Making Space for Performance
From its founding, performance has been an essential component of the MCA's programming.
Performance had always been a part of the MCA from its founding. It was a time of happenings and performance art. And over time they were less frequent, and when the decision was made and the opportunity arose to move, there was a strong feeling that there must be performance again as part of the museum; that the boundaries were so blurred between the visual and the performing arts that not to have a space where performance could occur would be really a disservice to the art. But when you're building a building, there's a lot of demands on the space and there were multiple times when an easy way to save money or to get more gallery space or more other very important space would be to cut the theater.
And I think it was just extraordinary prescient and wise that there was a group of board members and staff members who absolutely said, "No, that's not negotiable. This must be part of what we are and who are and what we do." And I'm really proud of what the MCA has been able to accomplish. And the interplay between media and art forms is, I think, one of the most exciting and dynamic parts of what's been evolving in the art world over the last several decades.