In a joyous big step, organizers on Thursday unveiled the dynamic design and ambitious fundraising they said will make the proposed $38 million Center for Black Excellence and Culture on the South Side a reality and a national model.
For generations, Madison has fallen short of developing the types of spaces the Black community needs to feel connected, empowered and rooted, advocates said.
The project, a first-of-its-kind Black-inspired, Black-designed and Black-led multimillion-dollar project in Madison, will provide a wide range of opportunities to celebrate and learn about the Black community, hold performances, socialize and promote wellness at all stages of life, and more, they said.
The 65,000-square-foot, three-level building will include dedicated spaces for youth, students and seniors, lounges, multiple studios, coworking space, offices, two performance spaces, and “Club Afrique,” a professional lounge for members of the Black community to use for weddings, conferences and after-work gatherings.
“The Center,” as the space has affectionately become known, will rise on 6 acres at 655 W. Badger Road near the Beltline and just west of the Fountain of Life Covenant Church and an adjacent building that holds the nonprofit Nehemiah Center of Urban Leadership. The latter structure will be demolished for the project, with its offices moving to the new facility. Organizers hope to break ground at the end of 2022 and open the next year.
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