October 15, 2020 | By Brian Cowing | Back to blog

Hello! I’m so honored to be a part of the Bolz Center’s inaugural cohort of the Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program.

Children’s Theater of Madison has been a part of my life for over twenty years. From a young performer, to intern, to teaching artist, to director and choreographer, it’s fitting that it would also be a part of my education in the Bolz Center as my applied learning placement.

My journey with CTM began in 1998, when I was cast as a member of the Lollipop Guild and Flying Monkey in Wizard of Oz. From that moment, I was hooked. Ages 8 to 14, I performed in over 30 productions with the organization. During my undergrad years, I spent my summers interning and teaching at their Summer Stage program. Then in 2015, I was asked to come back and direct Wizard of Oz for their mainstage season – it was a perfect full circle moment. Since then, I have continued to teach and direct for them, sharing my passion for storytelling and raising the next generation of artists and art lovers.

We have a saying at CTM, “we don’t just teach theater skills, we teach life skills.” That phrase has always rung true in every endeavor I have with this organization. They have continued to be a place where I’ve learned and grown as an artist and a human being, especially now in my latest title as Operations Project Manager. This placement gives me the opportunity to see this superb company from another lens. My new job is to work closely with the leadership team to assist, plan, research, and budget for a move into CTM’s new home in spring of 2021. Helping to move their offices as well as scenic, prop, and costume shops.

In late September, we moved out of the State Street office and studio, CTM’s home for over 20 years. It’s incredible how a single space can bring back such memories. I think back to my first auditions, crowded rehearsals, and several dogs in the studio while casting Toto. All of these memories pour out of my head in an instant. But what I’ll remember the most are the times when I’d come home from undergrad or from performing on a national tour, and I’d open the door to the CTM Office. It would start with a single person, then one by one the remarkable staff would pop out of their cubicles and office doors. In a matter of moments, a sea of friendly faces and hugs would welcome me home. 228 State Street was hard to say goodbye to, especially in the middle of a pandemic. As hard as it was to pack up individually, there is a bright new adventure waiting at the end of this

The Madison Youth Arts Center will be home to many organizations with a youth arts focus, including Children’s Theater of Madison and Madison Youth Choirs. The building will provide 15 rehearsal studios/classrooms, shared office spaces, art gallery space, costume and production shops, a 125-seat black box theater, and a 300-seat proscenium theater. It is a huge investment in the Madison community and the youth in our area. With this space CTM can continue to support its mission, “to create vibrant theater experiences that engage, educate & inspire young people and their communities.”

CTM has been a part of my past, it is a large part of my present, and I know they will continue to be a part of my future. I am proud to be a part of the CTM Family.