Who We Are
At the Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC), our mission is simple: we enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts. We achieve this through arts education, collaboration, special events, grants, and more. In addition to supporting artists and art groups through our programs and services, we bring more than 2,500 high-quality, inexpensive or free concerts, films, dance and theater productions, musicals, creative writing programs, art exhibitions, and arts education programs to over 700,000 children and adults throughout the region each year. There are few things as powerful as the arts when it comes to community building. Art impacts all members of a society; it inspires, connects, educates, heals, motivates, and gives voice to communities. The importance of the arts throughout the course of our lives can never be underestimated.
As the official county arts agency, it’s our goal to perpetuate a vibrant arts community that truly enhances the quality of life in Monmouth County. Whether you’re an artist or a member of the audience, you’re sure to benefit from what MCAC has to offer. We hope that you’ll even consider supporting us to help keep our area’s many artistic endeavors alive and well.
Our programs are made possible through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts. For more information about MCAC, please contact us at 732.212.1890.
The Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC) was founded in 1971 after the Junior League of Monmouth County surveyed the community and identified the need for a central agency to coordinate and assist all county artists and arts organizations. With seed money from the Junior League and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, MCAC was designated as the official county arts agency, made up of arts groups, artists, and supporters of the arts. At that point, the organization began providing assistance and services to strengthen the arts and the quality of life in Monmouth County.
In 1973, an anonymous donor provided MCAC with funds to purchase Walter Reade’s Carlton Theatre in Red Bank. The theater was renamed the Count Basie Theatre in 1984 following the death of Red Bank native William James “Count” Basie. In 1999, MCAC and the Count Basie Theatre separated into two nonprofit organizations so that each organization could better focus on its individual mission.
Today, through a variety of programs and services, MCAC continues to enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts throughout Monmouth County.