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Founded in 2014 by Maggie Daly, the Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative serves as a powerful tool for individuals with disabilities to express and communicate their thoughts and feelings. Today, MDAC stands as a testament to the transformative power of both philanthropy and the arts: enriching lives, touching hearts, and creating opportunities for sharing, learning, and growth.

The Story Behind MDAC's Journey from Passion to Purpose

More than three decades ago, Maggie Daly met a kindred spirit, Lynn McCrystal, an art therapist at The Kennedy Center (now The Kennedy Collective). Both were passionate advocates for using art as a tool for individuals with disabilities to express themselves. Together with Marty Schwartz, Hilary Michaels, George McGuire, and others, they founded The Kennedy Center’s Art Program. This program opened doors to the participants' talents and led to the creation of the "A Unique Perspective Calendar," showcasing the beauty of their artwork. Over the years, the program has expanded to include art, movement, and music.

As the program's popularity grew, Maggie remained determined to one day open a dedicated day support program for artists. Her wish came true when The Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival selected The Kennedy Center as their 2013 recipient to fund an Artist Cooperative. With the Festival's support and backing from the "Friends of Maggie," MDAC was created and launched.

Woman holding a basket of flowers

Since the inception of the Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative, magic has been happening at 1042 Broad Street. The talents and passion of MDAC artists continue to fill the air with color, creative energy, and breathtaking wonder.

Truly an arts cooperative and nurturing art space that fosters creative growth and exploration, MDAC provides artists with the tools and support to express themselves as individuals and as visual artists. Through experimentation with varied media and approaches, the artistic voice emerges strongly and manifests as color stories, tactile surfaces, scale, and imagery. Artists, guided by an inner drive, in tandem with personal inspiration and reference imagery, find themselves engrossed in process and intuition.

Drawing inspiration from nature, still life, or source images, artists are encouraged to tap into personal expression using charcoal, ink, pastel, and paint sticks in both representation and abstraction. Magic indeed happens when an individual connects with a particular medium or process. The excitement invariably spills over to co-artists, many anxious to experiment with the same media in their style. Dialogue between artists as they share their work and approach to artmaking speaks to the advanced level of skill and intention.


An art class

Painters at MDAC are encouraged to consider the scale of their work and to challenge themselves to work on a scale they are not accustomed to, whether that be very large or very small, and to enjoy the results of treading in unfamiliar territory. Accompanied by new tools such as wire, sumi, or very large brushes is the freedom of expression needed to thrive. Several artists have developed a personal style that continues to be developed, perfected, and in many ways solidified by experimentation in other areas.

Visitors to MDAC immediately sense creative energy at work as artists and staff move throughout the space. The atmosphere is positive, industrious, and notably calming. While the physical studio and gallery spaces are continuously improved, new media is expanding as well.

Printmaking has proven a medium that has captured the interest of several artists as they learn to work in monoprints and block printing. Weaving has also seen a rebirth of sorts at MDAC as several artists continue to build skills as well as hone their design and color focus. Experimentation with conceptual art and photo transfer is also a common thread that continues to appear in our artists’ work.

Go Inside the Arts Cooperative

Hear from the Daly family about why MDAC is so powerful – and be in the studio with our artists as they create magical work. 


Become a MDAC Artist

The Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative is a Day Support program designed for artists with disabilities who are ready to take the step to full participation in the arts – both independently and collectively – with peer artists, and artists in the community. The candidates should have a strong commitment and interest in art, and a sincere desire to engage in the art-making process.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in joining MDAC as an artist, please contact:

Karen Pellecchia
Director of Arts and Community Relations
MDAC 203-690-1609 or mobile 203-223-9433

Email Karen

Participate in the Arts Cooperative

You can also join the MDAC family as an Intern, Volunteer or Guest Artist!

To discuss, please contact:

Karen Pellecchia
Director of Arts and Community Relations
MDAC 203-690-1609 or mobile 203-223-9433

Email Karen

Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative An Enterprise of The Kennedy Collective

Tours Available
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm
1042 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604

[email protected]

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