Cooper Foundation Awards First Quarter Grants

March 23, 2016


Lincoln, Neb.— The Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company was awarded a $5,000 grant to support enhanced community building and programming efforts. The Colonel Mustard is an innovative theatre company that produces original, place-based programming in the Near South neighborhood in Lincoln Nebraska. Begun in 2007 when roommates living in a mustard-colored Victorian house at 920 D Street put on a quirky play for their friends in the attic, the company has grown dramatically since then, producing a series of increasingly ambitious and unconventional theatrical spectacles in the attic, the backyard, an empty city block, and throughout the neighborhood. As their grant application describes, “The Colonel Mustard has become a grassroots community of people who love highbrow tragedy and lowbrow comedy, striving to live creatively and love wholeheartedly. We are united not by our skill but by our striving, not by where we’ve been but by where we look forward to: the new, the ridiculous, the beautiful, and the impossible.”

In total, $147,500 was awarded, supporting education, human services, the arts, and the humanities. All grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.

Camp Summergold – $2,500
Support for scholarships for students of color from Lincoln Public Schools. Camp Summergold is a residential camp held on Doane College’s campus in Crete, Nebraska that brings teenage girls together to explore creativity, knowledge and stewardship through arts and science based mentored workshops and collective girl power.

CEDARS Youth Services – $13,000
Support for the Bridges Transitional Living Program that provides supervised apartment living and independent life skills for youth ages 16-24 who are homeless or who have aged out of the foster care system.

Center for People in Need – $10,000
Toward a Financial Literacy Instructor who will deliver financial education programs for low income individuals.

Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company – $5,000
General operating support to enhance the Colonel Mustard’s community-building efforts and programs.

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties – $10,000
Support for the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. Through the program, participants work toward goals to increase financial stability and have the opportunity to receive 4:1 savings match for a first-time home purchase, college tuition, or small business start-up.

Doane College, Crete, Nebraska – $20,000
Support toward the Arts Are Basic Program, which works with teachers, students, and performing and visual artists to make the arts a central part of teaching and learning.

Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project, Wymore, Nebraska – $5,000
Support for a video and exhibition project for this organization that has a mission to discover, preserve, interpret and celebrate the history and contributions of Welsh pioneers on the North American prairies.

Junior Achievement of Lincoln – $5,000
General operating support for this organization that provides financial education programs to more than 26,000 students in over 1,200 classrooms across Southeastern & Central Nebraska.

Lincoln Children’s Museum – $7,000
Support for supplies and materials for hands-on learning experiences for STEAM Sundays, educational programming related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Mathematics.

Lincoln Community Playhouse – $5,000
General operating expenses to support outreach programs providing theatre experiences and programs for people of all ages.

Meadowlark Music Festival – $7,500
Support for the 2016 Meadowlark Music Festival, July 14-17, featuring pianist Marina Pacowski, violinist Misha Vayman, and Steven Trinkle with Portable Masterpieces.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Des Moines, IA – $10,000
Support toward the Regional Organizer position in Lincoln to engage and mobilize supporters and increase community support for Planned Parenthood’s mission and work.

TeamMates Mentoring Program – $7,500
General operating support for Lincoln TeamMates, which supports one-on-one mentoring for 1,200 students in grades 3-12 at Lincoln Public Schools.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jazz in June – $10,000
Support for the 2016 summer concert series, which is its 25th year and the first as an independent entity within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. One of the longest running music concert series in the nation and the longest running festival in the region, Jazz in June entertains 20,000 annually.

YMCA of Lincoln Nebraska – $30,000
Support toward the Copple Family YMCA Afterschool Program.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted nearly $23 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The Foundation makes quarterly grants supporting education, human services, the arts, the humanities, and the environment primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about guidelines and deadlines visit the Foundation’s web site,

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