MAC – Multnomah Arts Center Classes


By 1994, the Multnomah Art Center had grown to encompass a schedule of 150+ classes offered by approximately 80 teachers serving all ages from toddler through seniors. Multnomah Art Center was serving upwards of 18,000 people including 8,000 youth per quarter. The full-time staff settled at three and the part-time staff expanded to fifteen.  Will Hathaway became the Administrative Director of the Multnomah Art Center and Multnomah Center and Leo Franz the Program Director for the Multnomah Art Center.  The Rental and Performing Arts Coordinator was Eric Dash who performed these functions for Multnomah Center and Multnomah Art Center respectively.

The next decade was one of growth. In 1998 the name was changed to the Multnomah Arts Center, in recognition of the variety of the art forms offered. The music program expanded faster than any other area. Starting with group guitar lessons and sing-along’s as the primary music program components in 1980, MAC added individual piano lessons in 1990. By 2005, the music department had grown to encompass individual lessons not only in guitar and piano, but also in voice, violin, cello, percussion, ukulele, banjo, bass guitar, flute, saxophone, clarinet, and oboe. Even didjeridu has been offered in group lessons. Areas of music taught as part of these lessons include, classical, jazz, folk, bluegrass, popular and rock.

Meanwhile, the music faculty has grown from one teacher in 1988 to twenty-three teachers by the summer of 2005. Upwards of 250 private students enroll in a term. Three small spaces were converted in the late 1990’s to become music practice rooms and in 2002 a classroom was converted to the Multnomah Arts Center music studio. The vision for the future of a space in which student and teacher ensembles could play, rehearse, and learn had found a home.

In 1997 Will Hathaway retired as director. Leo Franz became the new director. The following year, Eric Dash became Assistant Director and Emily Thomas was hired as a full time staff. Her stint lasted approximately one year only, however. Nicole Rawlins took her place in 1999. She was charged with running the printing program as well as the entire children’s visual arts.

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