MAC VAL Musée d’art contemporain (legal name: Conseil départemental) (FR) is the first contemporary art museum built in a French suburb. This project is the fruit of a strong political belief on behalf of the Conseil Départemental (Val-de-Marne Local Authority) in culture and artistic creation as contributors to people’s wellbeing, mutual understanding and social cohesion – a humanitarian vision of culture revealed in the museum’s various missions.
The MAC VAL team has creatively implemented countless innovative actions, making it possible for visitors to discover French contemporary art since its appearance in the 1950s up to the most recent artistic treasures. The MAC VAL has put openness at the heart of its project, whether in its approach (mixing culture, education and art), activities (free tours, workshops, performances) or its discourse. Its ambition is to welcome and accompany visitors as they encounter the works in a more friendly, less intimidating environment than that of larger museum institutions. Mediation plays a dominant role in the MAC VAL’s didactic actions and hosting of groups (mainly schools, but also cultural centres, day centres and neighbourhood associations).
This major aspect of its work helps bring in young visitors and encourages them to return. Reflecting the population of the Department, museum attendances show a high proportion of individual visitors under 25. The ultimate aim of all events – from guided trails to presentation of live works, from meetings to film projections – is to increase access to contemporary creation in all its multiple and diverse forms.