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Posts tagged: mac

ArtFest will stay put next year

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture's  annual ArtFest event will stay put in Browne’s Addition in 2012.

Museum officials had pondered moving the art, food and music festival from Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition to the larger Riverfront Park downtown.

The Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council viewed the prospect with alarm and called a meeting Wednesday night to voice concerns.

Forrest Rodgers, the MAC’s new executive director, talked to neighborhood representatives and said Thursday that ArtFest will remain at Coeur d’Alene Park next year.

‘Leonardo’ hits its mark

The final numbers are in for “Leonardo da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius.”

About 38,000 people attended this summer-long traveling exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).

It came close to the museum’s attendance goals and more than met its financial goals, according to the people at the MAC.

The final week – the week before Labor Day – was particularly strong, attracting 6,500 people.

“There were lines out the front door and even out in the street,” said museum spokeswoman Rebecca Bishop.

The MAC would have liked to have broken the 40,000-visitor mark set by the “T. rex Named Sue” exhibit in 2007. However, the T. rex exhibit charged regular museum admission while the da Vinci exhibit had special (higher) pricing.

“Leonardo” was also a hit with schools. A total of 3,400 people visited as part of school groups.

The MAC also signed up 500 new members over the exhibit’s span.

A tasty MAC fundraising idea

Here’s a different, and potentially delicious, fundraising idea from the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC): the “Week of 100 Dinners.”

A group of museum boosters called the MAC 200K Club is hoping to convince 100 hosts to hold dinners at their homes the first week of October. Each dinner party will have at least 10 guests who will agree to contribute $100 each to the museum’s general operating budget.

If this all works as planned, this drive would raise $100,000 to help overcome the MAC’s well-publicized budget issues.

If you want to be a host, sign up by emailing to Mac200kclub@gmail.com or call Charlotte Lamp, (509) 536-4303 with questions.

By the way, you don’t have to hold a dinner party. It can be a breakfast party, a cocktail party or a beer and pizza party – although I would suggest that it should probably include above-average beer and pizza.

MAC gets new executive director

Forrest B. Rodgers has been appointed the new executive director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).

Rodgers was most recently the director of the Central Washington University Foundation in Ellensburg.

From 2001 to 2007, he was the president and CEO of the privately funded High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore., which reversed a decline in paid attendance.

He will take over on Aug. 1 from Ron Rector, who is retiring.

It is, of course, too early to tell what Rodgers will mean to the MAC. Yet I can say that the MAC could do worse than emulate the High Desert Museum, one of the Northwest's best and most entertaining regional museums.

A Leonardo learning experience

Line I overheard on the bus last week: “That Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the MAC isn't even real! They want us to pay to see a bunch of fake stuff!”

OK, where should I begin?

First, get real. Did you truly expect the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) to have an original da Vinci painting? There are only about 16 da Vinci paintings in existence and unless your museum has the word “Louvre” in it's name, your chances of getting one is just about nil.

Second, most of the exhibit consists of large, wooden models of mechanical devices made from drawings in da Vinci's notebooks. You can call those “fakes,” I suppose, except there there is no such thing as an “original” of these devices. Da Vinci never made any.

Third, “fake” or not, you'll learn a heck of a lot about da Vinci, one of the most remarkable minds of all time. And isn't that the point?

Fourth, decades ago, I once saw the “Mona Lisa” on loan to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Yeah, it was the real thing, all right, but the crowds were so enormous (500,000 in 27 days)  and the security was so tight I got about a one-second glimpse of it. We were whisked past it on moving walkway. The one I saw at the MAC was a fake — a digital reproduction — but I sure got a better look at the old girl.

A sneak peek at ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ at the MAC

I just walked through “Leonardo da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius” while installers and curators readied it for a June 3 opening at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC), 2316 W. First.

Among the highlights:

  • A huge full-size reproduction of da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” and I mean huge: 15 feet tall by 28 feet wide.
  • A full-size reproduction of “Mona Lisa,” surprisingly compact at 27 inches by 22 inches.
  • A working model of da Vinci’s design for the “Screw of Archimedes” – a contraption that can crank water uphill.
  • A fearsome “Scythe Machine,” a chariot-like vehicle with whirling scythe blades to cut down enemies.

This exhibit, which will run all summer, ought to be a hit with kids and adults. Tickets are now on sale through TicketsWest outlets.

Please note that I said “reproductions” of the paintings. The originals are far too valuable and delicate to be hauled around the world. In the case of “Last Supper,” you’d have to uproot an entire Italian church. It’s painted on a wall in Milan.

The MAC evades death

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) has escaped the death sentence.

We just received word that the museum received $2.965 million in the state budget, which is a cut of five percent. That's far less severe than feared.

The museum will have to trim some services or operations — but will be able to remain open. Watch for an SR news story soon with more details.

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News and commentary about the arts, culture and books in the Inland Northwest.

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