On Friday 1 March 2013, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) reached a record-breaking 1,000,000 visitors eleven months after reopening.
1,000,000 represents the Museum’s highest ever attendance figure in its 21-year history, almost doubling the previous annual record of 578,913 visitors in 2010, and doing so in less than a year.
The digital MCA broadens the audience further still, with 750,000 MCA website visits in the eleven months since reopening.
MCA Chairman Simon Mordant AM said: ‘The MCA is a pioneering organisation; one that sets goals and then surpasses them. To have reached one million visitors in under a year since the reopening is not only a key milestone in the MCA’s history but a remarkable result, surpassing all forecasts. It is a recognition of the vision of the management team led by Liz Ann Macgregor that the MCA has become a key part of the cultural fabric of Australia as demonstrated by this incredible audience engagement.’
MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said: ‘This is the most rewarding testament to the success of the new MCA and the Museum’s vibrant and popular exhibition and learning programs that continually inspire people. I would again like to thank all supporters of the redevelopment, the three levels of Government, private and corporate donors for helping us deliver an audience friendly institution which presents a world-class range of exhibitions and engaging events for people of all ages.’
To mark the occasion, artist Jess Olivieri was commissioned to create a performance work. For Whom The Bell Tolls (2013) is shaped by the notion of museums as cathedrals of culture and the history of bell ringing to summon the faithful to worship. When the 1,000,000th visitor, a Sydney-based art student called Madeleine Frith, entered the building, all screens switched to a ‘1,000,000 visitors’ message, an announcement was made and MCA gallery staff rang hand bells for a few moments.
Posted by Kelly Stone