Center for Black Excellence and Culture launches multi-million dollar capital campaign, unveils floor plan

Center For Black Excellence and Culture Rendering
Courtesy: The Center for Black Excellence and Culture/JLA Architects

MADISON, Wis. – The Center for Black Excellence and Culture launched a $36 million capital campaign Thursday to fund the new facility, which is slated to open in 2023.

Center CEO Dr. Alex Gee announced that the project had already raised over $5 million for the campaign, including a $1 million earmark by Rep. Mark Pocan. On Thursday, Summit Credit Union announced it was also donating $2 million to the cause.

The Center is designed to provide a gathering space and resources for Madison’s Black community. Center leadership said over 300 Black donors have led fundraising efforts for the campaign so far.

“I have lived, worked, sold newspapers or owned property in south Madison for the last century, and I have never been prouder to be a member of the south Madison community,” Dr. Gee said Thursday.

Gee says the goal is to use history and culture to empower young Black people to be leaders in the future.

“You told us: we want our children to be seen as leaders to be developed and not problems to be studied or fixed,” Gee said. “You said that we want space for networking, innovating, nurturing, healing, performing, creating and belonging; in essence, a space that creates a bold counter-narrative which affirms and expects Black excellence.”

“It’s going to be something this community has never seen before. It’s something that’s going to become a national model,” Gee added. “You’re going to see healthier people who are proud to be a part of Madison, and that’s going to cause significant growth.”

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“Even in these early stages, we are already witnessing the power of The Center,” Dr. Gee said in a statement.

Gee and his colleagues also unveiled the floor plan for the building, which was designed by Black architects, artists, business leaders, and experts. An atrium, two theaters, and a recording studio are just a few of the planned features for the building.

You can view the floor plan below:

More information on the Center for Black Excellence and Culture can be found on their website.