MAC Shortlisted for Fantastic for Families' Audience Impact Award

Wed 26 August 2020

MAC is delighted to be shortlisted for the Audience Impact Award at this year’s Fantastic for Families Awards.

Having opened our doors in 1962, MAC is proud to provide creative experiences for our community and transformational experiences for audiences of all ages in the Midlands and beyond.

MAC's Audience Impact nomination - Creativity for the whole community

Through the generosity of our amazing audiences and partners and our Every Child campaign, we have been able to gift free tickets to performances for over 1700 families that otherwise may never have had the opportunity to experience live events. At MAC, we believe every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves to enjoy the magic of theatre and the arts.

Sally Pennington, Head of Development at MAC, said: We are extremely proud and honoured to be nominated for the Fantastic for Families Community Award alongside marvellous organisations and projects.

“Creativity, imagination and curiosity are such an important part of all of our childhoods - and every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves the opportunity to feel goose bumps and be swept away by the magic of theatre and art. Thank you for championing our work.”

Inspiring new generations through learning and participation

Our Learning and Participation programme welcomed over 200,000 children and young people last year to unleash their creativity through making, seeing and doing activities. MAC’s usual programme holds something for everyone – whether you’re interested in crating, ceramics, painting, drawing, digital or music. 

From our Girls that Geek event that introduced young women to the art and tech industry, to family visual arts courses, as a centre we thrive on offering a diverse range of creative opportunities.

Sonya Russell-Sanders, Creative Learning Producer at MAC, said: “My ambition is to create an interdisciplinary approach to learning, where digital art and technology sits alongside traditional arts and crafts.  

"Both Little Geeks Festival and our Girls that Geek conference focus on arts and technology, aiming to give young people and their 'Big Geeks' amazing experiences, get hands on with new technology, learn from inspirational speakers and broaden their perspectives (and that of their parents) that digital technology can be experienced positively.” 

“This nomination will help us to reach more audiences that may be interested in our broad creative learning programme, which aims to inspire and educate people of all ages.”

Providing inclusive musical education

As part of our community outreach programme, MAC Makes Music provides children and young people with additional needs and/or limited access to music-making opportunities with inclusive activities, workshops and musical sessions.

MAC Makes Music advocates for equality in music education and across the industry, aiming to improve children and young people’s self-esteem and wellbeing, and develop their creative and communication skills. We have partnered and collaborated with amazing organisations across the country to celebrate inclusion and challenge expectations around disability, the music industry and the music education sector.

This year, MAC Makes Music became the lead partner organisation for the new Birmingham National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO); the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra for young people. Applications for aspiring young musicians are now open.

Holly Radford, Producer of MAC Makes Music, said: “During lockdown, we have provided and array of free resources for children, young people and teachers, including accessible musical activities and fun video sessions. Now is the time for experimentation – Covid-19 has led us to investigate the possibilities of delivering resources for families with limited access to the Internet or disposable income.

“We are now much better equipped to offer online recordings and sessions for participants that may not be able to visit us in person for access, metal health, or other reasons. Our team has learnt a lot during lockdown, and as a result our programme has become more flexible to suit the needs of families. 

“Our team is good at asking questions and learning from our partners and collaborators – we are reflective in our practice and continuously explore how we can improve our offer for our students, which is the root of the programme’s success.”

During lockdown, we have found ways to digitally connect with carers at home. For those that may not have access to a computer or tablet, we are developing music-making kits for families in the local area so they can keep creating from home until we reopen and these will be available in the coming months. 

Although Covid-19 has forced us to temporarily halt our live programme of learning, special events, music education and performance, MAC fully intends to continue to help families in our community experience the joy of art and creativity once we re-open in 2021, and continue to use our online platform to reach people at home during the pandemic.

Free lockdown activities and creative challenges for families

Whilst MAC remains temporarily closed to the public, we’ve put together ways for families to stay connected and keep creating from home. You can visit our blog page to find free downloadable art-making packs, creative challenges, a virtual 3D exhibition tour, plus lots more. 

Keep making music at home and join in with our free musical activities for everyone, made by MAC Makes Music.

Head on a virtual trip as a family this summer, with our MAC Makes Music Around the World series! Discover how communities make music in different continents, and have fun learning how to create beats, sounds and lyrics from our professional music leaders.

If you’re looking for activities for primary school children, check out our free printable activities and sing-along videos – learn how to create your very own rainbow shaker from materials around the home, and how to use things in the house to make DIY instruments!

Take a look at our free resources, activities, downloadable worksheets and fun videos for inspiration on how to make music at home as a family.

We're so excited for the Fantastic for Families Awards this September - thank you to Fantastic for Families for shortlisting MAC, and good luck to all of the nominees!

See the full Fantastic for Families Awards shortlist and visit their website to find at-home activities for families.