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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


Take a Bow

September 28, 2009 7:14 AM

Five years ago I got to stand at the front doors of the Overture Center with Jerry Frautschi and open them to the public for the first time. Jerry was there because he contributed $205 million to make that day possible. I was there because I was in the right place at the right time.

Since that day Overture has contributed immeasurably to the community. Thousands of kids have come through its rotunda for free events. In 2008 alone a half million people enjoyed programming there. And even for those who have never stepped foot in the facility Overture has contributed to economic development and the tax base in ways that will be hard to measure.

Overture is an outsized facility for Madison. It's much bigger and more elegant than you'd have a right to expect of any community our size. And yet there it is. Built for the future and entertaining and enriching our lives today.

Overture Director Tom Carto and his staff are doing a great job on a very tight budget and things are looking up for its bottom line. I'm not overlooking the very serious issue of the remaining construction debt. That needs to be worked out by the Overture Development Corporation which owns the building and the banks that hold the debt. But on its fifth birthday, let's take a moment to be grateful for a great gift to our community.


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