About the MAC

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Welcome To The Cultural Center Of DuPage County To Engage, Enlighten & Entertain

The MAC is dedicated to giving residents of west suburban Chicago continued access to engagement with the arts—now celebrating the grand re-opening after a $35 million renovation!

At the MAC, a performing arts experience is so much more than just sitting down to watch a show. Since opening our doors in October 1986, the McAninch Arts Center has been focused on enriching our community with world-class entertainment opportunities that go beyond the stage. Along with offering the most diverse range of programming in the area, we pride ourselves on providing unique outreach & engagement programs before or after performances to enlighten and educate our audiences.

These exclusive “MAC Chats” are unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else—intimate experiences that take you inside the world of cultural and performing arts, and allow you to truly immerse yourself in the performance. Through lectures, Q&A sessions, demonstrations or interactive events, only the MAC allows you to connect with an artist and gain introspective into the event’s history, theme, story, or background. And they are just one more thing that sets the MAC a world apart…yet still so close to home.

The Evolution of the MAC Today

Over the last few decades, the McAninch Arts Center has remained a conveniently accessible cultural arts and gathering place in DuPage County offering exceptional entertainment and enriching programs. When you visit the MAC, you’ll always enjoy free parking, an inviting ambiance, and exciting experiences that leave lasting memories. We are proud to have welcomed more than 1.5 million audience members through our doors so far…and we look forward to meeting millions more in the future.

The story starts back in 1981, when planning for the McAninich Arts Center first began, with a budget totaling $14.4 million that was funded through public support and private contributions. Since day one, the programs seen on our stages have been funded entirely through box office revenue, student activities fees, grants, endowments, donations and income generated through rentals, concession sales and program advertising.

Today, after completing our $35 million renovation, our facilities and funding allow us to host, on average, 5.1 public performances, 1.6 arts programs, 2.2 rental events, 10.25 rehearsals and one non-art college department use each week. Or, quite simply, the new MAC presents 2.5 scheduled events per day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Each season includes more than 200 performances of plays, concerts and lectures in our theatres and on our stages, as well as numerous art exhibits in both the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and MAC lobby area. Our schedule is filled in with educational theater, music and dance programs, comedy shows, exclusive special events and rentals to community groups. And we continue to add even more variety to our show schedule every year. Our expanded line-up this year even includes family-oriented programming, FREE outdoor concerts, and pop music. Learn more and see our entire season schedule here.

“…the cultural center for greater DuPage County.” — Daily Herald

The MAC Venues

Performing and visual arts are ever-changing, and our fresh new look reflects that—combining modern appeal with timeless sophistication in a comfortable and inviting environment. Along with updating our current theatres and performance halls, we have also added exciting new spaces including the brand-new Cleve Carney Art Gallery and Lakeside Pavilion. Both enhance our beautiful setting and allow us to bring exceptional cultural opportunities to our community.

  • The Belushi Performance Hall boasts 780 seats, each with a spectacular view of the stage—no seat is more than 16 rows, or 75 feet, away. Learn more.
  • The newly designed Playhouse Theatre, formally Theatre 2, is a 186-seat hall featuring a “soft thrust” stage and comfortable setting that offers an intimate experience. Learn more.
  • The Studio Theatre is a versatile, black-box performance space that seats approximately 70 guests. Learn more.
  • The stunning new Cleve Carney Art Gallery is a sun-filled 90-by-25 foot space dedicated to year-long visual art exhibition, featuring pieces from artists from around the world and right in our own back yard. Learn more.
  • The all-new Lakeside Pavilion is an expansive outdoor space that features a Patio Amphitheatre stage, lush lawn, and capacity for 1,200. Learn more.

“…the acoustics in the performance hall are absolutely excellent.” – COD Courier

Our Performances

From our acclaimed residency orchestra ensemble the New Philharmonic, to our talented cabaret-style Club MAC artists, to the wide variety of theatrical, musical, and comedic performances we present each season, we are proud to be a world-class arts center for our community. Every year is something exciting and new—presenting a new opportunity for us to offer exceptional programming right here in Chicago’s western suburbs. Check out what we have in store for you this season.

“…renovation is an understatement. The chairs are comfy, the legroom is generous, and the site lines are lovely. There’s an art gallery for intermission entertainment, and comfortable gathering places in the lobby and front patio.” – Art Intercepts

Our Mission

The mission of the McAninch Arts Center is to foster enlightened educational and entertaining performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression and engagement, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community.

To achieve this mission the McAninch Arts Center will:

  • Educate and develop both artists and audiences for the future through instructional, produced and presented programs;
  • Provide a cultural center, recognized and loyally supported by the community, in which people can participate in, interact with, and view all the arts; and
  • Create new audiences and sustain established audiences through a wide variety of programs ranging from the purely entertaining to the artistically challenging, designed to foster lifelong appreciation of the arts, sensitivity to cultural diversity, and the willingness to experience new artistry.