Cooper Foundation Approves Over $300,000 in Grants at Fourth Quarter Board Meeting

Friday, December 17, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. —  The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants in its fourth quarter cycle totaling $305,980 to 18 diverse nonprofit organizations at its December meeting. Grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.

The board awarded a grant of $25,000 to the Indian Center, Inc. to support the position of Executive Director to spearhead organizational capacity and growth in programs and services. For over 50 years, the Indian Center has served as a space for services and community and cultural events for both Native and non-Native members to reconnect and remember. Serving people in Lincoln and throughout the region, they work with community partners to create programs which empower and provide better quality of life for Native individuals and families. To learn more, go to

Approved for Funding by the Cooper Foundation, December 2021


Lincoln Community Playhouse – $20,000
Staffing support for a full-time community relations, DEI, and education director.

Metropolitan Opera/Nebraska Auditions – $1,000
Support for the annual Nebraska auditions of the Metropolitan Opera.

Civic and Community Engagement

ACLU of Nebraska – $25,000
General operating support to protect and expand civil rights and civil liberties in Nebraska.

Lincoln Community Foundation – $2,500
Toward the Barbara Bartle Forever Fund in recognition of Barb Bartle’s leadership and contributions to the Lincoln community.


Chadron State College (Chadron, NE) – $5,000
Support for the Chadron State College Theatre Artist in Residence program.

Lincoln Literacy – $15,000
Operating support for Lincoln Literacy and the Bridgeway to a Better Life initiative.

Lincoln Public Schools – $30,000
Support for sustainability features, including interactive education and technology, to enhance two new high school campuses, Northwest High, and Standing Bear High Schools, opening in 2022 and 2023.

University of Nebraska State Museum – $12,000
Support for an educator guide and science activity kit to accompany the traveling exhibit “Hidden Prairie: Exploring Life in One Square Meter.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Journalism and Mass Communications – $28,000
Support for a pilot partnership with the Lincoln Public Schools Bay High School Focus Program to engage students with experiential learning opportunities in music, digital media, community storytelling, and college and career exploration.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues – $27,480
Support from the Thompson Family Fund, established at the Cooper Foundation in 1999 by E.N. “Jack” and Katie Thompson to support the Thompson Forum.

Human Services

Banisters Leadership Academy (Omaha, NE) – $10,000
To support the Night LIFE (Leadership in a Fun Environment) program at the Malone Community Center for ages 5-18.

Child Advocacy Center – $25,000
Staffing support for a Case Coordinator position.

Community CROPS – $20,000
Support to expand community-building and intercultural engagement in the Garden Program.

Indian Center, Inc. – $25,000
Support toward the position of Executive Director.

Multicultural Coalition (Grand Island, NE) – $10,000
In support of a pilot program to provide immigration consultation services off-site for parents at Lincoln Elementary School in Grand Island.

TeamMates Mentoring Program – $20,000
Toward general operating support for TeamMates Mentoring of Lincoln.

Willard Community Center – $10,000
General operating support for this community center serving southwest Lincoln.


Humanities Nebraska – $20,000
In support of humanities programming including Capitol Forum on America’s Future and Nebraska Warrior Writers.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $27 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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