The Council for the Performing Arts was founded in 1976, and its debut season was announced in 1977.

The nonprofit corporation was founded in tandem with a campaign to raise funds for a high-quality auditorium at Jefferson High School that could be used by both the school and the community. That campaign was a huge success.

The Performing Arts Center, located at 700 W. Milwaukee St. in Jefferson, is a 1,000-seat auditorium affiliated to Jefferson High School. It was erected in 1976 and restored in 2010.

Meanwhile, the nonprofit performing arts group that assisted in the establishment of the PAC introduced a varied range of performances that would enrich the community's cultural life for over five decades. This allowed the institution to obtain an auditorium without going to referendum.

There were few live entertainment venues in the broader Jefferson County region when the CPA was formed and the auditorium was built. However, as soon as the CPA arrived on the scene, chances for local citizens eager in witnessing — or participating in — live performances arose

Countless artists, many of national and international renown, have performed at the CPA over the years. The Celtic band "Gaelic Storm" was one of the organization's main draws throughout its history. Before becoming famous as the featured band in the smash Hollywood film "The Titanic," the CPA signed this Irish band to perform.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Public Television presenter and personality John McGivern, who brings area history and culture to life, have been among the most popular performances with local audiences.

The ice fishing musical "Guys on Ice" and the eccentric vocal jazz ensemble Vocal Trash, who backed their songs with handcrafted instruments made of brooms, garbage cans, and other household items, were also popular.

When it came to locally produced productions, the CPA had a tradition of staging musicals during the Gemuetlichkeit Days German historical event in the town.

It drew people from all across the region to Jefferson.

When the CPA was created — before Facebook, before any kind of internet entertainment the venue brought things directly to the neighborhood and introduced local citizens to acts they would never have seen otherwise.

These performances introduced local audiences to international music, dance, and other performing arts. The CPA brought inexpensive, diversified entertainment to people's back doors.

For decades, Jefferson was a popular destination for area schools, with youth-focused instructional plays on stage and seminars held immediately in the classrooms.

For several years, the CPA has collaborated with Jefferson Top School and its vocal jazz ensemble to bring high-level vocal jazz ensembles to the stage in conjunction with the "Jazz on the Rock" high school and college vocal jazz festival.

The group brought together individuals of the community who were passionate about the arts, whether as spectators or performers.

Past Events

Imagine a masterpiece right in front of your eyes in a matter of seconds. PCA brings you on a unique visual trip full of crazy inspiration, creativity, and joy, with including fascinating vocals, precise choreography, and thrilling audience engagement in each and every performance:


The bylaws stipulated a 14-person board. Meetings would eventually attract 12-13 persons. The board was recently reduced to only five members, who were in charge of everything. Then there was a breakup.

In late 2021, the nonprofit's board chose to permanently close the organization due to a lack of board members and volunteers, as well as uncertainty over when the epidemic will end.

The CPA has survived for the last few years without an executive director, no paid employees, and a decreasing board. It was difficult to keep up because everyone was so occupied with other things. The organization did not have a large number of volunteers to keep it operating.

After all was said and done, CPA left Jefferson County a bit wealthier in terms of cultural life.


Much of the reason that the CPA was able to do what they did is due to the generous sponsorship dollars of their past Community Partners: