About the Building

History of the Building

The Prairie Arts Center, originally conceived by civic-minded members of the Madison Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee, provides a place where art, drama, music and dance can flourish on the Minnesota prairie. It is located in the First Lutheran Church building, located on 506 6th Street.

Feeling a strong need to develop and display local talent, residents donated the funds needed to purchase the building in 1973. After the financial arrangements were complete, the building was gifted to the City of Madison which maintains its facilities.

The committee purchased theater seats and made improvements to the building over the years. To update the lighting, they purchased and installed a new lighting console board in 1993. The building was reshingled in 1994. In 1999 and 2000 the seats were recovered and painted. To make summer rehearsals and productions more pleasant, air conditioning was installed in 2000. In 2001, a fire escape was added to the east side of the building. In 2002, a new bathroom on the main floor and a handicapped accessible ramp was installed. The city of Madison installed new carpeting starting at the front door and down the aisles in 2003. During 2005 and 2006, the city of Madison continued to show their dedication to the arts and allotted funds to the revitalization of the Prairie Arts Center. The building was sandblasted and repaired. Freshly painted signs and trim keeps the center in great repair. A revamping of the stage area offers performers more room to work.

Write-up courtesy of the Western Guard Newspaper, Madison 2007 Visitors Guide