Watch Now: Even Without a Grand Opening, Madison’s New Youth Arts Center is Bustling | Arts and theater


Six months ago, staff at the city’s new Near East Side Youth Arts Center were planning a big opening celebration this fall.

A festive neighborhood party. Crowded public tours. Even a neighborhood parade.

The new MYArts Center for the Youth Arts, located at the corner of East Mifflin and South Ingersoll streets, will soon add more signage and the first of three exterior murals.


But due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, this grand opening simply couldn’t take place. Instead, the all-new $ 29 million MYArts facility at 1055 E. Mifflin St. hosted the public in small groups a few weekends ago for guided tours. Most of those present were curious neighbors.

Despite the lack of introductory hype, MYArts is well and truly operational – and serving its primary target users: young people.

Suzuki Strings from Madison at MYArts

Students enrolled in a Suzuki Strings of Madison course take a lesson with instructor Maria-Rosa Germain at MYArts.


On a recent Tuesday night, Suzuki Strings of Madison hosted a children’s violin lesson in a room – or “studio” as they are called at MYArts – while youth percussion group DrumPower, a program of UW Community Arts Collaboratory, was practicing just down the hall.

Performance course at MYArts

Children at the Northport Community Learning Center express themselves in a Performing Ourselves movement and dance class at the new 65,000 square foot youth arts center known as MYArts.


In another soundproof studio set up for dancing, children from the Northport Community Learning Center participated in a Performing Ourselves movement class. Colorful artwork by students of Cultural Connections, a group dedicated to enriching the lives of children whose loved ones are in prison, hang on the hallway walls.

MYArts lobby

The MYArts hall welcomes artistic groups of young people. Due to COVID restrictions, access to the building is currently limited to visitors by reservation only.


Filled with natural light and colorful accents, the building is now home to the full-time Madison Youth Choirs, which fill several of its large class studios every Sunday with hundreds of young singers, all wearing face masks and sitting four-legged. each other as they rehearse. The organization previously occupied a shared space in the Westgate Mall, which has since been demolished.


William E. Bennett

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