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Building The Center for Black Excellence and Culture in Madison

Ground broke for a new $33 million dollar hub for Black Wisconsinites.

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The $33 million center is 65,000 sq ft. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Today, as Juneteenth is celebrated nationally, Madison’s The Center for Black Excellence and Culture will break ground at 655 W. Badger Rd.

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The coming Center for Black Excellence and Culture was first conceived in 2020. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Intentionally choosing Juneteenth for the groundbreaking, founder/CEO Rev. Dr. Alex Gee said in a statement, “To see the first steps taken in its construction is a testament to the boldness and perseverance of Black residents who have worked for years on end to make our dream a reality.”

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The space will have an auditorium for performances. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Gee continued, “The Center is the answer to the decades-long absence of cultural space to celebrate and advance Wisconsin’s Black community.”

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The new space will have a lounge for informal commiseration. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Center for Black Excellence and Culture

The Center is scheduled to open in late 2025. “We eagerly await the day we can open our doors and embrace the Black community in Madison and beyond,” Gee said in a statement.

The building

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The Center for Black Excellence and Culture will have a variety of communal spaces. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Conceived in 2020, the Black-designed multi-functional, three-level 65,000-sqft space will:

  • Host arts performances and visual art displays
  • Offer community programming for Madison residents
  • Be a hub for Black professionals to network, collaborate, and work together internally and with the greater Madison business community to recruit, train, and nurture local Black talent
  • Invite guests and organizations for receptions, galas, and other special events
  • Celebrate accomplishments and contributions of Black Wisconsinites
  • Serve 6,000 students and 3,000 seniors
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The Black-designed building should open in late 2025. | Rendering via Center for Black Excellence and Culture

The development was made possible by a $33 million capital campaign by public and private entities, and individual support. The Center is $3 million shy of being a debt-free building. The organization is asking for donations to bridge that gap.

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