Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) is a first of its kind arts-in-education facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a contemporary, cutting edge performing arts education, training and rehearsal facility for the young people of southeastern Wisconsin, which gives children the opportunity to express themselves through the arts in a fun, creative, multicultural environment, in a setting that offers well-designed, educationally appropriate rehearsal halls, classrooms and other training spaces, as well as a theater resource center, music library, costume shop and administrative offices.
The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and its associated programs are dedicated to fostering talent, developing character and building the audiences of tomorrow.
The center is a unique collaboration between First Stage Children's Theater and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, two of the nation's most successful arts education organizations. It opened in early 2005.
The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center is home to First Stage Children's Theater, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Danceworks, Festival City Symphony, Milwaukee Children's Choir, and African American Children's Theater, along with other groups who rent the facility for individual events.
The building includes more than 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) of program space. There are five large rehearsal halls with industry-standard acoustic configurations. The nine additional classrooms and two small rehearsal/practice rooms provide optimal soundproofing in order to accommodate a large number of programs at one time. The largest rehearsal hall, Youth Arts Hall, is 3,800 sq ft (350 m2) and serves as a performance venue for MYSO groups and student productions of the First Stage Theater Academy. In the center of the building is the 3,200 sq ft (300 m2) "Commons" area, which provides an attractive and comfortable area for parents and students to relax in while in the building.
The nine smaller classrooms/studio spaces and two additional rehearsal/practice rooms are named after prominent figures in theater and music: Duke Ellington, Lorraine Hansberry, Gustav Mahler, Martha Graham, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, William Shakespeare, Dmitri Shostakovich, Stephen Sondheim, Konstantin Stanislavski, Arthur Miller, and "B-3 or B-cubed," which stands for Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven.
Additionally, in 2012, the MYAC board of directors voted to rename two of the larger halls to recognize and honor long-time First Stage and MYSO leaders Rob Goodman and Fran Richman, who spearheaded the multi-year, broad-based capital campaign which raised more than $15 million for initial renovation of the facility and the variety of urban initiatives (Community Partnership Programs) which were made possible by the facility and the generosity of its supporters.