Northwestern Mutual investing $2 million in Summerfest grounds play area revamp

A rendering of the south view of the Northwestern Mutual Community Park. (Rendering: EUA)

Last updated on October 9th, 2020 at 02:10 pm

Northwestern Mutual is investing $2 million in the redevelopment of the children’s theater and play area on the Summerfest grounds, the company announced Thursday.

The Milwaukee-based life insurance company said it’s part of its $3 million commitment to several of the region’s top cultural destinations, including Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee Public Museum, United Performing Arts Fund and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.

Earlier this week, Summerfest operator Milwaukee World Festival Inc. unveiled the plans to redevelop the Northwestern Mutual Children’s Theater & Playzone at Henry Maier Festival Park into a 54,000-square-foot community park, with the goal of making it one of the most accessible playgrounds in the state.

Northwestern Mutual said it will distribute grants totaling more than $1 million among the other selected cultural institutions.

“The pandemic has significantly impacted so many of the key attractions that make our city a great place to live and visit,” said Eric Christophersen, president of Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “We’re committed to helping sustain and grow these destinations now and in the years to come, to ensure residents and visitors can continue to experience all Milwaukee has to offer.”

Last week, the company also announced a $2.5 million investment in Milwaukee schools and education initiatives.

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