Former Verona charter school to become art, art education hub

The former New Century Charter School in Verona could soon become a hub for artists and art education, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. Nonprofit Art House 360 would take up residence in the vacant, 12,000-square-foot, two-story building at 401 W. Verona Ave.

Organizers say the goal is to provide an accessible arts education for all ages, empower artists from minority communities, and foster an arts ecosystem.

The hub is scheduled to open next summer. The nonprofit is seeking major donors for its $2 million capital campaign to cover building renovations, which would preserve the architecture of the 1917 structure. The nonprofit is collaborating with Madison architect DeHaven Design Build and working with the city to finalize the lease. Once major donors have covered 50% of the renovations, donation opportunities will be opened to the public.

Four anchor tenants are expected for the center, including Inventiva Works, offering visual art and theater classes in Spanish; Theatre LILA, hosting training for actors; Barrio Dance, a dance school; and Slate BLUE studios, offering community events, classes, and coworking space for artists.

Art House 360 hopes to have three additional tenants, in particular seeking a musician and photographer. Other potential tenants may include fledgling artists who need studio space. Leases would likely be a two- to three-year commitment.