The Mountain Arts Community Center will celebrate 90 years of community service, with a name change along the way, on Saturday, August 27, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The celebration marks a career as an icon for Signal Mountain, beginning with its opening as Signal Mountain Grammar School for the 1926 school year. During its years from 1926 until 1999 as an active grammar school, generations of students passed through its doors, played on the playground, pulled pigtails, tormented teachers and made memories that lasted for lifetimes.
This building has never been vacant since opening day! Ending life as an active educational facility, it was reborn as the Mountain Arts Community Center, building upon the years of service and giving once again to the community that birthed it.
The celebration involves alumni who will tell stories and remember good times, patrons of the arts programs at the MACC, and mountain residents and their families who will join each other on the grounds. The blacktop will host traditional games like Go Fish, hopscotch, a jump rope competition and a bean bag toss. It wouldn’t be a birthday without a special birthday cake, provided by B’s Sweets’ Brianne Hager. Brianne has taught many cooking classes for eager bakers at the MACC in recent years.
Teachers and students will demonstrate art, music, martial arts, and drama. Folk dancers will dance and artists will demonstrate all sorts of crafts. Forms of drama such as mime, storytelling and puppetry will titillate the interest of observers and participants alike. The strong music program currently offered by the MACC will provide a showcase of talent to enchant the ears of listeners.
Past projects that have a continued life, such as the fairy garden Little Root, will be on display. Of paramount importance is the Signal Mountain Lion’s Club car raffle. The Lions will also cook hot dogs and assist with parking.
This event is sponsored by the MACC Patrons organization, which hosted a potluck dinner on June 3, in preparation for this big event. At the dinner, alumni shared memories and stories of the teachers and the students who passed through the doors, and the importance they played in the lives of families now spread far and wide.
Land for the school was donated by C.E. James. The structure was erected by R.W. Arnold, low-bidder, for the lofty sum of $27,942. The building, now on the historical register, reflects the rich architectural values of the time, and the dedication to the mountain setting both in the placement and the design. The generously-sized, light-filled classrooms provide an ideal setting for the art and music classes which fill the air with enchanting sight and sound. The jewel box of a theatre, which seats 250 on a raked floor, is currently awaiting necessary repairs to restore it to its original beauty. This treasure generally hosts 25 to 30 performances and concerts each year. The unique venue often sells out to eager patrons.
Come visit the old school that has new life again! Find out more on the MACC website.