The Manchester Arts Commission was created in 1937, requiring three persons who served varying terms in office. Over the years the Commission functioned at varying degrees of activity, but always with a passion for promoting public art and all volunteers.
In December 1999, three Art Commissioners – Grace Freije, Althea Haropulos and Georgie Reagan – were appointed by Mayor Raymond Wieczorek - and later re-appointed by Mayor Robert Baines. This particular appointment followed a period of inactivity for several years.
The Commissioners found themselves in the ‘activity’ category, and still with more visions of many great projects requiring hands-on attention. With only ‘volunteer time’ in which to accomplish them, they knew they needed help. With that in mind, the Commissioners requested a new ordinance that would add two additional Commissioners. On April 16, 2002 the Board of Mayor and Aldermen accepted the request. In the spring 2002, Mayor Baines appointed Peter Ramsey and Al St. Cyr to the Commission. Richard Maynard was appointed in May 2004 to fill the expired term of Althea Haropulos.
The MAC has achieved many things over the years – the re-opening of the McIninch Family Gallery, two public sculptures ("Vivace" and "Crosswalk"), supporting the Trolley Tours, establishing the Art on the Wall @ City Hall, the White Flag pop-up gallery in 2010, and participation in the worldwide Inside/Out Project in support of TEDx 2011. In addition to helping coordinate the National Arts Program Exhibit in July/August.
Commissioners have included Ann Kelley, James Chase, Anthony Williams, Katherine Schmidt, Tom Ford, Cindy O'Rourke, Becky O'Neil, Ashley Jane Stephan, Carolina Chauvette and Martha Frontiero.
The newest Chair of the Arts Commission is Daniel Bérubé, appointed by Mayor Theodore Gatsas in 2015 and reappointed by Mayor Joyce Craig in 2018. As of January, 2018, Edward Doyle, Daniela Snow and Katie Bérubé serve as Commissioners with Daniel Bérubé. Daniel Bérubé is presently working to change the ordinance to ramp up the number of commissioners to twelve in 2018, with an additional three commissioners (for a total of fifteen) in 2019.