My Life at the MACC
The Office of the Director
MACC’s 3M Class Huge Success
By Michelle Michaud
Every Tuesday for the last six weeks, children from all over Signal Mountain have streamed into the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC) with bright eyes to lend their ideas, their dreams, their unique perspectives to build a tiny town called the MACC Mini-Metropolis, or 3M.
Kids as young as 5 years old, Carson and as old as 74, Bob McElhaney, have met in the MACC’s cafeteria for this secret society, of sorts. At these meetings, area professionals coached the kids about planning, architecture, writing, construction, landscape architecture, among others.
The kids had the freedom to imagine the components of their town, design their personal dwelling and with the help of older children and volunteers, build and construct their dreams.
“I decided to go out of the ordinary. I saw a bunch of people were making homes for small humans and I was like, why can’t there be fairies?” said Grace Elliott, Nolan Elementary, 11, 5th grade. “So I decided to make a store where they make hand crafted wings that you can attach to your back that can be an alternative mode of transport.”
When asked what she thought about the class, “I think it is a little crazy, it’s definitely interesting, I’m glad my mom signed me up.”
Just down the table, a boy with long golden locks, danced around the room with a happy smile, “I’m Preston Tate!” He’s a 4th grader at Thrasher who designed a tall witch tower to watch over the town, “It has a door on it and when you open it up there is nothing in side but a big hole and it blows out wind that allows you to go to the top tower and if you are a fairy that doesn’t know how to fly or a gnome, then it will push you up but if an Ork breaks in, then the Ork will just sink down into the bottom of it.”
Some kids are a more subdued, “I think it (the class) is a little crazy. But I can work with it. It’s been fun,” said Koty Pearse, a fifth grader at Thrasher. “I’m building Town Hall. It’s gonna be a giant stump with three logs on top and we’re going to put moss on top as a roof and for the bottom we’re going to get six columns that looks like the White House with side by side doors.”
Angie Landrum, a volunteer, wasn’t prepared for how energetic the class was, “It’s a little crazy,” she said with a smile and a hot-glue gun in her hand. “I wanted to help with this because it involved gardening. I love gardening and I love kids so I thought it would be something that would be fun to combine the two. I’m looking for ideas for my own yard with my grand son so I thought I might come away with something fun to make for him?”
So crazy must equal creative. After the first meeting, kids never sat down again. And either did the older kids like Bob McElhaney, a master wood worker living at Alexian Village,” Everybody got into building their own little building. It’s just been great,” he said.
Bob was in charge of making the kids’ dreams become reality. He took their drawings, matched them to available materials and for some kids, even put together a kit for which he then helped them assemble. “Well, you can see all kind of ideas… they make something and do something else with it, but that’s okay that’s what the kids do.”
Kids wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the help of an Arts Build grant that was written and submitted by MACC board member Judy Nowlin and Lolly Durant.
Session two of MACC’s 3M is beginning now. 3M students will take their work outside and prepare the site, build mountains, trees, zip lines and roadways. The class will culminate in a grand opening complete with ribbon cutting and the election of a 3M mayor. For more information contact the MACC on line at SignalMACC.org or call 886-1959.