We have the Minority Affairs Committee to thank for creating this prominent exhibition space. In 1993 Milele Chikasa Anana, who started the Minority Affairs Committee when she was Affirmative Action Director (1975-79), had the idea of utilizing the heavily trafficked lobby space in the Madison Municipal Building Lobby for temporary exhibitions recognizing Black History Month. Ms. Anana's idea proved to be a popular one, and soon other groups and individuals requested use of the lobby galleries.
Thus ARTspace was conceived, and the administration of the municipal building gallery space was assumed by the Madison Arts Commission (then CitiArts). The Minority Affairs Committee still utilizes the lobby of the Madison Municipal Building for their annual exhibition every year during January and February. Every fall, applications for the remaining months of the next calendar year are considered by an exhibition sub-committee of the Madison Arts Commission. The ARTSpace program has served a multitude of Madison area organizations and artists who wish to exhibit their work in an accessible municipal space. The ARTSpace program now includes exhibition space in the Mayor's conference room as well.