Six years after businessman and philanthropist Michael Cudahy set up a nonprofit foundation to buy the Pabst Theater for $1 from the City of Milwaukee, the Pabst has become one of the dominant arts organizations in the region. You could make the case that the Pabst Theater Foundation is every bit as important to the cultural environment of Milwaukee as is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra or the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The Pabst has put Milwaukee on the musical cutting edge. The city is no longer a mere way station for bands traveling between Chicago and Minneapolis. It's a destination for acts such as Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst, Widespread Panic and Of Montreal. This fall alone, the organization lured the likes of Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and David Byrne to Milwaukee.