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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Study on performing arts in Madison released by New York company Monday

A working draft of a performing arts study in Madison was released Monday by Webb Management Services Management Services, Inc., the New York-based company that conducted the study in conjunction with WolfBrown consulting firm.

The study, which began in 2011 and was sent to 123 local performing arts groups in the form of a survey, targeted four main areas: artists and arts organizations, audiences, facilities and funding for performing arts groups in the Madison area. Of the 123 groups, 29 responded.

According to the report, the University of Wisconsin-Madison “produces and presents a high concentration of arts activity,” though “there is a desire for better connection between the city, artists and arts groups and the university in terms of programming, facilities and broader cultural development issues.”

The report found the list of facilities used for performing arts in the Madison area is lacking when it comes to “mid-sized facilities,” as well as “formal, well-equipped outdoor performance space.”

While the report did note the Wisconsin Union Terrace as one of the outdoor performance spaces currently being utilized, it claims it is “logistically difficult to use for ticketed performances and most are expensive to outfit.”

While the draft outlined the need for more diverse facilities based on the study’s findings, the report maintains, “the greatest need identified is for rehearsal and production facilities to support artists and arts groups as they create.”

The report also suggests working on making suitable facilities like Camp Randall and the Kohl Center more accessible for the performing arts.

Madison’s Performing Arts Study Committee will now use the study to suggest ways to enhance the city’s performing arts scene.

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