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Article Archive >> Autumn Tourism

The Ice House...Art at its Best

The Ice House...Art at its Best

(MAC) Morgan Arts Council: Established at a public meeting in May 1977, the non-profit Morgan Arts Council has produced more than a thousand programs with nearly 2400 artists, benefiting thousands of visitors and residents including students in all county schools. Presentations have included concerts, arts workshops, pageants, entertainment at the Apple Butter Festival, craft studio tours, and professional art shows, storytellers, theater and video festivals.
The official arts council of Morgan County, MAC has more than 450 individual and family members.
MAC fantasized about the cold storage building for years before it became reality. In the fantasies, the building was called by the name of a similar building in Denver that had been transformed into an art center -the Ice House.
For nearly 20 years, the Morgan Arts Council was a gypsy organization, "getting art out there" wherever there was space. That changed in June 1996 when U.S. Borax gifted MAC with a 40,000 square foot former storage building in the center of Berkeley Springs.
Built circa 1910 to store apples, the four-floor yellow brick building had other uses through the 20th century including a furniture store, health club, and teen center. Renovation is ongoing. Nearly $400,000 has been invested in utilities and access. The first floor now has a Great Hall, three classrooms, MAC office, darkroom and gallery funded by state and Benedum Foundation grants as well as individual and business donations. Mary Ellen Snyder's painting, "Legacy Vine", which hangs in the entry hall, immortalizes donors.
Berkeley Springs was voted by readers of American Style magazine as the #2 arts destination in the United States among small cities and towns.
The Gallery and its entrance on Independence Street are open on the weekends and during concerts. The Gallery is not staffed during the week so the gallery doors are generally locked during the week. If you are meeting someone at the Ice House or are there for a class try the single glass door off the large concrete patio on the south side of the building (near the library). It is the entrance used during the week.
The Ice House relies on on-street parking. Many of the business lots are open after hours. Please don't block driveways or park in the library lot during library hours. Please take note that the Town of Bath tickets on Saturday.
Literally thousands of people have enjoyed, bought, practiced and made art in the Ice House since its acquisition. The future promises even more.
The Ice House is located in downtown Berkeley Springs at the corner of Independence and Mercer streets.

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