Madison City Council’s new agreement with Overture arts center

Posted on: December 16, 2010

In Wednesday’s (12/15) Wisconsin State Journal (Madison), Dean Mosiman reports, “The Madison City Council late Tuesday raised the curtain on the $205 million Overture Center’s next act, approving an agreement that officials hope turns the arts center from uncertainty to a new future.” Overture’s resident companies include the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, among others. “The council, despite concern over the impact on employees, voted 14-5 for a deal between the city and Overture officials on ownership and operations that will allow Overture and donors to erase a $28.6 million bank debt that has threatened to close Overture and imperiled its reputation. The vote proves ‘we have the civic capacity to solve a really tough problem,’ Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. An earlier deal among Overture officials, donors and banks was to expire Dec. 30. … But supporters and experts said for the financially struggling arts center to succeed, new owner and operator 201 State Foundation will have to more than double its fundraising to $2.5 million annually, broaden the center’s geographic reach and pursue new revenue streams — possibly including new local government contributions and dedicated taxes.”

Posted December 16, 2010