Center for Black Excellence and Culture project gets $1 million in federal funding

MADISON, Wis. — The recently-passed federal government funding bill will bring $1 million to Madison to help fund the planned Center for Black Excellence and Culture, local leaders announced Wednesday.

The funding will contribute to the center’s $36 million capital campaign, which was first announced in December. The $1 million federal earmark was announced as part of that plan but was finalized when Congress passed the federal omnibus bill.

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Organizers have said the goal of the center is to use history and culture to empower young Black people to be leaders in the Madison area in the future.

“It’s going to be something this community has never seen before. It’s something that’s going to become a national model,” Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee said as he announced the project last year. “You’re going to see healthier people who are proud to be a part of Madison, and that’s going to cause significant growth.”

The center is expected to include an atrium, two theaters, a recording studio and more features. The building was designed by Black architects, artists, business leaders and experts.

Thanks to fundraising efforts, the project might break ground sooner than originally expected. Those behind the project now hope to break ground in 2023.