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Excitement Grows For Belfast Arts Centre Opening - ArtLyst Article image

Excitement Grows For Belfast Arts Centre Opening

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The £18-million arts venue in Northern Ireland – the Belfast MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) – is ‘very excited’ about the grand opening to the public tomorrow

MAC’s chief Anne McReynolds has promised the venue will provide a free and packed programme of ‘world class art’ seven days a week, with a massive variety of events set to occur in its two theatres, three visual art galleries, dance studio, workshops, cafe and bar. One highlight will be a joint exhibition of paintings by L.S. Lowry and William Conor.

In relation to the massive cost, McReynolds is in no doubt that the returns will be worth it, promising that MAC will be ‘an economic driver rather than an economic drain’: ‘Despite the fact there is public investment in our business model, we are already standing on our own two feet and are generating a very significant proportion of our income by ourselves.’ And, justifying the initial outgoing, she explained that: ‘In order to be able to borrow priceless art works you need to be able to meet all sorts of boring requirements, and we can do that because the galleries in the MAC are of such a high standard’.

The building was designed by award-winning architects Hackett Hall McKnight, and has been described by McReynolds as ‘an unbelievable building, a wonderful addition to Belfast and Northern Ireland's cultural infrastructure’. The architects won Young Architect of the Year Award in 2008, and are based in Belfast.

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