MAC fundraiser coming to racino

Middletown Arts Center student Stefanie Darbyshire works on her latest painting. Many of MAC s artists have donated work for this year’s auction. CONTRIBUTED

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Middletown Arts Center student Stefanie Darbyshire works on her latest painting. Many of MAC s artists have donated work for this year’s auction. CONTRIBUTED

Event includes live and silent auctions.

A live auction, a silent auction and $60 artwork will benefit the Middletown Arts Center as part of its 60th Birthday Art Auction Fundraiser.

The event is on Saturday, June 3, at Miami Valley Gaming.

The MAC is a privately funded nonprofit organization, funded entirely by memberships and donations. The center doesn’t receive state or federal funding. MAC was founded in 1957.

Between 200 to 300 guests are expected to attend the ticketed fundraiser.

“This is our main fundraiser, and we host it every three years. We are excited to host it at the racino this year,” said Middletown Arts Center executive director Hilary Nauman.

“We are doing several new things in 2017. The one that I’m most excited about is we are doing several collaborative pieces. We have members our community that are going to be paired with instructors or artists that have been working out of the MAC, and they are making pieces together,” Nauman said.

Partnerships on the collaborative pieces will include Jackie Phillips, health commissioner, City of Middletown and Adriana Depalma, MAC ceramics instructor, who will work together to create a piece of pottery. Rodney Mutterspaw, City of Middletown Police chief will team up with MAC painting/multimedia instructor Shelley Sizemore to complete a painting, among other collaborations. There will be eight to 10 collaborative works.

“It’s our 60th birthday. It’s our 60th anniversary this year, so our auction is birthday-themed. This year, we will have $60 artwork that is not part of our live auction. You can come in and purchase it, and all of the proceeds will go toward running the center as well,” Nauman said.

John Lomax of Local 12 WKRC-TV will serve as the master of ceremonies. Steve South of Lebanon will act as the event’s auctioneer. Guest conductors Mike Scorti and Fr. John Civille will also join in the fun. Cathie Mulligan and Janis Nein are co-chairs of the event. Highlights will include a live auction, silent auction and $60 art on display. There will be a buffet dinner with a cash bar, along with several birthday surprises.

Chairwoman Cathie Mulligan said original art for on and off the wall will be offered at the event, including jewelry, pottery and wall pieces.

Several experiences will be a part of the live auction, such as a vacation/condo package, a 10-person, gourmet dinner at the home of Mayor Larry Mulligan Jr. as well as a jersey signed by Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber, a Middletown High School graduate. There is also a party at MAC with Chloe the Painting Border Collie.

“We are looking at some different classes, such as gardening and knitting, so we are certainly expanding our thinking to the community and culture aspects, the MAC is not just a fine-arts center. We have a lot of things going on, and the casino is a great venue for introducing new people to our center,” Nauman said.

A lot of cool things are happening in Middletown. Being able to have center like this is a great thing for the community. Without this auction, we wouldn’t be able to continue operating. This is our major fundraiser, and we’re really looking for the community to support it, she said.

“We’ve been around for 60 years, and that’s quite an accomplishment. This is a celebration and a recognition of our importance with the community. Middletown is really becoming an art hub,” Mulligan said.

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How to go

What: Middletown Arts Center 60th Birthday Art Auction Fundraiser

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3

Where: Miami Valley Gaming, 6000 Ohio 63, near Monroe

Admission: Reservations $60 per person. Reservations are required by Thursday, May 25.

More info: Contact the Middletown Arts Center at or call (513) 424-2417. For online tickets, visit

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