The Ruth Foundation for the Arts is donating $11.5 million to 138 arts organizations across the country, the Milwaukee-based nonprofit announced today. The foundation launched earlier this year funded by a $440 million bequest from Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, a major arts supporter who died in 2020. Her brother, former Kohler Co. president, CEO and chairman Herbert V. Kohler Jr., died in September.This fall’s inaugural, one-year Core Grant from the foundation is providing approximately $50,000 in funding to each of 84 nonprofit arts organizations—$4.5 million in total. Also under the multi-year Thought Leaders program, the foundation is providing a total of $4.5 million to 14 nonprofit arts organizations. Each organization is slated to receive approximately $300,000 within the next three years.Distributed alongside the Core Grants and Thought Leaders, the Ruth DeYoung Kohler (RDK) Legacy Fund will provide $2.5 million annually across 40 organizations (not evenly distributed) historically supported by Ruth DeYoung Kohler II. “These programs are at once forward-facing and anchored in Ruth DeYoung Kohler II’s inimitable legacy,” said Karen Peterson, executive director of the Ruth Foundation for the Arts. “We’re proud to honor Ruth’s lifelong commitment to the arts by continuing to fund the organizations she personally supported, and to develop new programs in her spirit of experimentation and community-building.” The Ruth Foundation for the Arts announced commitments to the following Wisconsin-based arts organizations: Core Grant ($50,000 to each):
Lynden Sculpture Garden
Thought Leaders ($300,000 to each):
Arts @ Large
RDK Legacy Fund:
American Players Theater of Wisconsin
Arts Working in Education, Inc.
Create Wisconsin, Inc.
Ernest Hüpeden's Pained Forest
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Lakeshore Chorale, Inc.
Mecikalski Stovewood Buildings Foundation, Inc.
Milwaukee Ballet Company, Inc.
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Inc.
Paul and Mathilda Wegner Grotto
Plymouth Art Foundation, Inc.
Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden and Museum
Racine Art Museum Association, Inc.
Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
Sheboygan Theater Company
Ten Chimneys Foundation, Inc.
Theater for Young Audiences, Inc.
United Performing Arts Fund, Inc.
Weill Center for Performing Arts, Inc.
Wisconsin Concrete Park
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc.
Consideration for future grant cycles will continue on an invitation-only basis as Ruth Arts grows and develops, the organization said.
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