December 13, 2011
Karen Crossley, 608-266-5915
County Executive

Forty-three grants supporting arts and cultural activities countywide with public-private funds


The Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission announces the award of 35 project grants totaling $81,845 for community arts, cultural, and local history programs, 1 capital grant totaling $1,500, 5 Distinctly Dane grants totaling $11,850 honoring Dane County’s 175th anniversary celebration this year, and 2 special merit awards totaling $1,500.  In the Commission’s third and final Grant Cycle of the year, county dollars combined with funds from CUNA Mutual Group, Electronic Theatre Controls, Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, Dan Erdman, The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, Overture Foundation, and Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation will be matched by over $1.2 million from other sources.  Grant recipients follow.

Project Grants


John Muir Elementary School, $3,000, for Quilting as a Community:  Creating a Fabric Storyscape with an Artist in Residence, a school-wide project focused upon modern-day quilt-making with large quilt mural produced for permanent display in school.


Lowell Elementary School, $2,550, supporting Lowell Lizard Drum Power Ensemble:  Building the Foundation for Transforming Our School and Community, involving a youth leadership programfeaturing an arts residency teaching West African traditional drumming and its cultural and historical significance.



Madison Ballet, $3,000, supporting Behind the Curtains 2012 School Performance of the Nutcracker, a full-length performance of the holiday classic for students including a peek backstage and explanation.


Kanopy Dance Theatre, $3,000, for Cassandra, retelling of an ancient Greek myth, along with other new works.


Local History

Robert Kann, $3,000, for The Wisconsin Women of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, presenting storytelling performances about women playing professional baseball for audiences in assisted living facilities countywide.


Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, $3,000, supporting Walking Tour of Westmorland Neighborhood, a neighborhood walking tour exhibiting historic development and architecture that will become a regular feature of Madison Trust’s summer architecture tours.


Multidisciplinary Arts/Culture

River Alliance of Wisconsin, $1,000, in support of The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, featuring an evening of short films with everything from stunning scenery to thought-provoking animation.


Opera for the Young, $2,000, for Family Opera Day featuring Hansel and Gretel, two free performances complemented with workshops in theater, music and design in collaboration with Madison Children’s Museum and Madison Youth Choirs.


Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, $2,550, supporting a series of poetry sessions providing opportunities for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia to perform and create poetry, culminating in a public reading.


New Music Everywhere, $3,000, for Madison Muse Fest 2012, celebrating Madison’s cultural legacy through music, dance, theater and visual art beginning with a flash mob at the Dane County Farmer’s Market and continuing through the afternoon with five multidisciplinary music installations within locally-owned establishments.


Overture Center, $3,000, supporting 2012 International Festival, weaving a rich tapestry of performances, crafts and foods with sounds, smells and flavors as colorful as the vibrant costumes that adorn the performers---featuring language, culture and people representing the globe performed by Dane County residents.


Simpson Street Free Press, $3,000, for Where in Dane County is the Simpson Street Free Press? Series, bringing the world of local history and the arts alive for young readers.


Monona Terrace Community Programs, $2,550, supporting Terrace Town 2012 Going Green, teaching students how cities are planned, what makes a sustainable city, and how citizens can express their voices.


Madison Area Chinese Community Organization, $1,500, in support of Wisconsin Chinese Culture Day, presenting traditional Chinese culture, arts and different forms of entertainment displaying the talents of local Chinese communities.


TAPIT/new works, $3,000, for In the Care Of:  A Multidisciplinary Play of Our Times, an original new play about caregiving based upon workshops with older adults, caregivers and family members in Dane County revealing social issues through evolving relationships.


Africasong Communications, $2,000, supporting 32nd Annual State of Wisconsin Tribute & Ceremony honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a multicultural, multidisciplinary performing arts event featuring a broad array of talent in a program that educates, illuminates and entertains.



Madison Youth Choirs, $1,625, for 3rd Annual Madison Boychoir Festival, a collaboration with Edgewood College offering boys an exciting day of singing and learning culminating in a major public concert.


Middleton Community Orchestra, $2,500, supporting Rising Stars, presenting two exciting concerts featuring local solo artists who are emerging rising stars.


Madison Symphony Orchestra, $2,550, for Spring Young People’s Concert, offering middle and high school students across Dane County a unique opportunity to experience live classical music in Madison’s Overture Hall and see winners of the Bolz Young Artists competition perform.


Madison Music Collective, $3,000, supporting Winter-Spring Season of Jazz Concerts & Educational Workshops, highlighted by a concert and educational programs with acclaimed Tia Fuller, saxophonist and leader of an outstanding all-female quartet.


Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, $2,500, for Winterfest Concerts, including performances of the most complex and challenging repertoire of the WYSO season, demonstrating the talents of both youth musicians and music educators.


Madison Opera, $2,550, in support of Galileo Galilei, celebrating the 75th birthday of American composer Philip Glass with a new production of his opera.


Festival Choir of Madison, $1,400, for The Language(s) of Love, featuring songs from the masters of love including Monteverdi, Faure’, Brahms and others.


con vivo!….music with life, $1,260, supporting Mid-Winter Romance, a live chamber music performance of music by Brahms, Zemlinsky and Reger.


Madison Bach Musicians, $1,960, for Bach Cantats, a performance of two cantatas composed by Bach presented by a vocal ensemble and period instrument chamber orchestra.



Children’s Theater of Madison, $3,000, in support of Lord of the Flies, presenting a powerful story based upon William Golding’s acclaimed novel.


Playtime Productions, $2,100, supporting The Reluctant Dragon, bringing to life a classic tale in productions staged in multiple, family-friendly venues countywide.


Forward Theater, $3,000, in support of A Thousand Words production presenting world premiere by local playwright Gwendolyn Rice and complementary exhibits featuring work created by local artists inspired by Walker Evans.


Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, $2,550,supporting You Name It – The Musical, revamp of a lively, original rock musical offering performance opportunities for people with disabilities and an insightful, entertaining production for the enjoyment of our community.


Madison Theatre Guild, $950, for Yankee Tavern, production of Steven Dietz’s acclaimed dramatic thriller focused upon contemporary conspiracy theories.


Visual Arts

Mount Horeb Area Arts Association, $1,000, supporting 6th Annual Spring Art Tour, a three-day, family friendly, free, open-art-studios event showcasing the art of several dozen artists living in SW Dane County.


VSA Wisconsin, $1,750, for Visual Expressions:  A Call for Art Exhibition featuring a juried exhibition of work by 300 children and adults with disabilities from across WI.


James Watrous Gallery, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, $2,000, supporting Tom Jones:  Encountering Cultures, capturing through photographs the Rendezvous, gatherings of enthusiasts who strive to reenact the lives of Europeans and Indians during the 18th century fur trade era.


UW Arts Institute-Wisconsin Film Festival, $2,500, in support of Wisconsin Film Festival 2012, a local extravaganza celebrating the power of motion pictures through 200 films engaging 35,000 attendees.


Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, $2,500, for Tierra y Libertad! Revolution and the Mexican Print, focusing upon the search for Mexican national identity following the Mexican Revolution drawing from MMoCA’s permanent collection whose holdings in Mexican prints are among the finest and  most extensive in Midwest.


Capital Grants

Oregon Area Historical Society, $1,500 for museum enhancements.


Distinctly Dane Grants

A special grant funding opportunity honoring Dane County’s 175th Anniversary Celebration in 2011 (see  Focus is upon our sense of place and belonging and identity as expressed by Dane County voices.  These grants showcase Dane County’s distinctive qualities, highlight and grow local assets, and nurture local creativity.


Centro Hispano of Dane County, $1,000, supporting Latino Youth Documentary Project, a new two-month-long project targeting high school youth in which they will create a short documentary about the beginnings of the Latino community in Madison. 


Madison Children’s Museum, $3,000, for Local Treasures:  African American Contributions to Our Community, a new program highlighting local professionals and celebrating African American culture including poetry, storytelling, dance, singing, percussion, cooking, science and history.


Street Pulse-Refuge Films, $3,000, supporting STREET PULSE-A Documentary offering insights about local homeless population through the eyes and human interest stories shared by two individuals.


Wisconsin Story Project, $1,850, in support of Sterling Hall Project retelling a local tragedy through oral history in collaboration with UW-Madison Oral History Program.


Sharon Kilfoy, $3,000, for AquiEstamos! The Hispanic World Arrive in Dane County mural project engaging community members in creating a colorful new mural depicting local scenes and history on exterior walls of Centro Hispano of Dane County.

Special Merit Awards

Vi Miller Award of Excellence, $750 to Sun Prairie Area School District’s Patrick March Middle School, supporting ComMission Possible, a grand artist residency project engaging young people, and inspiring creativity and music excellence. 


The Commission annually designates one grant recipient whose activities demonstrate high artistic quality, strong educational value, and serve children and youth in Dane County communities both within and outside of the City of Madison.  The award is named in honor of the late Vi Miller, niece of William Evjue, wife of The Capital Times publisher, Fred Miller, and long-time officer of The Capital Times Co. and The Evjue Foundation, Inc.  Vi Miller was a very generous contributor to the cultural life of Dane County.  This special award, created in Miller’s memory, honors her devotion to the arts and community service.  The Evjue Foundation, Inc. and Dane County fund it jointly.


Liesl Blockstein Award for Distinguished Community Service in the Arts, $750 to Capitol City Band Association, supporting Concert in Celebration of Dane 175 and the band’s many contributions of wonderful music countywide.   


The Commission annually designates one grant recipient whose activities link the arts and human services---by offering exemplary arts experiences that either are especially provided for Dane County populations with special needs or promote cultural pluralism and the improvement of local racial and cultural relations.  The award is named in honor of the late Liesl Blockstein, a former member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission.  Liesl’s devotion to the arts, her interest in educational opportunities, and her commitment to enriching the civic life of Dane County resulted in the creation of this memorial award upon her untimely death in a car accident over twenty years ago.  It is funded from a mix of public and private funds, combined with earned income from a trust fund established in the Office of County Treasurer. 


This year, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission has awarded over $300,000 in public-private funds to nonprofit groups, schools, individuals, and municipalities for arts, cultural, and local history projects and programs.  Three grant cycles each year have application deadlines of February 1, June 1, and October 1. 

            Last year the Commission introduced a web-based, online grants management system including grant applications accessed, prepared, submitted, and reviewed electronically.  The system is highly customer friendly and offers cost savings, efficiencies, and evaluation tools not formerly available. 

Special Note:

For the Cultural Affairs Commission’s next grant cycle (1st Cycle 2012, Feb 1 application deadline), 5 funding opportunities are available: 

  • NEW Short Order Project Grant (a simplified application linked to a smaller grant award)
  • NEW EUARCA grant (special opportunity for a local Dane County artist to participate in a prestigious arts camp in Kassel, Germany, for several weeks in July 2012, tied to dOCUMENTA (13) the premier modern and contemporary art festivals in the world)
  • Project Grant
  • Capital Grant
  • Distinctly Dane Grant associated with Dane County’s 175thAnniversary

See description and details.  All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.


For more information, see www.culturalaffairscommission.comor contact Karen Crossley, Cultural Affairs Commission Director, Room 421 City-County Building, Madison, 608-266-5915.

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