Posted on Aug 06, 2021
Elmbrook Rotary Club member Linda Edelstein is the Executive Director for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO). On Friday, August 6, together with Besty Corry, Managing Director of First Stage, and Del Wilson, Executive Director for the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC), she provided an overview of the expansion project for the MYAC.
The center plans to renovate 42,000 square feet of underused space in the lower level of the current building in order to add two new rehearsal halls, six studios, and six small group instruction rooms, and to upgrade its mainstage hall on the facility’s main level.

The MYAC campus, which is the home of Milwaukee children’s theater group First Stage and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, consists of two buildings near the intersection of West Walnut Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue: the main building at 325 W. Walnut St. and another building across the street at 1702 N. 4th St.

MYAC also plans to update the building’s systems to increase energy efficiency, improve safety and security with a reconfigured front entrance and improve technology in the facility.

The project is expected to be completed by the fall. MYAC is using Milwaukee-based Ramlow/Stein Architecture & Interiors and Brookfield-based Hunzinger Constructions Company for the project. A second phase of the project will include renovating MYAC’s building on Fourth Street, which the organization purchased in 2016. When completed, the project is expected to create nearly twice the available teaching, rehearsal, and performance space by allowing 20,000 additional children to participate in their programs annually. Other groups, including Milwaukee’s Children Choir and Danceworks, already rent the facility.

MYAC first opened in 2005 in collaboration with First Stage and MYSO. In addition to those two organizations, MYAC hosts Danceworks, Milwaukee Children’s Choir and Festival City Symphony. The center annually serves about 25,000 students from about 90 zip codes throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.