submitted by Dave Mollenhoff; photo by John Bonsett-Veal
Madison is blessed with many amazing performance spaces, but 20 youth performing arts organizations don’t have affordable and appropriate places to practice. That was the problem that motivated leaders of the Children’s Theater of Madison (CTM), Madison Youth Choirs (MYC), and many others to find a cooperative solution.
Their answer is the Madison Youth Arts Center, a 65,000 square foot $35 million facility that will break ground in May and open in the fall of 2020 at the intersection of East Mifflin and North Ingersoll.
The handsome four-story facility will provide a central and permanent location featuring rehearsal classrooms, dance studios, production and costume shops, a community room, office space, and a 400-seat theater. The facility will allow up to 25,000 school-age youth—including many from Madison’s minority communities—to participate in the performing arts every year, a substantial increase over the number now served.
The Madison Youth Arts Center was made possible by a $20 million gift from Pleasant Rowland. “I can’t think of a gift I could give that would impact more than this in the arts and for young people,” said Rowland. A capital campaign is underway to raise the rest of the money including a special endowment fund that will cover ongoing maintenance and operating costs.
The four leaders who gave a spirited and tightly scripted summary of the new facility were: Allen Ebert, CTM executive director; Roseann Sheridan, CTM artistic director; Lynn Hembel, MYC managing director; and Michael Ross, MYC artistic/executive director.
The Center is a part of a larger proposal for the 1000 block of East Washington Avenue by Stone House Development that will include an 11-story building featuring apartments, commercial space, and a parking ramp.
If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here.