Northwestern Mutual gives $3 million to local arts, cultural organizations

Downtown Milwaukee, with Milwaukee Art Museum in foreground and US Bank Center and Northwestern Mutual tower in background
Downtown Milwaukee, with Milwaukee Art Museum in foreground and U.S. Bank Center and Northwestern Mutual tower in the background.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual on Tuesday announced it will give nearly $3 million in grants to several local arts and cultural organizations.

The largest grant, worth $1.5 million, was awarded to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater for its recently launched “Powering Milwaukee Campaign” to build a new, expanded theater complex in place of its existing one at 108 E. Wells St. in downtown Milwaukee.

The remaining $1.5 million in grants will be dispersed among a few other organizations in the area, including Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World, Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee Public Museum, Summerfest, United Performing Arts Fund and Zoological Society of Milwaukee.

“The exceptional attractions Milwaukee has to offer are at the core of what makes our city a place where residents thrive and visitors want to keep coming back to,” said Steve Radke, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Milwaukee is a great city, and Northwestern Mutual is proud to play a role in ensuring these culturally enriching experiences and organizations are here to stay.”

With its investment in the Milwaukee Rep’s project, Northwestern Mutual will have its name on a portion of the RiverWalk located outside of the historic Oneida Street Power Station building which will be redesigned into an area for pre- and post-show gatherings and private events.

Northwestern Mutual RiverWalk rendering from Eppstein Uhen Architects.
Northwestern Mutual RiverWalk rendering from Eppstein Uhen Architects.

The Rep publicly announced its capital campaign Tuesday at an event held at Northwestern Mutual; the organization has so far raised $43 million of its $75 million goal.

“Northwestern Mutual is a pillar of the community – they recognize that the strength of cultural institutions like Milwaukee Rep are integral to the success of our city,” said Chad Bauman, executive director of the Milwaukee Rep. “We are grateful for their generous contribution to our Powering Milwaukee Capital Campaign, which will enable us to reimagine our theatrical home for the needs of today, the possibilities of tomorrow, and power a new era of theatre from Milwaukee, and for Milwaukee.”

Through its foundation, which has given more than $400 million since its inception in 1992, Northwestern Mutual also collaborates with community organizations to increase access to quality education and revitalize Milwaukee’s Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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