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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Gasparka

A Home for Milwaukee's Young Artists: Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

How might a young person’s future look different with exposure to and training in the arts? This is the proposition at the heart of the mission of Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. In this episode of Creative MKE, Elisabeth speaks with Chad Tessmer, the Executive Director at MYAC. They discuss how equitable engagement in the arts has a measurable positive impact on young people’s development—and on their entire lives. Located at the corner of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Walnut Street, MYAC is at the intersection of several Milwaukee neighborhoods including Halyard Park, Brewer’s Hill, Harambee, Schlitz Park, and The Deer District. Since its founding in 2005, the space has served as a home to First Stage and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as many other local arts organizations.


MYAC Milwaukee Youth Arts Center lit up at dusk
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (source: VISIT Milwaukee)

While MYAC is not in the business of trying to “turn every student into a performer at Carnegie Hall,” the organization seeks to give young people means to explore their voices and express themselves artistically in a safe, inclusive and professional environment. And because the employees at MYAC are creatives themselves (some of them alumni!), they believe in the promise and purpose of the institution, and “pay it forward” every day by shaping high quality and equitable access to transformative arts experiences.


As the organization evolves, MYAC seeks new ways to engage with young artists across their developmental trajectories in to support their creative professional development.


 

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