Middletown, NJ – MAC Director, Maggie O’Brien is the recipient of the 2015 MCEA’s Friends of Education Award, which recognizes dedication towards the region’s public schools and champions of educational enrichment. The MCEA presented its award to O'Brien at a Friends of Education Rewards reception on Thursday evening at the Waterview Pavillion in Belmar, New Jersey.
“Maggie O’Brien and the staff at the Middletown Arts Center represent a key component of what we need in our public schools, dedicated and committed community partners,” said NJEA representative Christopher Johnson. “Our students and our Association would not be the successes we are if it were not for all of us working together,” Johnson continued. The MCEA represents the needs of Monmouth County's educators through advocacy, information, and service.
“There’s no better place to work,” said O’Brien. “MAC is a place where the arts have such an impact and you can see community connectivity within all ages, abilities and interests,” she enthused. O’Brien continued, saying that her ongoing goal is to see every space utilized to its maximum potential.
O’Brien joined MAC’s advisory board in 2001 and then lead the renovation and oversaw its opening in 2007, when she was appointed director of the 23,000 square-foot facility. O’Brien oversees myriad offerings and events at MAC. In 2014 approximately 60,000 patrons from Middletown to Manhattan enjoyed the diverse cultural offerings at MAC. More than 1,000 campers aged two to teen participated in its summer enrichment program. O’Brien administers annual educational scholarships for graduating high-school students as well as a variety of needs-based aid on MAC’s behalf. Last year O’Brien orchestrated over 60 partnerships with Monmouth County businesses and organizations to nourish the offerings available at MAC.