Cooper Foundation Awards Over $155,000 in Grants at June Meeting

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. — The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees awarded a $30,000 grant to Rabble Mill to support the addition of an English/Journalism teacher for Bay High, the Lincoln Public Schools High School Focus Program located at The Bay. In 2022, Bay High launched its inaugural year with 137 applications, proving the interest in this program that focuses on emerging technology, content creation, and entrepreneurship, rooted in the creative disciplines of skateboarding, music, fashion, and digital art. The addition of an English/Journalism teacher will allow students to take core classes at Bay High, increasing accessibility and student enrollment.

Cooper Foundation provided $150,000 for start-up funding in 2020 to help Rabble Mill and LPS launch Bay High, bringing the total support of this effort to $180,000. The foundation’s support of high school focus programs began in the mid-1990s with two grants to LPS to develop the initial concept, leading to the creation of the Science Focus Program at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in 1997.

For more information about Bay High visit,

In addition, the Cooper Foundation’s Board of Trustees awarded grants to a diverse group of arts, education, environment, human services, and humanities organizations. In total, $156,250 was awarded; grant recipients are in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.

Approved for Funding by the Cooper Foundation, June 2023


Lincoln Arts Council: $10,000
General operating support to provide arts programming and advocacy to the Lincoln community.

Lincoln Choral Artists: $2,500
Support for the 2023-2024 season of this organization, which is the largest adult choir group in Lincoln.

Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival: $5,000
Support for the fourth annual Crossroads Music Festival taking place, August 4-6, 2023, in Lincoln and Omaha. The festival brings internationally recognized artists to Nebraska who share the stage with local musicians and artists representing many diverse cultural groups that call Nebraska home.


Jewish Federation of Omaha-Institute for Holocaust Education (Omaha, NE): $7,500
General operating support for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for the Institute for Holocaust Education to provide educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony, and integrated arts programming to students, educators, and the public.

Nebraska Transition College: $7,500
Staff support for the pilot year of Nebraska Transition College’s (NTC) Residential Program. NTC’s mission is to empower individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or other learning disabilities to live independently through employment and transition to post-secondary education.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland: $7,500
Support for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education programs in Lincoln.

Rabble Mill: $30.000
Towards the position of an English/Journalism teacher for the Bay High Focus Program.

University of Nebraska State Museum: $8,000
Support for the volunteer and docent programs to help enable the Museum to provide unique programs, interactions, and experiences for visitors and students.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Honors Program: $5,750
Support for Cooper Connections, a partnership between the Honors Program and the Cooper Foundation to cultivate dialogue and further engagement with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series.


Nebraska Statewide Arboretum: $7,500
Support for the Plant Grant Program to provide accessibility and outreach for communities which have been historically underserved, to engage community members in green improvement projects and restorative climate solutions at the local and regional levels.

Human Services

Center for Legal Immigration Assistance: $15,000
General operating support for immigrant and refugee clients by providing legal immigration services, interpretation, and mental health services at low or no cost.

El Centro de las Americas: $20,000
Support towards the Vida Sana Mental Health Project, to help alleviate health disparities and mental health needs by providing free, onsite behavioral health counseling services.

MilkWorks: $7,500
General operating support for MilkWorks, which offers board certified clinical support, education, supplies, and resources for families in Nebraska who wish to breastfeed.

Visionary Youth: $10,000
General operating. Visionary Youth provides basic needs items, formal mentorship opportunities, and a safe space for youth and families in Lincoln through back-to-school and holiday events, and programming at their Community Hub.


Nebraska Writers Collective (Omaha, NE): $7,500
Support for Lincoln activities related to the 2023-2024 All Writes Reserved (AWR) Youth Spoken Word Festival. AWR (formerly called Louder Than A Bomb) employs 50 plus local poets, sending them to schools across the state to mentor over 700 students each year in the art of performance poetry.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $28 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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