Madison Community Foundation and the Evjue Foundation Announce $1 Million Combined Grant to Madison Youth Arts Center

Madison Community Foundation and the Evjue Foundation Announce $1 Million Combined Grant to Madison Youth Arts Center

MADISON, Wis. – Madison Community Foundation (MCF) announces a $500,000 grant toward the new Madison Youth Arts Center, in conjunction with a $500,000 grant from the Evjue Foundation. MCF President Bob Sorge and Paul Fanlund, editor and publisher of the Cap Times, made the joint grant announcement during Madison Gives, MCF’s annual dinner at Monona Terrace, with more than 600 in attendance.

The new arts center will be located on East Mifflin Street, across from Lapham School in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood. The 65,000-square-foot center, targeted to open in fall 2020, has already received generous community support. Pleasant Rowland pledged $20 million toward the project earlier this year, and Diane Ballweg, current member of the MCF Board of Governors, is heading the capital campaign.

"These two large grants from well-respected foundations confirm the inspiration, impact, and value of education and the arts in our communities,” says Diane Ballweg. “They reinforce the philanthropic leadership shown by Pleasant Rowland and Jerry Frautschi and their passion for creative youth programs around Madison."

The Madison Youth Arts Center will provide a space dedicated to programming, performance, administration, and community for youth arts organizations in Madison. The center will have an intentional focus on diversity, and will offer all youth, regardless of physical or economic ability, the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of theater, music, dance, and visual arts programming. It will provide space for dozens of grassroots arts organizations, and will be the permanent home for Children’s Theater of Madison and Madison Youth Choirs.

“MCF has a strong history of support for arts and education in Dane County, as does the Evjue Foundation,” says Sorge. “We’re proud to partner with Evjue on this project. The Madison Youth Arts Center will play a pivotal role in providing arts opportunities for youth across the region.”

“Though Mr. Evjue and his wife had no children of their own, he always demonstrated a special commitment to young people, which makes the youth arts center a perfect fit for Evjue Foundation philanthropy,” says Fanlund.

About the Evjue Foundation: As the charitable arm of the Cap Times, the Evjue Foundation has awarded about $70 million in grants to educational, cultural, and charitable causes in Dane County. William T. Evjue, who founded the Cap Times, established the foundation before his death in 1970. Visit

About Madison Youth Arts Center: The center will be a vibrant community space where youth from all backgrounds will explore, create, and connect through an array of arts programming that evolves with the mission of those who call the center home. Located at the corner of East Mifflin and North Ingersoll, the building will include 15 studio/rehearsal spaces ranging from 550 to 2000 square feet, a flexible performance space that will seat about 120, a theater with about 300 fixed seats, a scene and production shop, costume shop and storage, and office space. Visit