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McLean Community Center Celebrates Small Event Successes Amid Pandemic

It’s was an unconventional Halloween to cap off an unconventional year for the McLean Community Center, an organization dedicated to establishing a sense of community a time of social isolation.

During a meeting last week, the MCC leadership discussed the Halloween activities that were ongoing at the McLean Old Firehouse Center.

Terri Markwart said that the event had been a success with many local middle school kids who were looking for a chance to meet up with their friends in costume. The event had over 200 attendees, Markwart said.

“Parents who came with their kids were appreciative,” Markwart said, “and the kids said the haunted house was fantastic.”

Other members of the MCC expressed similar approval of the work the Old Firehouse had done.

“It was a well run event,” said Barbara Zamora. “There was a line at one point, but everyone was spaced.”

The group also discussed the future of the McLean Project for the Arts with Lori Carbonneau, executive director of the MPA.

“We’re doing virtual openings and artist talks,” Carbonneau said, “[and] bringing people into the gallery in groups of six.”

Carbonneau said engagement has gone up over the last few months, which she attributed to the group working largely with people with disabilities, elderly residents, and folks who are otherwise homebound. As a result, the group had its second highest attended Artfest this year in terms of website traffic.

“For our first rodeo, we’re feeling pretty good about it,” Carbonneau said.

The success came in spire of a 95% drop in normal corporate sponsorship, but Carbonneau said the group was able to put the event together with community support. Carbonneau described artist sales as “not great” but adequate.

Unsurprisingly, the group also announced that the annual WinterFest parade has been cancelled. This is the second year in a row WinterFest has been cancelled, as it was cancelled last year due to predicted rain.

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