We are excited to meet you!

Please join our School Leader Shannon Hickey at 6:30pm Tuesday evening to answer your questions and accept new enrollments. Please don’t hesitate to bring a friend (or two) so you can see our new facility, learn more about the program, and sign up for MAC!

We will be having additional parent meetings in the next few weeks, and if you’d like to schedule a personal tour or ask Mrs. Hickey some questions, you can email her directly here.

Of course kids are welcome, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening!

3806 North Main Street

Rosie Craig

Our vibrant and award winning arts community has attracted development and brought joy to our region for generations.

Now through Midlands Arts Conservatory ( MAC) we have the means to foster and educate our youngest citizens to carry on the tradition and success of the unique communication that exits through the arts.
For several years some of Columbia’s brightest and best have supported this dream and it is with deepest pleasure that I join them now in announcing MAC is hiring faculty and accepting enrollment to stage for another art filled chapter in our city’s history.


HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT – MAC finally has a home!!

We’ve been working hard the last couple of months to get all the details worked out, but we are so pleased to announce that MAC will open August 2018 at 3806 North Main Street. This is the former site of the Imagine Academy Charter School, and is a wonderful facility to start the dream come true of Midlands Arts Conservatory!

We will be hiring a school leader and accepting applications later this week. Please visit our website for more information at www.MidlandsArtsConservatory.org

Thanks for all your support and please share the good news!

MAC Update – Opening Date

Robert Jesselson

Robert Jesselson


I am writing to give you a status update on the Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC). As you know we have taken some important steps towards the opening of the school.

We have had several public meetings, our enrollment is on target, there have been fantastic additions to our Planning Committee, and our sub-committees have engaged in detailed discussions about the curriculum. We received a $450,000 P and I (Planning and Implementation) grant, our loan package is proceeding, and the 501(c)3 status is in process. We have had 3,000 visits to our website (up 500% recently), 14,500 individuals have been reached through Facebook, and we have had numerous radio news spots, print ads and interview requests. Our job description for school leader (principal) on the web has generated several applicants without us having even advertised the positions.

However, we have faced a problem in that we have not been able to find an appropriate facility that meets the approval of the SC Department of Education Transportation and Facility specialists. We have looked at about 30 different possible sites, and in the last few weeks we came close to signing a lease, but the facility was ultimately denied by the SCDE. We thought that this facility would have been great, but apparently the traffic flow was not good at that intersection. Part of our problem in searching for the right facility is that MAC needs a larger amount of space than most first-year charter schools (because of the need for performance spaces and art-specific facility requirements) as well as the need for quality spaces such as a proper dance floor and acoustically secure rooms.

As a result, we have requested the SCPCSD (SC Public Charter School District) to grant us an extension on our Charter to enable us to open MAC in August 2018 instead of this year. We feel that we will be able to locate a good facility with the extended timeframe. In addition, we feel that we will be in a better position with regard to recruitment of faculty, staff and students, and we will be able to better plan for the opening year. J Britt, our Project Director, made a presentation to the SCPCSD last week, and they fully support our decision to move our opening date to August 2018.

All subsequent dates (enrollment deadlines, etc.) will shift as well. We will resume taking applications soon for the 2018 school year. More details will be shared with you regarding enrollment in the coming weeks. 

Our MAC Planning Committee will continue to meet, and I would like to thank them all for their time and energy. They are a fantastic group of artists, educators, business-people, and parents, and I have been thrilled to work with them and to get to know them individually. Thanks to:

Catharine Aitken, John Barnes, Cindi Boiter, Rosie Craig, Minuette Floyd, Simone Gause, Larry Hembree, Jason Kendall, Lauren Michalski, Elisa Moskovitz, JP Parekh, Janet Rhodes, Kirkland  Smith, Bill Toal, Shirley Watson, Margaret Boyd Varner, Ted Wachter, Kenny Whitted
I would also like to thank J Britt for all the work he has done for MAC. He is truly fantastic, and we are indebted to him for bringing our school closer to reality.

I will keep you posted over the next few months, as we continue our search for the right facility and refine the curriculum. Please stay in touch with us, and do take a look at our website from time-to-time for updates. Please also help to “spread the word” about MAC, and our anticipated opening next year in August 2018. We are committed to creating a first-class arts-focused public school for the Midlands.

For more information contact our Project Director   J Britt at 803-360-1MAC or you can email us directly at:
rjesselson@mozart.sc.edu     or

Best Wishes,

Dr. Robert Jesselson

Carolina Distinguished Professor
2013 Governor’s Professor of the Year
University of South Carolina

Want to know more about the Midlands Arts Conservatory?  Please join us at the Main branch of the Richland Library Sunday, January 8 at 3 p.m. MAC staff and planning committee will be on hand to talk about the school and answer all of your questions. The library is located at 1431 Assembly Street. We will meet in the 2nd floor theatre.

You can register for the event here. Registration is not required but is appreciated. 

Want to know more about the Midlands Arts Conservatory?  Please join us at the North Main branch of the Richland Library Saturday, January 7 at 4 p.m. MAC staff and planning committee will be on hand to talk about the school and answer all of your questions. The library is located at 5306 North Main Street.

You can register for the event here. Registration isn’t required, but appreciated.