Janesville Performing Arts Center celebrates 15 years, expands reach

JANESVILLE, Wis (WMTV) - Oct. marks 15 years in the community for the Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC). The center has seen considerable growth since its start in 2004.

The Hendrick Family Foundation Education and Outreach Center opened at the beginning of Sept. allowing the center to offer additional programs and workshops.

Nathan Burkart, JPAC’s executive director, said in the past three years, the center has nearly doubled in size. He said the center has gone beyond its original purpose as a rental space for community theater groups.

“We went from roughly 16,000 people impacted back in 2016, to almost 30,000 people impacted this past year,” he said.

Located at Janesville’s original high school downtown, Burkart said they looked at unique ways to expand, all while keeping the character of the building.

Jim McCulloch, the education and outreach director, said they transformed the old swimming pool into a new community space.
“This room actually lends itself to be a multi-purpose room, not just a classroom or a rehearsal space,” he said.

The renovation was completely funded through community donations. McCulloch said one of the main functions will be hosting workshops for kids.

Burkart said the addition, is all a part of ARISE Now, which is a larger effort to revitalize the downtown area as a whole.

“We have over 300 kids a year that are going to be impacted in that room where all those people used to swim every single day. It’s a really great thing,” he said.

To celebrate 15 years of serving the Janesville community, JPAC is hosting artist Colbie Caillat and her new band Gone West on Saturday night. For more information click here .