A Home for Inspiring, Creating and Connecting: The New Madison Youth Arts Center
A HOME FOR INSPIRING, CREATING & CONNECTING
The New Madison Youth Arts Center
Getting involved in the arts can help children thrive. The arts promote creativity, encourage neural connections, build self-esteem and help young people connect with each other and the world. Unfortunately, many youth arts organizations are hindered by overcrowding, costly, and inaccessible space, limiting their ability to offer more educational programs and reach more children.
In 2013, Madison’s Cultural Plan identified the pressing need for affordable creative space, and over the next five years, the need for this space grew exponentially. The four-story arts hub officially known as the Madison Youth Arts Center, Inc., was in the works for years, and was collectively envisioned by local youth arts organizations as a place for dedicated, permanent rehearsal and performance space for students in pre-K through high school.
The vision of the new space included a collaborative youth arts center that will provide opportunities for families from all backgrounds to find kindred spirits as their children cross paths in rehearsals, sparking friendships across geographic and socioeconomic lines; to expand opportunities for students and teachers to share in a collaborative environment of shared office spaces, rehearsal halls, common areas, professional services, and a 300-seat theater; and, to remove barriers for participation by building a centrally located facility in close proximity to public transportation.
A capital campaign was established with a set goal of $35 million and was raised entirely from private funds, notably $20 million from American Girl founder and longtime arts supporter Pleasant Rowland. The successful campaign raised $29 million to build and furnish the building, $5 million for an access fund to ensure groups of all sizes and stature can use it, and $1 million for a building maintenance endowment. The Madison Youth Arts Center (MYAC) will continue to raise money for the access fund.
“We want to do our best to ensure that this facility is inclusive and diverse,” said Allen Ebert, Executive Director, Madison Youth Arts Center. “It will be a fun, welcoming facility.”