Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) is a free, public charter school located in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. MAC opened its door in August of 2018 to sixth and seventh grade students and will be adding a grade every year until the first senior class graduated in the spring of 2024.
The Midlands Arts Conservatory prepares students for arts-related careers, a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and for high quality postsecondary studies. The school provides an arts-enriched personalized learning environment, integrating academic rigor and quality arts instruction for all students.
The Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) is a free public charter school for the arts. MAC is currently enrolling 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students interested in music, dance, theater, or the visual arts. In addition to a strong core of academics, students spend half the day exploring their passion for the arts. MAC will continue to add a grade yearly until we have a graduating senior class in the spring of 2024.
The Midlands Arts Conservatory differs from other schools by offering students in middle school (and high school starting next year) the opportunity to receive a tuition-free public school education coupled with daily instruction in the fine arts from skilled and highly trained practicing artists. Many of the students enrolled in the school would not otherwise have the opportunity or ability to afford the lessons and training that the students receive at this school. Located in the heart of the growing North Main Street Corridor neighborhood in Columbia, S.C., MAC strives to be a shining light for arts education in the Midlands.
Current research shows how important the arts are in the development of the brain – we know that there is a direct correlation between the arts and SAT scores, school attendance, and career success. We know that students who had intensive arts experiences in high school were three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than students who lacked those experiences. We know that businesses love having students with arts backgrounds because they are disciplined and focused. MAC is building on these facts in creating a curriculum that offers a standards based academic program with a flexible schedule that integrates the arts into the academic program, and academics into the arts program.
The Midlands Arts Conservatory is preparing students for arts related careers, a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and for high quality post-secondary studies. The school is providing an arts-enriched personalized learning environment, integrating academic rigor and quality arts instruction.
What MAC is doing is vitally important to our city and our society. We are passing on our culture — a universal language which crosses boundaries and facilitates understanding. As the Charleston sculptor Willard Hirsch said when he addressed the cadets of the Citadel in 1948: “Art is a language, and a powerful one. All of us should know at least a few words in it”.