JLA Architects logo - small full color
Exterior front of The Center for Black Excellence & Culture | Architecture by JLA Architects

The Center for Black Excellence & Culture


The Center for Black Excellence & Culture is a transformational cultural education and economic center intended to realize Black excellence embedded in the Greater Madison community. The design of The Center revolves around the ‘Black Aesthetic’ incorporating elements of drama, ‘will to adorn’, asymmetry, among other qualities. The Center was designed to celebrate and encompass Black culture both through the architectural design and in its programming.

The programming includes innovation & leadership development spaces; history, culture, and gathering places, performance theatres & studios, as well as wellness spaces.

JLA has partnered with the organization & the greater community throughout the programming and workshop phases up through its current design development as the organization progresses through its capital funding campaign.

Categories: Civic & Institutional, Community & Nonprofit, Corporate
Location: 655 W. Badger Road, Madison, WI 53713
Completion Date: In Progress
Project Data:

A 37,000 s.f. cultural center, including:

  • A lower level with theater, a garden atrium, art production studio, and event space.
  • The main level will feature a multi-level atrium space, meeting rooms, recording studio, senior center, gift shop, and gallery.
  • The upper level will be comprised of offices for the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, conference rooms, kitchen, coworking space, women’s center, as well as a private lounge and patio.

Project Gallery

“As we have needed renderings to tell our story, it has been really great to be able to get [the JLA team] on the phone and say ‘we’ve got this great presentation coming up, can we do something that give an internal view?’ Their flexibility to accommodate has been really important. It’s helpful to work with a team that fully gets us.”
— Founder Dr. Alexander Gee

Project Video

Project Location

Read More

“We are on the cusp of achieving something without precedent in this country: a holistic, cultural home that will fundamentally redefine how Black community members are able to come together, celebrate, dream, and succeed. The Center won’t just open doors to people, it will open doors to new opportunities to celebrate and amplify Black excellence. In the final fundraising stretch, we will rally the community and sprint through the finish to forever change the trajectory of the region.”

– Dr. Alex Gee, CEO and founder of The Center

Madison cultural center project could break ground in spring

The Daily Reporter

Center for Black Excellence will make space for Madison’s Black community

Channel 3000

The Center for Black Excellence and Culture is $3M from breaking ground debt-free in spring 2024