Cooper Foundation Approves $285,500 in Grants at September Board Meeting

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. — The Cooper Foundation awarded a grant of $30,000 to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition (NICWC) toward the position of Training and Education Director. The Coalition is a Native American-led, not-for-profit corporation that provides education, advocacy, and culturally-informed services and trainings for State employees, courts, and service providers. Their work is focused on the protection of Indian children’s rights, preserving cultural connections, and ensuring the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is followed for all Nebraska children. ICWA was first passed in 1978 to prevent American Indian and Alaskan Native children from being unjustly taken away and adopted outside of their culture. Today, it still stands as a federal law central to protecting the best interests of indigenous children and promoting family unity. To learn more, visit,

In addition, the Cooper Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved 16 grants to a diverse group of arts, civic and community engagement, education, human services and humanities organizations. Grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.

Approved for Funding by the Cooper Foundation, September 2021


Meadowlark Music Festival: $15,000
To support the Festival’s 20th anniversary season.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Repertory Theatre: $15,000
Support for the 2021-2022 season.

Civic and Community Engagement

Civic Nebraska: $15,000
Support for civic health education through the Capitol Experience Day Program.

MENTOR Nebraska, (Omaha, NE): $20,000
To support mentoring programs and organizations in Lincoln.

South of Downtown Community Development Organization: $10,000
Toward the South of Downtown Redevelopment & Strategic Plan.


Bright Lights: $7,500
Towards the 2022 summer camp programming.

Lincoln Children’s Museum: $25,000
Support for exhibits.

Human Services

CenterPointe: $30,000
Toward client and staffing support.

Down Syndrome Association for Families of Nebraska: $12,000
Support for staffing.

HopeSpoke: $20,000
Support for outpatient therapy programs.

Legal Aid of Nebraska, (Omaha, NE): $10,000
Toward the UPLIFT project that brings legal services to low-income clients in Lincoln.

Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition, (Bloomfield, NE): $30,000
To support a staff position.

NeighborWorks Lincoln: $30,000
To support the program design and implementation of a citywide Community Land Trust.

Voices of Hope: $15,000
For general operating support.

United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County: $21,000
Towards the 2021 campaign.


Legacy of the Plains Museum, (Gering, NE): $10,000
Toward the Japanese Hall and History project.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $26 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The Foundation makes quarterly grants supporting the arts, civic and community engagement, education, environment, the humanities, and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant guidelines and deadlines, visit the foundation’s web site,

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