The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1999, offering 100,000 square feet of exhibition space across 19 galleries. Since opening, the museum has expanded to add a further 130,000 square feet. Arnold Print Works – the business that operated on the site between 1860 and 1942 – built the original complex, which was later taken over by the Sprague Electric Company before being converted into a museum.
MASS MoCA relies on financial contributions; Ragnar Horn and his wife are one of the organisation’s many financial supporters. Since 2010, the museum has hosted the Solid Sound Music Festival, which you can learn more about in the PDF attachment to this post. MASS MoCA has also hosted the Summer Institute of Bang on a Can since 2001, which attracts performers and composers from around the world.
Inclusivity for Modern Art
MASS MoCA features a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues for performing arts as well as a series of vast galleries, facilitating the sharing of a wide variety of modern art in all its forms. MASS MoCA hosts exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and photography, poetry and music, theatre and dance, as well as innovative new forms of art that cross boundaries and defy classification. Much of the work shown has been created on-site or within the surrounding North Adams area during residential visits by artists from around the world.
Inclusivity for guests is equally as important as for artists, which is why MASS MoCA offers free parking on campus and a variety of amenities to make every stay memorable including restaurants and cafes, as well as an innovative microbrewery featuring products created from locally grown hops and malted grains.
MASS MoCA works hard to nurture a wide scope of artists to present some of the most exciting and creative pieces of the modern age across all media. Not only that, but the organisation strives to act as a catalyst for the revitalisation of communities through art – creating good jobs and new markets, and supporting long-term enrichment of poorer areas are all part of the MASS MoCA remit. Advancement of the arts has the power to redevelop regional economies through deeper community participation and increased tourism. The strong sense of identity that the arts can create for and bestow upon a community can result in more confidence and pride, leading to more productivity and a more vibrant, healthier economy.
More information about the MASS MoCA mission can be found in the short video attachment to this post.
There are many learning and educational programmes at MASS MoCA, ranging from participatory opportunities for teachers and students, to hands-on learning for children and adults, after school programmes, guided tours, and question and answer sessions with artists. Kidspace is an interactive gallery offering exhibitions tied in with classroom curriculum-based programmes.
MASS MoCA hosts around 75 performances each year, ranging from avant-garde theatre to contemporary dance shows, world music dance parties, alternative cabarets, progressive bluegrass, documentaries and much more. A full half of the resources of MASS MoCA are dedicated to the performing arts, including support of experimental research and development, residency workshops and showings of works in progress.
MASS MoCA has a series of soaring galleries for the showcasing of visual works by both renowned and emerging artists, with spaces for impressive, immersive installations on a scale that most conventional museums would be unable to accommodate. In the infographic attachment you can find some examples of current and recent exhibitions at MASS MoCA.
Ragnar Horn is the chairman of the Norwegian private investment company Taconic AS. Born in Norway, Horn moved to America to study for his BA in Economics at Williams College in Massachusetts, going on to complete his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School.
Previous to his position at Taconic AS, Horn was the Chairman of RS Platou ASA – the shipbrokerage company that his grandfather founded in the 1930s – as well as having gained experience in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston.