The organization serves Coffee County and surrounding counties of Rutherford, Cannon, Warren, Grundy, Franklin, Moore, and Bedford. It has roots dating back to 1968, when the emphasis was on the visual arts. It was incorporated by the state and named the Manchester Municipal Arts Commission. In 1995, this group purchased a building at 909 Hillsboro Blvd. The building was leased to a professional theatre group which renovated the interior for theatre and reception use and operated the facility for one year. Since Oct. 1, 1996 the MMAC, with the help of those trained in college in theatre and a cadre of volunteers, took over the building and put on the productions. In 1996, the Commission applied for and received 501(c)(3) status as well as a state tax exemption. Since that time the group has produced 5 or 6 shows yearly accompanied by complementing art shows. Active youth groups, Teen Actors Guild( TAG) and Wee Actors Guild (WAG,) were formed which put on one show yearly as well as having monthly activities. The teen group had Coffee Shops with open mic and felt a vested interest in the Manchester Arts Center. Both groups took adult led trips to professional shows and art galleries. The building was completely renovated, including lighted parking area, a ramp into the building for those with disabilities, new roof, rebuilt theatre seating, and improved lighting and sound. Even when the building was destroyed by a fire in 2006, the Arts Commission continued to function and provide quality events for our community.
Now that the new Manchester Arts Center is once again in a new building, we anticipate adding more events, offering more classes and continuing to serve the youth and adults in this community and surrounding areas.
The Mission of the Manchester Municipal Arts Commission is to foster, promote, and encourage the development of the arts in Manchester and the surrounding areas.
Current Board Members include:
Brenda Deadman, Richard Burton, Jerry Bartlett, Melissa Cartwright, Cliff Roberts, Jamie Harden, Diane Petty, Bob Ritch, Brett Barton, Julie Anderson, Jim Shemwell, Ryan French