Who We Are:
The Mountain Arts Community Center is housed in a refurbished and re purposed historic school building owned and operated by the Town of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. (signalmountaintn.gov) It is dedicated to visual, musical and theatre arts programs.
The MACC was created in 1999 in response to the closing of Signal Mountain Elementary School. In order to save and preserve this historic building, it was leased by the Town, and operated as the Mountain Arts Community Center (the MACC) for 10 years. In 2009, the Hamilton County Department of Education gifted the building and property to the Town. Under the guidance of an Executive Director, 3 part time staff, volunteers and an appointed Board, the MACC has grown into a recognized fine arts center while also hosting many community activities.
The mission of the MACC is, “to provide and facilitate artistic, cultural, civic, and educational activities that foster personal growth and benefit the community."
Since 1999, the MACC has served that mission and the Town of SIgnal Mountain's citizenry by providing a variety of arts related classes for both children and adults; by providing a venue for arts related performances, art exhibitions and various community activities; by serving as a meeting place for numerous community organizations; and by serving as an historic facility preserving and promoting the heritage of the Signal Mountain and Walden’s Ridge community.
The Historic Signal Mountain Grammar School was constructed in 1926 of native rock harvested from the south face of the mountain during the construction of Signal Mountain Road. This was the first building for public use in Signal Mountain and served both as the school and as a meeting space for various civic groups. The design of the original building is a unique V shape with a triple-arch entrance at the apex of the V. The arms of the V form the hallways with a 240 seat auditorium located between the two hallways and classrooms along the outside of the V. The building is one of the oldest remaining school buildings in Hamilton County still in public use.
The building operated as a public school from 1926 until 1999, when Hamilton County Department of Education scheduled it for closure. Rather than see this wonderful old building abandoned, a group of concerned citizens asked the Signal Mountain Town Council about renting the property for use as an arts center. In the fall of 1999 the Town began renting the property and the Mountain Arts Community Center was born. The rental arrangement lasted ten years, during which the MACC grew in service and importance to the community. Through the efforts of MACC’s first director, Karen Shropshire, the building was placed on the National Historic Register in 2001 and finally, in 2009 the building was gifted to the Town of Signal Mountain by the Hamilton County Department of Education.