Northwestern Mutual gives $1 million to Milwaukee Public Museum

Will support planning for museum's future home

Northwestern Mutual previously supported the "Crossroads of Civilization" exhibit at MPM. (Photo: The Refinery Photo Studio)

Northwestern Mutual has pledged $1 million in support of the Milwaukee Public Museum’s annual campaign and planning for its future home.

The grant, made through the life insurance company’s foundation, will be directed to both the museum’s annual campaign and its Foundation for the Future Fund, which will pay for the strategic planning associated with developing a new museum.

“We are immensely grateful to Northwestern Mutual for this generous grant and for the company’s ongoing support of the Milwaukee Public Museum,” said Ellen Censky, president and CEO of MPM. “It will help fund the important scientific research, educational programming and current operations happening at the Museum today, while also allowing us to set our sights on the future.”

Museum leaders are in the process of identifying a site in Milwaukee’s downtown for its new home that will replace its county-owned 400,000-square-foot facility at 800 W. Wells St., which faces a host of facility issues.

A 2019 BizTimes cover story examined the facility needs of Milwaukee County’s cultural attractions, including MPM, along with the lack of a comprehensive solution to fund them.

Northwestern Mutual has been a long-time supporter of MPM, having made its first grant to the museum in 1964. Since then, the company has donated more than $6 million to fund exhibits, expansions and programming at the museum, including its newest permanent exhibition, “Crossroads of Civilization.”

“Northwestern Mutual believes in the importance of supporting institutions that positively impact the lives of those in the communities we serve,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Cultural attractions create connections, and this grant is made in recognition of the Milwaukee Public Museum’s importance to the scientific, education, and cultural landscapes of the state of Wisconsin, both present and for future generations.”

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