The Milton Art Center (MAC) is a nonprofit 501 c (3) art education community center located in East Milton Square. Our community art center, in operation since 2012, offers art classes, summer camp, workshops, and birthday parties in addition to providing community programming with art exhibits showcasing local emerging and established artists, music and comedy events with 120 seat capacity for an up-close, intimate event.
The Milton Art Center’s mission statement is “to educate, encourage and empower all to recognize the value art brings to our lives.”
The people who gravitate to the MAC, students, teachers, artists, artisans, musicians, performers and appreciators of the arts do recognize that art and music and community are essential to our quality of life. The arts bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion or age.
The Milton Art Center organization started in January 2012.
The lease was awarded in 2011 to FAVA, Friends and Advocates of the Visual Arts, a parents group unhappy with the lack of art programming in the public schools. FAVA was given permission in 2003 to run an after school art enrichment program in the public schools by then Assistant Superintendent, Mary Gormley. FAVA put in an RFP for the empty East Milton Library building and received a phone call in late December, 2010 from then Town Administrator, Kevin Mearn that FAVA had won the bid.
The East Milton Branch Library was designed by Eliot T. Putnam on land that was donated to the Town of Milton by Nathaniel T. Kidder. Local contractor C.C. Fulton & Son used Harvard brick to construct the building in 1931, with a graceful pediment entrance and a slightly projecting center section and slate roof.
The building is featured on page 19 of the book Milton Architecture, written by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco and Paul Buchanan.
The East Milton branch library building is also referenced on page 42 of the Milton Historical Society’s book, A Brief History of Milton, Massachusetts, edited by Mrs. James B. Ayer in 1956, noting that as the town grew, the necessity of branch libraries in Mattapan, the Kidder, and in East Milton was important for the intellectual development of the residents. “In the years 1929 and 1931 respectively, through the concern and generosity of Nathaniel T. Kidder, who gave land for the buildings and support for the enterprise.”
The Milton Art Center has made choices to preserve the historic signage of the former branch library building. A long serving board member, Scott Love, matched the art center sign lettering as closely as possible to the original iron letters used in the exterior branch library signage. Scott also designed the front lawn sign to match and complement other historic properties in Milton.
The Next Decade
As the Milton Art Center enters our 2nd decade, we look forward to enhancing the outside landscaping with a Children’s Color Garden, which will feature plants that historically have been used to color garments and furnishings. This educational garden will be used in conjunction with classes at the art center and will beautify the area for residents and visitors walking by on their way to East Milton Square. We will also be installing a little Free Art Gallery, murals and a children’s outdoor seating classroom in the first year of our outdoor improvements. We hope in the 2nd year to be adding a driveway with room for 2 cars to park, a shade structure and public art with a bench to admire the art under a shady tree.