About MAC

Mission: To Champion The Arts

Merrill Arts Center (MAC) was originally incorporated in 1996 as Woodbury Arts Council. Founded by a small group of citizens who were watching the explosive growth of their beloved tiny farm town. They wanted to be certain that the city planners were taking the arts into consideration. At first, the group functioned primarily as a matchmaking and advocacy group, showing up at city council and planning meetings, networking as the voice of the arts in Chamber of Commerce events, and helping to connect new community members to existing arts organizations.  The group operated as an all-volunteer organization, with a part-time Executive Director for over a decade, with a small budget around $25,000 until Dorothy K. Merrill passed away and left a quarter of her estate to the Arts Council to build “The Dorothy K. Merrill Fine Arts Center”. Her gift of $3.2M was used to build the Merrill Black Box on the new East Ridge High School in collaboration with the South Washington County School District; and to purchase 3 adjoining Suites at 380 Rivertown Drive in Woodbury. Immediately, the operating budget increased to nearly $400,000. Additionally, the organization changed its name to honor its benefactor and began running programming for the first time.


Merrill is recognized as a leader and cornerstone for the arts in the region

All arts and artists have a greater opportunity

Arts education for all ages and abilities flourish




Fiscal Responsibility




Meet the Staff

The people that make it all happen.

Barbe Marshall Hansen

Barbe Marshall Hansen

Executive Director

612.201.4000 (cell)

Alicia Wiesneth

Alicia Wiesneth

Group Sales


Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I help your organization?

There are lots of ways you can help MAC succeed, and most don’t include writing a check. Here are a few ways you can make a big impact…

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter
  2. Bring a friend to a show or introduce someone to the arts education programs at MAC.
  3. Buy MAC swag and wear it around the community to help let people know about MAC
  4. Join a committee or the Board of Directors

and many more! To read about all the ways you can support MAC, click here.

How can I get involved?

Volunteer and send an email to Barbe@merrillartscenter.org and introduce yourself.


How can I donate to your organization?

Donations come in all shapes and sizes at MAC. From small to large monetary donations to sponsorships and volunteer hours. There are many ways to make your donation go further in our community.