Morris County Congratulate Mayo Performing Arts on 25th Anniversary

(l/r) Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo and Stephen Shaw, Mayo Arts President and CEO Allison Larena, and Freeholders Heather Darling and Deborah Smith

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The Morris County Board of Freeholders this week presented the Mayo Performing Arts Center with a special 25th anniversary resolution, honoring the county’s premiere performing arts institution for three decades of outstanding contributions to the cultural vitality of Morris County.

Freeholders Congratulate Mayo Performing Arts Center On 25th Anniversary - Theatre’s 200 Performances Annually Add $15 Million To Local Economy

Accepting the resolution at the freeholders’ Monday (Oct. 7) work session in Morristown was MPAC President and CEO Allison Larena.

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“MPAC has become one of the leading arts and cultural centers in our state, drawing more than 200,000 people to the theater each year, making it a cultural and economic engine for Morris County,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Heather Darling. “We congratulate MPAC on 25 great years!’’

Mayo Arts kicked off its 25th season in 2019 with an opening night in September featuring American Idol sensation Katharine McPhee and last Friday hosted William Shatner. The 2019/2020 season line-up also includes Tony Bennett, Gladys Knight, Darlene Love, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and other national stars and shows.

The arts center’s also works to spark a lifelong interest in music dance and culture by hosting 40,000 children each year in theatre classes, school time shows, workshops, seminars and recognition programs.

“We believe that a 21st century performing arts center should transcend beyond the four walls of the theater,’’ said Larena. “We serve all of the members of our community, our county and our state through community outreach programs, and free performances at non-traditional venues.

“When we look to the future and the next 25 years, we look to grow those community outreach programs and augment our educational and outreach by building an educational center, which we can only do with the generosity and support of our community.’’

MPAC opened 25 years ago, on Sept. 29, 1994, on South Street in Morristown with a show featuring the Kirov Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Morristown resident and pianist Alexander Slobodvanik.

The opening followed an extensive renovation of the Community Theater, which was constructed in 1937 as a 1,300-seat Walter Reade movie theater. It had been closed for years.

In the subsequent 25 years, MPAC has become one of the leading arts and cultural centers in our state. Each year, the theater offers more than 200 events, covering the span of performing arts, from classical music to modern dance, theatre and popular music, bringing the world’s greatest entertainers, New Jersey based artistic organizations, and emerging and dynamic performers to our county and region.

More than 200,000 people visit the theater each year.

In addition to presenting a wide array of programs to entertain, enrich, and educate a diverse population of Morris County residents, the nonprofit organization also is an economic engine for the county, adding $15 million annually to the local economy.

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