Living in Madison

STRUT! by Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence Laura Anderson Barbata

Let’s face it – there are times you want to take a break from campus. Within short walking and biking distances, there are hundreds of restaurants (including a thriving food truck culture) and stores, yet you can still find a quiet area to watch a beautiful sunset over one of the lakes. You can attend a performance at the Overture Center for the Arts, see a contemporary art exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art or visit dozens of galleries during the bi-annual Gallery Night, or listen to some great music all around the city, including Make Music Madison. Spoken word has a long history in Madison including series such as Just Bust (on campus) and The Moth. There are over 30 theaters in town, numerous musical venues, and even a dedicated space for circus artists, including aerialists, stilt walkers, and unicyclists. Throughout the four distinct seasons, there are numerous festivals (some a little more eclectic than others) both on campus and in the city.

Madison likes to embrace its eccentricity, particularly as a way to express yourself through the arts. For any of you environmentalists or foodies out there – Madison has a long history of sustainability and supporting local businesses and area farmers. We have one of the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the nation – talk about farm to table.


After spending a year at Madison, I’ve come to find this city as my home. I adore the art, the opportunities, and the people.
– Megan Jain, BFA Art and BS Zoology, 2017

return to the Prospective Students page