As Milwaukee Ballet enters its 50th season, it will also be entering a new headquarters in the Third Ward.
The Baumgartner Center for Dance officially opened its doors last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The 52,000 square-feet, new construction development was designed by Jim Shields of HGA Architects. It boasts seven dance studios, a 200-seat performance space an expanded on-site costume shop.
Natural light abounds throughout the space, with clean white and black surfaces and ample windows. A grand staircase draws the up eyes to the mezzanine when you enter the space, perched above a dedicated box office.
While the company will continue to perform at the Marcus Center, the Baumgartner Center for Dance offer will offer additional intimate performances and will expand its education and special needs programming.
Along with the opening, the Ballet also announced it has reached its original $26 million goal and is entering the next phase of its capital campaign.
OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo and I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for this special on-site episode of Urban Spelunking. During our tour we speak with Managing Director Anne Metcalfe in one of the seven new studios; then we visit the costume shop to speak with Costume Manager Mary Piering.
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Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Anne Metcalfe’s job title; her correct title is Managing Director.