Bader Philanthropies doubles funding capacity for the arts

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:34 am

Milwaukee-based Bader Philanthropies, Inc. has placed the arts among its top funding priorities after announcing plans to double its yearly commitment to the arts to $1 million.

That announcement was folded into a broader announcement the foundation made last week about its spring grant cycle, through which it is distributing nearly $4.7 million in funding to 67 projects across Wisconsin, the county and Canada.

The foundation’s commitment to enhancing its support for the arts was largely made possible by its new structure, announced in January. That revamped structure consists of two funds – the Helen Daniels Bader Fund and the Isabel and Alfred Bader Fund. Together, the two funds will allocate more than $14 million to community causes each year, which represents a 40 percent increase in funding from the former Helen Bader Foundation’s annual giving total.

Bader Philanthropies’ focus on the arts, which is shared by the two funds it houses, targets programs that reach underserved communities, incorporate diverse art forms and expose audiences to different cultures.

“Our family knows that the arts not only have an impact on the individual, but also help shape our community as a whole,” Daniel Bader, president and chief executive officer of Bader Philanthropies, said in a press release. “By doubling our annual commitment to the arts, we want to ensure that the inspirational power of the arts reaches as many Milwaukeeans as possible.”

Included in the foundation’s most recent round of arts funding is a $205,000 grant to be split among five Milwaukee projects. From that total, $105,000 will be allocated to First Stage Milwaukee, Inc. in support of its FUTURE Campaign, which was launched to make the arts more accessible to community members.

Funds from Bader Philanthropies will enable the nonprofit performing arts organization to hire a full-time community engagement specialist. The staffer who fills the newly created position will partner with area leaders, families, schools and other stakeholders to develop community engagement models that foster academic, character and leadership skills.

Along with the arts, Bader Philanthropies has a vested interest in strengthening community partnerships for youth, supporting workforce development, and promoting social equality among other community initiatives.

Imbedded in the foundation’s $4.7 million grant funding is a $360,000 package of funds to be divvied up among 16 initiatives that relate to its commitment to building community partnerships for youth. Among them, Lead2Change, Inc. will be awarded a $50,000 gift for its Dream.Explore.Build program, which coaches area students through career exploration and opens them up to internship opportunities. Dollars from the foundation will specifically enable Lead2Change to add 35 students to its next class, which will serve a total of 80 students.

Additionally, Bader Philanthropies is awarding a two-year $200,000 grant to The City of Milwaukee for its MKE Plays initiative, which will revitalize a dozen dilapidated playgrounds across the city throughout the next three years.

That grant, part of the foundation’s support of general community initiatives, will help the city update equipment and landscaping at selected parks in neighborhoods of high need.

For a complete list of area beneficiaries under Bader Philanthropies’ recent grant distribution, click here.

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