Friends of the McLean Community Center began as McLean
Community Center, Inc. (MCC, Inc.), on June 30, 1964.
Encouraged by, among others, the McLean Citizens
Association, and comprised of representatives from local
community organizations, MCC, Inc. set about the task of
building a community center. They found a site, raised funds,
purchased land, arranged for the original bond issue to be
placed on the ballot, and supported its 1970 passage. They
guided the Center's design, proposed programmatic plans,
and formulated its management plan, which included the
Center's relationship with the County and the method of
Governing Board selection. It is due to Friends' insistence
that McLean today enjoys local control of Center funds and
operations. Friends successfully fought for Governing Board
members to be popularly elected, rather than popularly
nominated and selected by the Supervisor.
The inaugural MCC Governing Board, elected in 1971,
counted eight MCC, Inc. directors among its nine adult
members. MCC, Inc. transitioned into an advisory role for the
years leading up to and following the Center's opening in late
1975. Although MCC, Inc. had discussed internally, as early
as 1971, an evolution into a support arm for the Center, it was
not until 1977 that MCC, Inc. changed its name to Friends
and started towards its present form and function.
In response to the foreseen increased need for volunteer and
capital support occasioned by the Governing Board's
expansion plans, the Friends in April 1981 changed its
by-laws to become a membership organization, open to all in
the McLean community. The rest of the decade saw major
public relations and capital campaigns by Friends, which,
respectively, resulted in the strong passage of the 1985 bond
referendum for facility expansion and the addition of a balcony
to the Alden Theatre.
In the 1990's, Friends provided funds to furnish the Center's
commercial kitchen for the use of instructional classes, special
events, and rentals. Additionally, Friends financed the
installation of acoustical panels in the Center's meeting rooms.
In the 2000's, Friends has underwritten a display of historic
photographs in the Maffitt and Stedman meeting rooms to
honor McLean's Centennial. Friends also commissioned a
portrait of Robert Ames Alden, now hanging in the Center's
lobby, provided an interactive kiosk, began the annual Meet the Candidates reception for MCC Governing Board aspirants, and hosted a Friends 50th Anniversary Celebration in recognition of our members legacy of achievement and community support.
Today, as we look to the future, we have begun working with the MCC Board to see how we may enhance the upcoming Center expansion. We hope you will join us.