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Multimillion dollar Madison Youth Arts Center breaks ground Monday

Ground will be broken Monday for a multimillion-dollar Youth Arts Center on Madison's Near East side. The building will be just off of East Washington Avenue.

The area has seen many new developments in the last few years especially high-rise apartment complexes. Officials involved with the center told News 3 Now that this development is unique to the area and will help a number of nonprofits involved in youth arts centralize their efforts.

The development will cost $35 million. It will be a 65.000-square-foot, multi-level facility. Officials told News 3 Now that it is meant to provide kids in our area an opportunity to engage in all the arts-dance, music, theater.

“We’re creating the next generation of innovative thinkers and creative minds. We are not about creating the next Broadway star, if that happens yay, but we want to foster and have them develop that art and use art in whatever they do in life,” Allen Ebert, the executive director of The Children’s Theater of Madison, said.

The Children’s Theater of Madison and Madison Youth Choir, in addition to 20 other nonprofits will use the space. A space that is meant for all students, in hopes of leading Madison and Dane County youths to a bright future individually and also a brighter future for the community as a whole.

“We're really focused as we've started this journey of how can we make sure it's accessible to not just some but to everyone?" Ebert said. "We are really working on that in our fundraising and we are building an endowment for that and an access fund for that so we can ensure access, Ebert said. We are listening to the community because we do not have the answers and we really need to ensure, how do we make people feel welcomed in this space?”

Allen said the children’s theater as well as the designer Epstein Uhen Architects and builder CG Schmidt wanted to make the Youth Arts Center not look like a classroom or school. It’s designed for area kids ages birth up to college age.

There's an on-site warehouse for set design, so for kids who like to build, that's an option, too.
All of it will become a reality April 2021.

Keely Arthur
Channel 3000