Our Journey

As our Company and School & Academy continued to grow, it became more apparent that we needed a bigger facility to fully serve the needs of our students, artists and the community we call home. We began to imagine a building with the increased space and technological upgrades to take our organization to the next level; a gathering place for dancers and dance lovers from across Milwaukee, the nation and the world. Through hard work, detailed planning and perseverance, this vision became the Baumgartner Center for Dance.

First Thoughts

We purchased the land from the Italian Community Center, who desired to sell to a community partner with strong family values to match their own.

Meanwhile, longtime supporters Donna and Donald Baumgartner, Sue and Allan ‘Bud’ Selig, and Justin Mortara came on board as the capital campaign chairs.

We recruited celebrated architect Jim Shields (HGA Architects) to design the new facility and Catalyst Construction to build the facility.


With the support of lead donors Donna and Donald Baumgartner, we took our first bold steps toward creating this facility.


We broke ground on our new home on June 5, 2018 in a ceremony that included words from County Executive Chris Abele, Artistic Director Michael Pink, City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux, Board Chair Justin Mortara as well as Donna and Donald Baumgartner. It was here we announced our new home would carry the name of our longtime supporters and co-chairs of the capital campaign, christening it the Baumgartner Center for Dance.


Construction began in Milwaukee’s Third Ward with a goal of completion to open in alignment with the kick-off of our 50th Anniversary Season in September 2019.

Beam Signing

Beam signings are held to bestow good luck upon the construction of a new building. This tradition dates back to ancient practice of placing a tree atop a new building to pay homage to the spirits displaced during its construction. We upheld this tradition mid-September 2018 when our Board of Directors, staff, artists and faculty were invited to sign the last beam that would go into the facility.


  • Thank you to our Capital Campaign Donors

    Ben and Molly Abrohams in honor of Donald and Donna Baumgartner
    Griselda Aldrete
    Argosy Foundation
    Astor Street Foundation Inc.
    Barb and Aaron Baltz
    Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation
    Clair and Mary Baum
    Donald and Donna Baumgartner
    John P. Baumgartner
    Mr. and Mrs. James D. Bell
    Linda Benfield and Steve Wallace
    Mark and Victoria Benskin
    Eric and Aliah Berman
    William H. Bonifas
    The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
    Mr. and Mrs. Anthony W. Bryant
    Stuart and Cheryl Carron
    Catalyst Construction
    David and Ruth S. Coleman Foundation
    Kathy, Margaret and Randy Crocker
    CSE Construction
    Sarah and Peter Damsgaard
    Ms. Jacqueline Davis
    Michael and Margaret DeMichele
    Robert Dohmen
    The Dohmen Family Foundation, Inc.
    Steve and Nancy Einhorn
    Jeff and Kelly Fitzsimmons
    Nancie Flaxman
    Kari and Bill Foote
    Tim and Sue Frautschi
    Elizabeth and Frederic Friedman
    Sandy Golden
    Greater Milwaukee Foundation
    Greater Milwaukee Foundation – Anonymous Fund
    Greater Milwaukee Foundation – Joan and Peter W. Bruce Fund
    Joe and Adriana Griffith
    Barry Grossman and Gail Lione
    Glen and Claire Hackmann
    Katie Heil & the Heil Family Foundation
    Herzfeld Foundation
    Sally Baumgartner Jarrar
    Jewish Community Foundation: Clarice S. Turer Charitable Fund in honor of Nita Soref
    Joshua and Megan Jeffers
    Amy Schmidt Jones and Andrew Jones
    Matt and Kathryn Kamm
    Sarah and Richard Kimball
    Herb Kohl Philanthropies
    Stanley Kritzik in memory of Shirley Kritzik
    Billie Kubly
    Sheldon & Marianne Lubar Charitable Fund
    Mr. and Mrs. Wayne R. Lueders
    Eileen and Barry Mandel
    The Marcus Corporation Foundation
    Suzanne Martens
    Anne Louise Martino
    Jean Baumgartner McGrath
    R. Jan Pirozzolo-Mellowes and John Mellowes
    Anne and Tom Metcalfe
    Matthew and Leslie Miller
    The Mortara Family
    The Mortara Family
    The Mortara Family
    Joyce and Bruce Myers
    Dr. Sandra L. Osborn
    Sarah Thomas Pagels and Jesse Pagels
    Andrew and Tai Pauls
    Richard and Lois Pauls
    Peck Foundation, Milwaukee
    Jill G. Pelisek
    Anthony J. Petullo
    Candy and Bruce Pindyck
    Christopher and Kristin Piotrowski
    PNC Foundation
    Lisa Preston
    William and Margaret Raasch
    Christine Radiske and Herbert Quigley
    Dr. John R. Raymond, Sr. and Maggie Raymond
    Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rumpf
    Randal and Janel Schneider
    Molly and Scott Schweiger
    Sue and Allan “Bud” Selig
    Sensient Technologies Foundation
    John Shannon & Jan Serr
    Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Shovers
    Judson and Amy Snyder
    Christine A. Symchych and James P. McNulty
    Richard and Ann Teerlink
    Peggy Kelsey and Michael J. Teich
    Kathleen and Frank Thometz
    David Uihlein
    United Performing Arts Fund
    US Bank
    Mary N. Vandenberg and Keith Mardak
    von Briesen & Roper s.c.
    We Energies Foundation
    Werner Family Foundation
    Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Wilson
    Maxine Wishner in memory of Elizabeth Anne Wishner
    Craig C. Young and Sharon Busey
    Kay and Richard Yuspeh
    Ed and Diane Zore