by Michelle Hoffman
The sounds of banging, pounding, and drilling aren’t necessarily the magnificent musical phrases one would ordinarily hear at MYSO. But these days, it’s the norm. This winter, the renovation of our home, the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, began with a bang…literally!
Construction crews descended upon the building in January, beginning the process of creating more programming space in the basement (now known as the “garden level”), specifically, providing two additional rehearsal halls, six small group spaces, and another six studios. In addition, a second common space where our students and their families can come together will be added. Goodman Mainstage Hall will be transformed into a theater-in-the-round; and a new main entrance to the building will be constructed. Access to the lower level will be facilitated with a newly constructed staircase, located where the vending machines were. Overall, an additional 40,000 square feet will be fitted out and added to the current usable footprint. Additional improvements include lighting and security upgrades, new AV equipment, acoustical enhancements, and a new freight elevator to the garden level.
We anticipate these changes will allow 20,000 additional young people to experience the arts at our facility annually for MYSO, First Stage, and other performing arts organizations.
Milwaukee’s support for youth engagement in the arts made MYAC possible two decades ago, and makes this re-imagination possible today.
We can’t wait to share the finished product with you this fall!
Photo: Ron Oshima