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Friday, June 14, 2024

Cultural Arts Board provides first glimpse of Overture Center interior

Community members got a sneak preview of Overture Center for the Arts buildings' interior layout at a Madison Cultural Arts District Board meeting Wednesday.  




Approximately 50 people were present for the unveiling of the latest information and concept drawings for Phase I of the Overture Project, which is expected to be completed in mid-2004. 




\We are 20 percent done with Phase I,"" said George Austin, president of the Overture Foundation. ""You can actually sense that there's a real building taking shape out there."" 




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Overture Project Design Team Leader Bill Butler described the functions of various spaces inside the center. 




The Overture Center will include a number of open community performance spaces, such as Studio B, which will consist of 3,200 square feet with a ceiling height of 25 feet.  




""Studio B is the greatest unsung space in the building,"" Butler said, adding that the area could be used for lectures, performances and symphony rehearsals. 




The new performance venue, Overture Hall, will feature unobstructed sight lines, outstanding acoustics, state-of-the-art lighting and a movable orchestra shell, according to Austin.  




""For a hall that seats 2,254 people, it feels intimate,"" Butler said.  




The Rotunda Stage, which currently houses ""Kids in the Crossroads,"" will be transformed into an informal gathering, performance and lecture space, according to Butler. 




""We want to support the events that have already happened, but provide for events yet to be seen,"" Butler said. 




Board member Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the presentation was the first opportunity for the MCAD Board to see what the real interior of the center will look like, adding that the presentation addressed concerns raised by the public regarding the exclusion of certain aspects of the art community. 




""Today's meeting, in many ways, responds to that criticism ... by showing that [spaces] will be open to everybody,"" Verveer said.  




Austin said the project was moving along as planned and should be completed within two-and-a-half years. 




""We are planning for the outside, Phase I structural work and building enclosure to be finished by the end of the year, to be followed by interior work, with the Phase I opening scheduled for mid-2004,"" he said in a statement. 


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