultural and educational opportunities for the benefit of the Greater Milford Community through the creation of environments and programs for artists to work and present, as well as encourage the promotion, development, acceptance and appreciation of the Arts. To provide the community with opportunities and experience in the arts that enlighten, enrich, and entertain.

Vision Statement 

To see creativity happening everywhere, making Milford a thriving destination community of culture.

MAC Downtown Venue --photo - Day
The MAC in the heart of downtown Milford CT 40 Railroad Avenue South

The MAC’s main venue and home to staff is located in the heart of downtown Milford, CT in a repurposed historic Civil War-era train station.The MAC offers a beautiful theater with superior acoustics, intimate seating for up to 110 in theater or cabaret-style configuration, a projection theater system with a 10X20’ drop screen, exhibition area, classroom, offices, kitchenette and a Speakeasy Lounge for concessions.

 

It’s so convenient to pop into the MAC any time. We are easily accessible by car, bus, rail, or even boat! Plenty of parking for cars, busses come right into downtown Milford, we are the closest stop on the Metro North rail because we ARE the train station, and Milford Harbor is right down the block.  

The Firehouse Gallery 81 Naugatuck Avenue Walnut Beach Milford CT

Milford Arts Council also oversees the Firehouse Gallery in Walnut Beach. The gallery opened in 2002 and offers a bright exhibition space for themed shows, visiting artists, a writing group, workshops, demonstrations, and more. The gallery is surrounded by a vibrant arts and business district and it’s only two blocks from the Long Island Sound.

 

Between our two venues plus offsite events, we offer a number of programs covering music, theatre, dance, visual arts, the written word, and more. 

Painting by Jeff Healy from MAC’s Salon Night May 2019

Why Are We the Heart of the Arts?

As the “heart of the arts,” we infuse life into our community every day. We believe we’re a vital part of the community and part of the reason why our “little city” has such a “big heart.” 

We’re not just about entertainment. We’re about growth and transformation. 

We’re not just about arts consumption. We’re about experience in community. 

We’re not about big and splashy. We’re about intimate, special and memorable experiences.

We’re about getting up close and personal with our artists so that you walk out of our doors changed in some way. That’s the power of the arts. And we mean to share that power with everyone. 

The MAC partners with and supports other non-profit and service organizations through various events and programs, providing space and support through the arts. The MAC is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Milford and Walnut Beach business associations, and regularly partners with the City of Milford. The MAC plans to continue its goal to expand beyond its walls and into the community to make art accessible to everyone. 

We help community thrive by...

City of Milford recognizes the “Milford Fine Arts Council” - 1971

History

The Milford Arts Council (d.b.a. 2012) was founded in 1971 (and certified as a 501c3 in 1972) when a variety of clubs and groups came together as the Milford Fine Arts Council. They originally met in the Mary Taylor building on Broad Street, once home to the Milford Chamber of Commerce.

In 1984 the decision was made to find a more permanent home for the performances, exhibitions, classes and theater that were scattered throughout the city of Milford and The United Way of Milford. The abandoned eastbound train station was selected as a perfect location, and after years of fundraising and extensive renovations, the MAC opened its doors in 1995. 

Recently renovated in 2017 with a grant from the State called Good to Great, the MAC is now on the National Historic Register. Today, Milford Arts Council, the MAC –  the community hub for for tens of thousands of people from Milford and beyond. We celebrated 50 YEARS in 2022.


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