Renovations Campaign

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The Maine Charitable Mechanics Association (MCMA), the non-profit organization that owns and operates historic Mechanics Hall, located at 519 Congress Street in Portland, has been working behind the scenes to renovate the building’s third-floor ballroom into a performance space. This new venue will be flexible and accommodate a wide variety of uses. Portland is a city long on arts organizations but short on venues, and the location of Mechanics Hall in the Arts District means that the proposed 50 to 300-person performance space will be a cultural, social, and educational center for its members and the community. MCMA plans to restore the elegance of the space, while making it available to the community at affordable rates. Acorn Productions has entered into a collaborative agreement with MCMA for the final push to enable the venue to be licensed for public performances. MCMA and Acorn have identified the work required to receive a public assembly license during the 2014/15 arts season. This partnership not only provides the MCMA with an experienced collaborator with a proven track record of developing new performance arts venues in the community, but also offers the chance to relocate Naked Shakespeare’s monthly shows to the Congress Street Arts District corridor, for First Friday performances. When the work is complete, the Mechanic’s Hall ballroom will provide a unique addition to the roster of performance venues in the Arts District—indeed, on the peninsula.