The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (The Muck) got its start when Harold Muckenthaler donated his 8 acres of property to the City of Fullerton in 1965 specifically to be turned into a cultural center. Twenty years later, the family home was transformed and opened up to the public. The Muck has been holding a variety of exhibits, concerts and day camps on the grounds ever since.
What is not well known to the general is that the Muckenthaler family made its money with, not just citrus groves, but also due to being married into several other prominent local families.
However, the Muck is more than a museum and concert venue. It has at least 25 different outreach programs that it works with ranging from senior centers, homeless shelter, to schools, prisons a youth center in Placentia and a ranch near Palm Springs. One such program that deserves a look is the summer arts camp the Muck hosts for kids on the autism spectrum.
In addition to these community outreach programs, the Muck also has programs that the general public may not be fully aware of. It has a functioning professional recording studio that can be rented and a robust internship program.
Unfortunately, with the restrictions of COVID-19 forcing the postponement of many outdoor events, the Muckenthaler was no exception to being hit by this. However, it adopted by postponing the events until the restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, The Muck has been busy trying to help out its community.
Every Tuesday, parents can drive through the parking lot and pick up a new art kit for the kids stuck at home. When asked about how this all started, Muckenthaler CEO Farrell Hirsch said, “The idea just came from one of our master artists, Marsha Judd. Not just the overarching idea, she also designs the projects for each week. We were aiming to help house-bound families with cabin fever.”
The project is set to continue through to mid-June when the school year was set to end.
Additionally, the Muck usually has live concerts every Thursday but while they are all being postponed until further notice the artists themselves are giving live concerts online. At the normal time that the concert will be held, the artists are giving mini live concerts that are free for anyone to view and the public can sign up at www.themuck.org for the concert listings.
Along with helping to keep kids entertained at home with an art project, The Muck recently opened up their artist gallery for a project by asking volunteers to help make face shields for the staff at St. Jude during this crisis.
Farrell said, “With the help of many partners, including the local Rotary Club, OC United and Pacmin, the Muck has been making about 5,000 face shields per week. We have been averaging about 50 to 60 volunteers in a week, but obviously only a few at a time.”
While it seems many businesses are struggling in this time of restrictions, the Muckenthaler Cultural Center is continuing to help entertain and serve its’ community for the better.
More information about how the public can help with the Face Shield Project can be found here https://themuck.org/face-shield
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