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Sunday, September 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Overcast
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Landlord says he 'couldn't carry' the Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts
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The center, located at 306 W. Dayton St. behind the Overture Center for the Arts, will close by Sept. 10.
The center, located at 306 W. Dayton St. behind the Overture Center for the Arts, will close by Sept. 10.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

Landlord John Hutchinson has weighed in on the closing of the Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts, saying that the center's finances were even more dire than the operators said last Friday.

Rather than being $14,000 in arrears on rent, MCCCA was nearly $26,000 behind, Hutchinson said Tuesday afternoon. He also disputed the assertion that he was trying to raise the monthly rent from $2,500 to $3,675.

"The rent in the lease already calls for $3,675 a month," Hutchinson said. "We allowed them to pay a partial rent of $2,500, but they didn't always pay that, and there were two months when they paid nothing at all."

The center, located at 306 W. Dayton St. behind the Overture Center for the Arts, will close by Sept. 10.

In a press release issued Tuesday (and available in the related downloads at right), MCCCA managers Hanah Jon Taylor and Susan Fox said the center's outreach programs would continue despite the closing, including Freedom Fest 2008, the improvisational music festival scheduled for Feb. 22, 2008, at the Overture Center.

"The MCCCA has afforded us great joy as we observed hundreds of people of all ages, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and races, experiencing the arts in a warm and welcoming environment," Taylor and Fox said. "We are proud of what we have done over the past 3 1/2 years to help build community through the arts."

Hutchinson said the duo didn't display good business sense. "They just weren't very business savvy," he said. "They were renting the space for maybe $10 an hour, and it was probably costing them $25 an hour to keep the doors open."

He added: "They're into me for more than $25,000, and I just couldn't carry them anymore."

Hutchinson hopes to rent the building as a performance space, or for office or retail if he can't find a new arts tenant.


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