Stay Connected & Keep Creating with MAC: Blog 5

Thu 23 April 2020

As we prepare for three extra weeks of lockdown, we've rounded up more ways to help our audiences to stay stimulated, creative and entertained at home. 

This week, we've launched our brand new, free art-making pack for young people, inspired by The Influence Project exhibition. We also take a deep dive into our art archive with information on Vanley Burke's 5000 Miles and 70 Years, and reveal news about our popular Arts Markets - find out more...

Art-making Pack: The Influence Project

Our New Free Art-making Packs!

Get crafting at home with our brand new, free art-making packs. We'll be offering a series of activities tailored to young people, children or families. Our first edition is designed for young people, and is inspired by our current exhibition, The Influence Project.

We've launched these downloadable activities to help our audiences to keep creating whilst our building is temporarily closed.

We'd love to see what you create - please send us your artworks for your chance to see it on our weekly newsletters and website: 


Twitter & Instagram: @mac_birmingham

Facebook: @macbirmingham

Calling all artists & makers!

Our Christmas Arts Markets return for another year on 28 - 29 November 2020 to offer a festive selection of some of the best work from designer makers in Birmingham and beyond.

MAC has been supporting artists for over 50 years and ensuring they are given opportunities for professional development. We regularly offer an emerging designer-maker the opportunity to take over one of our stalls during our market, allowing them to experience the process of selling first hand, promote their business and build up a customer base.

If you would like to be considered as a stall holder, please complete the online form HERE.

Deadline for applications: Fri 31 July 2020. 

Full list of Arts Markets 2021 dates available HERE.

In Focus: Vanley Burke's 5000 Miles and 70 Years

We're continuing to dive into our art archive this week with a closer look at 5000 Miles and 70 Years by renowned photographer and historian Vanley Burke. This site-specific installation was launched at MAC in May 2018, and a full-colour vinyl remains on display across the windows of our first floor.

The exhibition featured a collage of archival materials and photographs from Burke's extensive portfolio, relating to the lived experiences of African and Caribbean diaspora communities in Britain since the mid-20th century.

5000 Miles and 70 Years was specially commissioned to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush passenger ship at Tilbury Docks in Essex on 22 June 1948. 

It originally featured as part of our Beyond Windrush season - MAC's wider commemorative programme which included live music, dance, spoken word, and a variety of free family events for our audiences.

Find out more about our Windrush Season HERE. 

Recommended listening

LISTEN HERE: BBC Radio 4: Desert Island Discs (2018)

Including a reference to the MAC installation, listen back to Vanley Burke on the BBC's famous podcast - hear anecdotes and stories from the artist's upbringing in Handsworth and his life's work.

"I am witnessing the arrival of people coming from the Carribbean to this country... The idea was to document everything between birth and death."

LISTEN HERE: The British Library: Oral History of British Photography (2014)

A fascinating four-part, in-depth interview with Vanley Burke as part of The British Library's Oral History Project.

New Episode: The MACcast

Our brand new episode of The MACcast is now live! Brought to you in partnership with Brum Radio, Episode 3 features an interview with Nicole Justice, Music Leader at MAC Makes Music, about the importance of music for young people and how to stay creative during lockdown. 

Sam Frankie Fox tells us all about the live-streamed performances of BAM – Babies’ Academy of Music and we take a look at some of the many ways you can enjoy MAC’s work from your own home, including taking a 3D virtual exhibition tour, listening to a range of soundtracks and watching classic and new movies for free.


The MACcast is produced by 11C / Brum Radio for MAC. Brum Radio is Birmingham’s independent radio station broadcasting 24/7 with a fresh mix of Music, Arts and Conversation. Listen online via, The Brum Radio App or Smart Speaker.

Become a MAC Supporter

On behalf of everyone here at MAC, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of our amazing audiences who have generously donated to us over the past few weeks. 

So far, you have raised over £12,000 for our organisation. Because of your generosity, we know that we aren't facing the challenging times ahead alone - and, for that, we can't thank you enough. 

MAC is proud to be a registered arts charity with community, creativity and audiences at our heart. Whilst we are closed, we are optimistically and purposefully looking forward, and we need our audiences now more than ever. 

If you would like to support MAC's future and help us to continue our vital outreach projects benefitting 1000s of people every year, free exhibitions, and exciting programme of events for people of all ages, please consider becoming a MAC supporter from just £25 per year.

Become a member of The Album Club: Remixed

The Album Club: Remixed is a new format for the regular music discussions that previously took place at MAC, pre-lockdown. The sessions now happen virtually with recorded contributions from a growing band of volunteers, and episodes are broadcast on local radio station, Switch.

Get involved, listen to an album, discover new music or classic sounds, and chat about your opinions with peers!

The next album up for discussion is Steel Pulse's 1978 album, Handsworth Revolution, and the recording session is scheduled for Fri 1st May 2020 at 6.30 pm.

The final edit of the discussion will feature in The Unseen Swerve scheduled to broadcast on Tue 5 May 2020 at 7 pm on Switch Radio.

To register your interest and join The Album Club, please email presenter James Sandy and listen to the album before joining the discussion. Contact details and previous episodes can be found here.

Brand new podcast coming soon: Make, see & do with MAC

Our brand new podcast, Make, see & do is coming soon! This new podcast will house industry-focused conversations about arts and culture, on topics ranging from exhibition research and development, to talks between artistic leaders, and the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. 

We'll be going behind-the-scenes to investigate the inner workings of MAC, giving you insight into the daily workings of our organisation and the people that make things happen. 

Expect exclusive content from artists and creatives, opinion pieces from MAC supporters and staff, and regular news and updates about our venue, plus more.

Further info will be revealed soon - so keep your eyes peeled and your ears prepped for listening!

We want to hear from you

Let us know what kind of digital content you'd like to see from us to help you to #StayConnected and #KeepCreating

Send us your thoughts on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

To make a donation and invest in creativity, visit our Support MAC page. Your acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, help us to continue to make transformative experiences for our audiences. Thank you.