Fourth Quarter 2020

Responsive Grantmaking

African American Chamber of Commerce: $75,000 for operating support for the organization, which supports African American entrepreneurs and business owners.

ArtWorks for Milwaukee: $40,000 to support the selection of 34 Milwaukee-based high school students for paid arts and skill-building internships in 2021, working safely in person or virtually, as necessary. Project partners are Northwest Side Community Development Corporation and Century City Triangle Neighborhood Association. Interns will pursue an environmental arts project with the Garden Homes community to create collaborative art projects and will submit their work to the Milwaukee Youth Festival in July 2021. In summer 2021, 10 interns will work with a graphic designer to develop skills in design, Adobe, and typography. Interns will create a range of projects such as website graphics, ads, logos, leading to work with a local organization on a social justice campaign.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum: $25,000 to provide support for BBCM, while allowing it to pursue an innovative virtual arts education strategy through a partnership with GLOMADO, an educational technology company specializing in virtual art‐related educational programming. Through technology, BBCM will provide state‐of‐the‐art enrichment opportunities to its patrons, students, school administrators, teachers and other museums and cultural institutions, and it will collaborate with University of Wisconsin‐Madison to establish a micro credential program for educators in maker education.

Black Arts MKE: $25,000 to support technology to livestream events and work with a local video production artist to deliver more programming via a virtual platform. The organization will continue to operate modified events in accordance with local and CDC guidelines, including the signature holiday event, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes (at 25 percent maximum attendance), a spring 2021 production of the life of Bess Coleman ‐ the first civil aviator of African American descent, 2,500 hours of culturally relevant arts education in Milwaukee schools and a youth performing arts summer camp.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: $25,000 to support its arts programming, both virtual and in‐person, as per official health guidelines, including personnel and supplies/materials. 

Capita Productions: $15,000 to support the school year's student/family workshops, training sessions, and preparations for the stage production, “We are the Drum.” As per CDC guidelines, CAPITA will add additional instructors for the small groups allowed as participants, and technology and protective apparatus needed to safely host sessions.  

Crimson Charities: $4,000 to support two drive-up food pantries for families in need.

Danceworks: $15,000 to support the 2020‐21 season of programs and performances, including salary subsidies for staff needed to manage programs such a Danceworks Performance MKE, Danceworks Youth Performance Company, Danceworks 50+ Performance Group, School Day Off Workshops and Summer Camps, Studio Classes and Outreach Residencies in schools and senior centers. 

ExFabula: $18,000 to support spring 2021 events including six Black and/or Latinx affinity space events, either virtual or in‐person, as health guidelines allow, 1 kickback (a mini, low pressure story slam), and storyteller coaching. Several events will target more specific affinity groups such as Black LGBTQ+ folks; Latinx women; and creatives of color. 

First Stage Children’s Theater: $25,000 to support COVID‐19‐related challenges. First Stage will provide virtual theater productions and 50 percent virtual and 50 percent in‐person Theater Academy Classes at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center maintaining and exceeding all CDC guidelines. Its goal is to continue to inspire and educate young people and their families from the safety of their homes, community centers, and schools by engaging students (grades K3‐8) in arts-integrated learning.

GPS Education Partners: $30,000 to purchase Chromebooks, cleaning supplies and additional classroom space to support continuity of learning during the pandemic.

Grand Avenue Club: $16,485 to offer members visual arts programming: creating and exhibiting art; participating in decisions about exhibits, programs, and a community‐based mural project with Tia Richardson.

Health Connections Inc.: $50,000 to support two community organizers who are helping neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID‐19.

Imagine MKE: $25,000 for general operating expenses as the agency continues to implement its collective impact agenda, across disciplines and organization sizes, with a lens on racial justice and concerns about COVID‐19 impact on the sector. 

Imagine MKE: $10,000 to provide $500 grants to selected Milwaukee County artists (BIPOC, LBGTQIA+, disabled, military veteran, 65+, or caregivers), who have experienced negative impact from COVID‐19.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society WI: $25,000 to provide travel assistance to help blood cancer patients with financial need to get to and from treatment.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts: $50,000 to support community‐based, educational programming related to Marcus Center's productions, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Hiplet Ballerinas, and the Broadway Musical "Ain't Too Proud," as well as at least 36 cultural heritage and arts performances through summer 2021, highlighting regional diversity. 

Milwaukee Art Museum: $25,000 to allow it to continue to bring the permanent collection to the public in creative ways, showcasing artists of color, female artists, and other underrepresented artists; and developing public programming that speaks to issues facing Milwaukee today. In addition, it will continue to provide high level art education for area children and teens, virtually and in person, as health guidelines allow.

Milwaukee Artist Resource Network: $25,000 to support programs in 2021, including MARNmentors, which pairs established and emerging artists for guidance on how to become self‐sustaining professionals; MARNsalons, a professional development program for artists, curators, critics and cultural workers in related disciplines; and MARNworkshops, which provide instructional sessions regarding the practicalities of the life of a working artist.

Milwaukee Ballet Company: $20,000 to help continue the pursuit of artistic, educational, and outreach work, through new avenues of audience and community engagement. It will deepen its current community relationships and create new partnerships via a combination of digital and, when safe, in‐person programs. 

Milwaukee Children’s Choir: $20,000 to help reduce the impact of COVID‐19 on MCC and its singers, as choral programming moves from virtual to in‐person format, as health guidelines allow. In addition to pre‐class temperature checks, children will be provided special singer's masks and music stand shields. Additionally, staff hours will increase as rehearsals will be reduced to 10 youth per rehearsal, requiring more prep and rehearsal time. Funds will be used for tuition assistance, as needed, to ensure that participants represent Milwaukee's diversity.

Milwaukee LGBT Community Center: $50,000 to support the mental health services for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families.

Milwaukee Public Museum: $50,000 to support the global exhibit, “Mandela: The Official Exhibition,” during March‐May 2021, with a possible extension through the summer, as part of its mission to drive conversations about racial inequity and to inspire action. MPM will create local content and education programs in collaboration with partner organizations.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: $50,000 to support Mpact, an innovative initiative combining education and community engagement to address Milwaukee's most pervasive issues, including racial injustice, economic disparities and illiteracy, using art to encourage civic discourse and generate positive change. In tandem with the Mpact Partners and Mpact Council, the programs focus on skill building, deep listening, building cultural competency, promoting racial justice, and strengthening neighborhoods.

Milwaukee Teacher Education Center: $7,000 to support training in trauma sensitive practices for educators to be better prepared for the students and families they serve, as well as the educators who are experiencing secondary trauma.

Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra: $20,000 to support programming for 1,000 young musicians from diverse communities, as well as administrative costs, including salaries, artistic staff, rent, utilities, and in particular new costs related to expanded virtual learning through technology. MYSO will livestream rehearsals and performance opportunities with and for community partners.

Quasimondo Physical Theatre: $75,000 to transform the once vibrant North Milwaukee Village Hall (built in 1901) into a center for the arts to allow for community art‐making, to celebrate Milwaukee's diversity and to be a partner in neighborhood revitalization. Through community visioning sessions, Quasimondo and the Villard BID learned from residents and stakeholders how arts and culture can enhance their quality of life, support neighborhood branding, and catalyze the economy. Also, with the gentrification caused by downtown real estate development, the Arthaus will offer secure, affordable space to small arts nonprofits.

Riverwest Artists Association: $20,000 to achieve programming goals of artistic alignment, constituent engagement and financial sustainability, and to boost the organization's capacity and infrastructure, particularly in light of COVID‐19's impact.

SHARP Literacy: $35,000 to help explore the history of Black culture in Milwaukee through the development of a 'We Love to Learn' book, an accompanying curriculum and public art murals created by students and artist Vedale Hill, to be displayed at prominent locations. The project will take place in person or virtually, as health guidelines recommend/allow, to create art that will add value to the cultural diversity of Milwaukee. Student workshops for the development of both the book and the murals are included in this project.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center: $102,000 (over two years) to support a testing officer who will help bridge the work of health care delivery and public health prevention and surveillance, as well as assist with the equitable coordination of the access and distribution of a vaccine, when one becomes available. This role is critical to advancing and continuously improving diagnostic and antibody testing throughout the community.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center: $34,907 to purchase equipment and supplies for the winter warehouse including a heated, covered, and ventilated outdoor structure to provide COVID‐19 testing and to administer flu shots.

The Friendship Circle: $20,000 to allow it to reopen the art studio and re‐engage the art director, while implementing official safety precautions to do so. Funds will also support art supplies and equipment.

United Lutheran Program for the Aging: $10, 897 to purchase supplies and support virtual visits during the pandemic.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County: $50,000 to support the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative Collaborative Fund focused on teen pregnancy and sexual violence prevention.

UWM Foundation: $980,000 (over seven years) to support two initiatives aimed at recruiting candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Funds will be used for a start‐up package for an early career associate professor in biochemistry whose research bridges molecular biology and neurosciences, and supplemental doctoral student research stipends for doctoral students.

Versiti Blood Research Institute Foundation: $100,000 will support testing all blood donations for SARS CoV‐2 antibodies. The test will confirm if blood donors have the antibodies that indicate previous COVID‐19 infection. Donors with positive test results will be eligible for Versiti's Convalescent Plasma Program in which their donated plasma is used to treat patients fighting COVID‐19.

Wild Space: $25,000 to support operating costs as Wild Space responds in its programming to COVID‐19 and begins a transition/succession plan, to result in the addition of two part‐time staff positions. Funding will also support the company's projects in 2020‐21, including WS's Parking Lot Dance Series, a site project in Trestle Park and outreach programs.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music: $20,000 to target funding toward the Conservatory Connections community outreach programming to provide funding for school and community partners that cannot afford their 70% contract share for WCM's work with their students and to keep WCM faculty employed. WCM is prepared to continue to deliver content virtually through the pandemic but will transition to in‐person programming as health guidelines allow.


Thriving Communities

African American Leadership Alliance MKE: $300,000 (over three years) to support day-to-day operations and increased staff capacity of the organization, which works to enhance a thriving and growing pool of diverse and talented African American leaders who contribute to positive change in Milwaukee.

Community Advocates: $50,000 to provide financial assistance supports that include rent, rent arrears, utility assistance, and other housing‐related costs necessary for housing stability.

Data You Can Use: $40,000 This grant will support data capacity building efforts of residents and nonprofit staff to access and use meaningful data to recognize how data can be used to create change and strengthen neighborhoods.

Fathers Making Progress: $7,500 to support 10-15 students from Shalom High School to participate in Boys 2 Leaders Movement (B2LM), which fosters a young men’s leadership cohort (ages 15-18) . B2LM will engage young men in therapeutic activities, conversations and workshops meant to create peer support, identify trauma, instill African-centered culture and identity, and promote accountability towards goal aspiration. All activities will lead towards the goal of creating a network of new youth leadership for the community.

HeartLove Place, Inc: $7,500 to provide training sessions as part of a 4-week job readiness training program to support students at North Division High School. The training sessions will be provided 2 times per week for 2 hours each. Training topics will include customer service, putting your best foot forward, teamwork, financial literacy, and career development. As a direct application of what students learn, stipends of up to $150 will be provided to each student who completes the training.

i.c. stars Milwaukee: $25,000to provide virtual technology job skills training with industry certifications and credentials for 60 program participants in its Milwaukee program.

Leaders Igniting Transformation: $12,169 to support a Get Out the Vote activity.

Medical College of Wisconsin: $100,000 to support research in health equity and a commitment to removing barriers to health care throughout the Milwaukee community. It will be contributed to a Chair at the Medical College, awarded to Dr. Leonard Egede as the inaugural chair‐holder.

Metcalfe Park Community Bridges: $30,000 to support efforts related to community safety, the physical environment, and cultivating social connections and neighborhood management with residents and other key stakeholders.

MetroGo!: $25,000 to support efforts to spearhead a pilot program to connect 500 residents with transport services to jobs that are currently unreachable by public transit.

Milwaukee Christian Center: $35,000 to support resident-driven neighborhood revitalization efforts with a primary focus in engaging residents to build connections and self manage neighborhood issues.

Northcott Neighborhood House: $10,000 to support a community family Christmas day meal and toy giveaway for 700 families.

Riverworks Development Corporation: $25,000 to support efforts related to community safety, the physical environment, and cultivating social connections and neighborhood management with residents and other key stakeholders in Harambee.

Safe & Sound: $25,000 to support building efforts with events such as block club meetings, an online event focused on Mental Health Awareness Month, streamed crime and safety meetings, and other time sensitive and relevant community focused events

Southside Organizing Committee: $10,000 to support civic engagement efforts including an online forum, phone canvassing and other GOTV activity.

Village Ministries Inc: $2,500 for Operation Help Our Friends, which was created to support those experiencing homelessness and students seeking adequate school supplies to support their academic success. This project was created by a young girl in February 2020 who was seeking to make a difference in North Division and surrounding areas. The project will engage youth volunteers to prepare resources monthly.

Walnut Way Conservation Corporation: $20,000 to support efforts to strengthen economic opportunity through cultivating residents’ skills, talents and gifts that may lead to entrepreneurship and business development.

Wisconsin Humane Society: $25,000 to support efforts to provide animal services and resources to under resourced neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Justice Initiative: $15,000 to support advocacy and public education efforts to improve municipal court outcomes for minorities and the poor. Funds will be used for program expenses and staff to monitor courts and advocate with judges and support informational material on municipal court proceedings to help defendants navigate the court systems.


Connected People

Mount Mary University: $100,000 This grant will support an on‐campus early childhood education center and outdoor learning space.

Next Door Foundation: $84,750 for an air quality improvement project at nine partner sites plus two Next Door campuses. It will contract with Johnson Controls to install bipolar ionization equipment in 121 air purifying units at 11 sites improving air quality for 2,935 young children and 539 early education staff members.

Notre Dame School of Milwaukee: $100,000for the design and construction costs of transforming an existing classroom into two K3 classrooms that are up to code and uniquely designed for the delivery of early childhood instruction.

United Community Center: $100,000 to support its Early Learning Academy.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association: $600,000to help stabilize the Milwaukee child care sector to ensure that Milwaukee children, especially children of color and low‐income children, are safe, cared for, and supported academically, socially, and developmentally during and beyond this public health crisis. WECA will distribute the grants by January 31, 2021. Priority will be given to providers in 53204, 53206, 53210, 53212, 53215, and 53218 ZIP codes.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association: $90,596 to support installation of HEPA units for all 20 programs enrolled in its shared services network in Milwaukee, to improve air quality to protect staff and children.


Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.