Pleasant T. Rowland is pledging $20 million towards the building of the new Madison Youth Arts Center. The gift effectively ensures the project will move into the next stage of development.

The Center will be a place where creativity and connections among young people thrive through the arts and will be the permanent home for Children’s Theater of Madison and Madison Youth Choirs. The new 65,000-square-foot Center will be located on East Mifflin St., across from Lapham School in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood. It is targeted to open in fall 2020.

“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 in a statement.

A capital campaign committee, headed by Diane Ballweg, has been formed to raise the funds needed to complete the construction and establish an operating endowment fund at Madison Community Foundation to ensure sustainability.

“Youth art groups have been searching for a place to call home for decades, wandering from rental halls, to warehouse facilities, to abandoned office spaces. This is a dream come true! It will enhance diverse opportunities for young people to come together to share their talents, skills, and imagination through the arts. What an extraordinary gift!”
says Diane Ballweg in a press release.

The new Center will provide opportunities for all youth, regardless of physical or economic ability, to engage in a diverse range of theater, music, dance, and visual arts programming in the community. Strategic planning over the past five years has identified the need for a dedicated facility to provide programming, performance, administrative, and community space for youth arts organizations in Madison.

The Madison Youth Arts Center will be a magnet for youth arts of all disciplines to be nurtured and celebrated in the center of Dane County.

“Madison has the need and the ability to support a facility like this, and we’ve dreamed of a day that this would happen,” says CTM Artistic Director Roseann Sheridan in a statement. “Thanks to this incredible legacy gift from Pleasant Rowland, and the overwhelming enthusiasm of the community, that day looks to be near. The impact this facility will have on youth in our community will be remarkable, positively impacting the lives of children and families in south-central Wisconsin for generations!”