CINCINNATI – After seven years of hard work, the new Madcap Education Center in Westwood is opening to the public.
The Opening Weekend Party is planned for Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 4, from noon to 3 p.m.
Attendees can tour the new $3.4 million arts education facility. It will host dance, acting, puppet and visual arts classes and workshops, as well as children’s performances in a brand-new theater designed for families to enjoy together.
Visitors also will sample the kinds of activities the Madcap Education Center will host year-round. Jump into a quick session of yoga in the dance studios, make a mini-comic book in the art studio or learn to play a chord on the guitar in one of the music studios. (Full schedule of events below.)
In 2016, the City of Cincinnati allocated $4 million for the renovation of Westwood Square, the land around Westwood Town Hall. Construction is under way. Upgrades include new landscaping and seating, the addition of an event stage area, a promenade for event vendors, a new playground area and a dog park.
“The opening of Madcap’s new facility is truly a great day for Westwood,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “All of the activity around Westwood Square, with new businesses opening and the renovation at the Town Hall, will continue the renaissance that’s already occurring here in the City’s largest neighborhood.”
Mayor Cranley and Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus declared it “Madcap Day” in the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, respectively.
The Opening Weekend Party will also kick off the first production in the Family Performance Series with four performances of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by Madcap Puppets. They are: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The play costs $10 per person. Call (513) 241-6550 to purchase tickets. All other activities during the Opening Weekend Party are free and open to the public.
Madcap Puppets began planning the Center after the Westwood Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. purchased the building for the organization in 2012.
In March 2017, Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP) and Madcap Puppets announced a merger of the two venerable West Side arts organizations and a reinvigoration of the historic Cincinnati Bell Exchange building, at the corner of Harrison and Urwiler avenues, near Westwood Town Hall.
At the merger announcement, CLP announced new funding – the allocation of New Markets Tax Credits from Cincinnati Development Fund – that would make the project possible. Since that time, CLP has partnered with U.S. Bank and the City of Cincinnati to finalize the New Markets deal.
In December 2017, the financing deal was closed, resulting in $2.1 million net benefit for the Madcap Education Center project. With that and other recent funding, the project could officially break ground. Interior demolition began in February 2018 with full renovation/construction starting in April.