about us

The nonprofit Community Organizations Promoting the Arts Inc. will own The COPA.    Friends of COPA Foundation, a nonprofit, will manage an endowment to support resident organizations and provide scholarships for participants.

about us

WE ARE COPA, two sister non-profit organizations who aim to empower community arts organizations in the greater Madison, WI, area.

See below for the many COPA Ambassadors who speak to the power of the arts.

Michael Leckrone

COPA Lead Community Ambassador
“Music has been a very important aspect of my life for as long as I can remember, and I feel I owe an enormous debt to the teachers, performers, colleagues and students who provided the inspiration, the challenges, and the motivation that has led to my ongoing love and appreciation of the Arts.”


I am confident that the positive impact music has on an individual cannot be overstated. There is a satisfaction, an excitement and a joy in the music making process that is difficult to match by any other activity.

I am thrilled to serve as honorary Capital Campaign Chair seeking the financial support needed to build The COPA. I believe strongly there must always be the opportunities and facilities for young men and women to pursue a passion for the arts so they may continue to learn, to grow, and to perform.

– Michael Leckrone


“June 25, 1969 marked the opening night of The Fantasticks, produced by The Madison Civic Repertory at The Madison Art Center Auditorium, 720 E. Gorham. I played El Gallo in that production, while still an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. The Repertory’s mission was to present the best theatre possible by focusing on exceptional community, university and local professional talent. Immediately following that experience, I was cast in my first professional show, the Chicago production of Hair at what then was the Shubert Theatre. Exactly fifty years later, on June 9, 2019, I won The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. There is a direct and indelible connection between my training in a community theatre in Madison, and my reaching the pinnacle of theatre on Broadway. With the founding of The Community Organizations Promoting the Arts (COPA), the expansive benefits and transformational power of the performing arts return to Dane County, and the greater metropolitan community of Madison, Wisconsin. I look forward to being a friend and collaborator to those innovative artists, educators, community and business leaders whose goal it is to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community through promoting the arts. Bravo COPA!” 

André De Shields


“I am excited to be involved with COPA. The Madison arts community needs a new visionary arts facility to nurture creativity and give opportunities to the next generation of artists. I feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity to spend my entire adult life immersed in music and I believe COPA gives creative young people some of the same chances to pursue their dreams of a career in the arts that I had.”

Butch Vig


“As a young musician growing up in Southern Wisconsin, many artistic opportunities existed for me with which to become involved.  Unfortunately, time, distance, and other resources limited my access to those opportunities.  The concept of a Community Performing Arts Center of Madison sounds intriguing!  The potential in centralizing the availability for educational events and material, live artist forums and discussion, rehearsal, classroom and studio space, performance, and display venues (the list goes on) solves that resource access dilemma.  What an incredible idea!

Tapping into the performing arts culture in Madison, one that is rich with history and influence, developing local talent, and presenting visiting talent as well in a Community Performing Arts Center contributes to that wonderful educational artistic content already existing in the area.  It’s a great vehicle to provide a diverse cultural arts experience to Madison!”

David Lee Jones

Trumpet Artist at Walt Disney World since 1982


Ted Park

As a young high school kid trying to find my way through tough times, music was an escape and my passion even before it became my career. I fully support and co sign this beautiful vision and facility, giving creative youth a positive and constructive setting to grow as artists, and young adults!

Shain Shapiro

“A city’s thriving music ecosystem begins with education.  COPA is a landmark and ambitious project that we’re proud to support as it’ll support the development of thousands of young minds and souls in Madison”

Bradley Giroux

“In my pursuit of a career in the music business, having strong mentors was paramount to developing the skills necessary to create a successful career. The Madison area is fortunate to have many highly experienced industry professionals who have been willing to share their skills and experiences with me over the years.

These professionals, and the area’s supportive arts community, have been instrumental in my growth, both as a musician and studio engineer. I strongly support the development of the COPA as a special place where students of all ages and backgrounds will have the opportunities to develop their skills as artists and musicians”

COPA exists to help community arts participate and observe, because the arts enrich lives. COPA empowers organizations through its facility and foundation, so they can advance their missions, increase enrollments, and expand access.