CG Schmidt breaks ground at new Madison youth arts center
MADISON, WI – In spite of rain earlier in the day, the clouds parted just in time for the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the soon-to-be-constructed youth arts center in Madison, with nearly 100 residents, local dignitaries and the media turning out to celebrate the milestone occasion. Speakers included philanthropist and noted arts supporter Diane Ballweg, County Executive Joe Parisi, Deputy Mayor Dr. Lynda Vakunta, Alder Patrick Heck, CG Schmidt Vice President Sarah Dunn, EUA Sr. Project Manager Colleen O’Meara, representatives from the youth arts center leadership team, and others.
The new 65,000 sq.ft. performing arts center, designed by Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) and built by CG Schmidt, will provide opportunities for youth to engage in all varieties of arts activities – music, theater, dance, and more. The new facility will serve as an arts community hub, and provide desperately needed space for organizations who serve youth through the arts. In addition to the two anchor organizations — Children’s Theater of Madison (CTM) and Madison Youth Choirs (MYC) — over 20 other non-profits have expressed intention to use the space for their programming. These groups include Arts for All, Black Star Drum Line, Central Midwest Ballet, Drum Power, Fauhaus Project, Madison Ballet, Madison Marimba Club, Music Con Brio, Performing Ourselves, Whoopensocker, WYSO Music Makers, and Little Picassos.
The new space features 12 rehearsal studios, 2 fully equipped dance studios, a sensory-friendly space, a 300 seat theater, a flexible 120-seat studio theater, production and costume shops, outdoor event spaces, a community room, and offices for permanent and short-term users. In addition, there is garage parking attached to the building.
“It is my hope that Madison Youth Arts Center will give all children in our community the opportunity to engage in creative expression in a place that affirms their value, honors their voices, and reflects their dreams,” says Pleasant Rowland.