Bradley Foundation: Announces $10 million in grants to groups throughout Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WI – The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation today released its 2020 grant recipient highlights among the local and state organizations it supports. The Foundation’s contributions to groups within Wisconsin that are focused on improving arts and culture, communities and families, and education totaled more than $10 million for the year. 

“Public and private sectors have encountered tremendous challenges this year, but local non-profits who rely on private philanthropy have been especially impacted,” said Rick Graber, president and CEO of The Bradley Foundation. “Bradley Foundation grant recipients have navigated the pandemic with remarkable resilience, leadership and a drive for transforming lives. From virtually offering world class musical performances, to safely opening schools for Milwaukee’s most vulnerable students, to helping addicts overcome substance abuse during a time when they’re most at risk, the unwavering commitment of grantees continues to contribute to a vibrant civil society in the Milwaukee area and throughout Wisconsin.” 

This year’s giving builds on The Bradley Foundation’s 35-year history of philanthropy to local groups that are dedicated to solving problems within their community.  The Foundation’s giving is guided by the vision of the brothers for which it is named, Lynde and Harry. Founders of the former Allen-Bradley Company, the brothers were deeply committed to strengthening the principles and institutions essential to their success, so future generations could have the same opportunities. 

Since its establishment, the Foundation has made more than 13,000 grants totaling over $1 billion to more than 1,900 organizations. Of that, nearly $400 million has gone to groups within Wisconsin. 

Bradley’s local giving is animated by a commitment to strengthening the institutions of civil society, such as families, schools, churches, neighborhoods, voluntary associations, and arts and culture. The Foundation believes that people who are most familiar with problems, either because they’ve experienced or have been affected by them, are most able to transform lives and cultivate a free society.

“The trifecta of crises this year – a pandemic, economic devastation and social unrest – have underscored the importance of civil society,” said Graber. “Government cannot and should not fix all of our problems. We must constantly work to sustain civil society from the bottom up to restore, strengthen, and protect the principles of American exceptionalism.” 

The following are highlights among the 103 outstanding Bradley Foundation grant recipients within Wisconsin throughout 2020.

ARTS & CULTURE

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre:$20,000 to support general operations. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre has been a staple of the local theater community since 1975. This year, MCT has been nimble in a time of constant change to ensure the community has access to engaging theater productions by providing full-length plays professionally recorded and made available for online viewing.

Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra: $20,000 to support general operations. The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra is the largest and one of the most highly respected after-school youth music programs in the country. It serves 6,000+ musicians annually by offering over 40 ensemble and supplemental programs that foster critical thinking skills, creativity, and collaboration.   

COMMUNITIES & FAMILIES

Bridge Builders:$20,000 to support general operations, a first-time grant from The Bradley Foundation. Bridge Builders is transforming a Milwaukee neighborhood by building trust and cohesion between its residents and supporting their efforts to improve their physical environment. It creates a welcoming atmosphere for volunteers who help with renovation projects, reinforcing developing friendships between people from different walks of life.

Walnut Way:$40,000 to support general operations. Walnut Way is revitalizing Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood by focusing on its residents’ goals pertaining to wellness, wealth, and work. This year, it has promoted and supported numerous neighborhood entrepreneurs struggling to survive the pandemic, while its workforce development program, Blue Skies Landscaping, has significantly increased its business

EDUCATION

Hmong American Peace Academy:$300,000 to support a capital campaign, a first-time grant from The Bradley Foundation. HAPA is a charter school that serves predominately Hmong students in grades K4 through 12. Widely recognized as a high-performing school, it is constructing a new high-school building in order to increase its enrollment significantly over time and expand its engagement with students’ families.

Milwaukee Academy of Science: $300,000 to support a capital campaign. Milwaukee Academy of Science is a charter school that emphasizes academic integrity, prioritizes social and emotional support of its students, and specializes in science, technology, engineering, and math. It serves students from across the city in grades K4 through 12. Renovation and expansion of its current building will allow for increased enrollment as demand continues to grow. 

Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee: $25,000 to support TRIUN3. TRIUN3 is a newly launched consulting service established to provide strategic advice and shared operational services to Christian schools with the goal of strengthening their viability and the fulfillment of their mission.    

About The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Founded in 1985, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation supports organizations that strengthen families and communities, inform and educate citizens, advance economic growth and encourage self-reliance. The Foundation’s approach to philanthropy is guided by four core principles: fidelity to the Constitution with its principles of limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and individual liberties; commitment to free markets; dedication to the formation of informed and capable citizens; and commitment to the institutions of civil society that cultivate individuals capable of self-governance.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Rick Graber, please contact Christine Czernejewski at 

[email protected] or (202) 368-0281.