Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office


November 19, 2008
Karen Crossley, 608-266-5915
County Executive

Fifty-two grants supporting arts and cultural activities countywide with public-private funds

The Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission announces the award of 48 project grants totaling $140,900 for community arts, cultural, and local history programs serving an estimated   355,000 area residents.  In the Commission’s third competition of the year, county dollars combined with funds from the American Girl’s Fund for Children, Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, The Evjue Foundation, Madison Community Foundation’s Arts Access Fund, Overture Foundation, and Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation will be matched by over $1 million from other sources.  The grant recipients follow.

Visual Arts

James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, $4,000, to support High Honors:  Exhibition of Artwork, 2008 Wisconsin Arts Board Fellows, showcasing a range of artwork in multiple mediums created by the seven Wisconsin visual artists awarded the Visual Arts Fellowship in 2008.

MMoCA, $3,000, supporting the exhibition, Something Wicked This Way Comes, a thematic survey of works from the museum’s permanent collection that explores the idea of evil as portrayed by artists throughout the modern period.

MMoCA, $2,500, for Young at Art, the museum’s popular biennial exhibition in collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District showing art created by students of all ages in the State Street Gallery.

Goodman Community Center, $5,000, supporting The Effigy Tree Project, a neighborhood collaboration to restore and preserve an original wood sculpture created by Ho-Chunk sculptor, Harry Whitehorse, in Hudson Park overlooking Lake Monona.

Mount Horeb Area Arts Association, $1,500, in support of its 3rd annual Spring Art Tour, a three-day, open studios, free and welcoming event, featuring several dozen local artists.

VSA arts of Wisconsin, $1,600, helping support Visual Expressions:  Call for Art Exhibit, including a juried exhibition of artwork created by over 100 artists with disabilities from around the state, public reception, artist recognition, field trips and workshops for local youth. 

artsTribe, $2,000, helping support SEED, A Passion for Growing, a site-specific art collaboration involving artists, vendors, and citizens at the Dane County Farmer’s Market, with a major exhibition at the Overture Center.

Pritika Chowdry, $1,000, supporting Partition Memorial Project, a visual arts sculpture project designed to memorialize the 100,000 Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh women who were raped and abducted during the Partition of colonial India in 1947. 


Li Chiao-Ping Dance, $3,500, supporting A Little Off Kilter, a concert featuring a mix of high-spirited, quirky dancing and imaginative, thought-provoking new choreography by Li Chiao-Ping and guest artists.

Kanopy Dance Theatre, $4,500, for Dark Nights:  Miserere-for the Refugees of the World, concerts of modern dance including new work created by Kanopy’s directors, along with guest artists.

Roots of Brazil Madison, $2,000, helping present Roots of Brazil Batizado, a capoeira ceremony along with a series of workshops and several community outreach events.

Village of Mazomanie, $2,000, for Mazopalooza! Improvisational Dance Festival including workshops, practice, and performance, involving improvisational movement in a full immersion experience.

Madison Ballet, $2,000, for An Evening of Romance, a themed production associated with Valentine’s Day including a variety of repertoire and new works. 

Madison Ballet, $2,000, in support of Pure Ballet!, a set of performances featuring short works for small ensembles of dancers, with narrative provided by Artistic Director, W. Earle Smith, in an intimate setting.

Madison Ballet, $3,500, supporting Movement in Your World, a creative movement and music program designed for pre-school aged children, offered in Head Start classrooms throughout the county.

Jazzworks Dance Company, $3,500,  in support of A World Without Walls, a collaborative performance involving area youth, presenting a newly choreographed piece celebrating diversity, and featuring music and dance forms from around the world.


Midvale Elementary School, $3,900, supporting Gates of Midvale Gardens, to create and install a sculptural gateway to the school’s community-school garden using found metal objects, assisted by local guest artist, Erika Koivunen.

Emerson Elementary School, $3,500, for We Shall Overcome, a guest residency and several final performances at school and Goodman Community Center, with songwriter and storyteller, Stuart Stotts.

Children’s Theater of Madison, $2,500, supporting The Story Behind the Art, an in-school workshop series integrating theater and dance, in collaboration with Madison Ballet and Madison Metropolitan School District. 

Walbridge School, $1,000, helping support Community Arts in Education Project, a pilot, arts-integrated, learning program involving community partnerships and targeting learning disabled students.

Schenk Elementary School, $3,500, for Our School, Our World:  Schenk Clay Stomp, creating a ceramic mural installation for the school in a celebratory and participatory way.


Four Seasons Theatre, $5,000, supporting production of Candide, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Voltaire’s satirical novel and 55th anniversary of the beginnings of one of Leonard Bernstein’s most legendary scores.

Madison Repertory Theatre, $4,000, to present True West, an audience-favorite from the Rep’s past including Western movie themes and featuring local actor James Ridge.

Madison Repertory Theatre, $3,500, in support of the 6th annual Madison New Play Festival, including workshops, readings and audience discussions with new playwrights, debuting new work by some of our nation’s most innovative artists. 

Madison Repertory Theatre, $1,500, helping support presentation of Broadway musical and timeless, smash hit, My Fair Lady.

PlayTime Productions, $3,000, for a spirited rendition of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, Snow White, presented by a cast of children in multiple, highly accessible venues countywide.

Children’s Theater of Madison, $2,000, in support of a fresh production of holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, filled with tradition and meaning, along with a few new surprises.

Children’s Theater of Madison, $4,000, supporting a Midwest premier of Degas’ Little Dancer, a play about fulfilling dreams, presented by a cast of both children and adults.

Kenland Players Theatre, $3,500, for Awaken!, an original children’s musical created by local favorite, Ken Lonnquist, presented by a newly-named resident theatre company of the Goodman Community Center.

Multidisciplinary Arts

Kennedy Heights Community Center, $2,000, helping support A Bridge Across the Borderline, a photography project focused upon self-expression and skill-building, targeting adolescent girls. 

Madison Opera, $3,500, supporting production of Cosi Fan Tutte, a masterful comedy of manners featuring an exciting cast, full orchestra, Opera Chorus, and dynamic guest conductor.

Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, $2,000, in support of Wright Lecture Series Spring 2009, a free, community lecture series featuring acclaimed presenters speaking about historic and contemporary architectural topics.

Overture Center for the Arts, $4,500, supporting 2009 International Festival, a day-long event showcasing the diverse cultural art forms representing the citizens of Dane County through folk dance, music and instruments, storytelling, costumes, and food.

Overture Center for the Arts, $1,500, for The Healing and Art of Magic, presenting the healing power and art of magic related to physical and psychosocial rehabilitation through a series of workshops targeting multiple audiences.  

Africasong Communications, $3,000, supporting the 29th State of Wisconsin Tribute and Ceremony to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a multi-faced cultural event conducted in the State Capitol Rotunda. 

Madison Children’s Museum, $3,000,  for Experimental Gallery Artist Residencies in the museum’s new Experimental Gallery, testing and evaluating new exhibit concepts and programs with visitors.


con vivo!, $900, in support of New World Wonders, a chamber concert program featuring several American composers.

Madison Youth Choirs, $4,000, for Songs for a Small Planet, a spring concert project related to themes of personal and global vision incorporating poetry, voice and song.

Wisconsin Flute Club, $500, supporting 2009 Wisconsin Flute Festival, a one-day educational event for flutists and flute enthusiasts ranging in age and ability.

Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, $3,000, in support of Music Education:  A Community Opus, presenting WYSO’s Philharmonic Orchestra performing in area high schools and at the Overture Center, specially honoring music educator, Tom Buchhauser, Philharmonic Orchestra conductor for 25 years and Madison Memorial High School music teacher for 33 years.

Madison Symphony Orchestra, $3,500, supporting Concerts with Daniel Hege and Henning Kraggerud, with American conductor Hege, Norwegian violin virtuoso Kraggerud, and Shakespearean text delivered by James DeVita. 

Madison Symphony Orchestra, $5,000, for Spring Young People’s Concert, an annual concert for youth audiences featuring winners of the Bolz Young Artist Competition.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, $3,000, supporting Masterworks with Cellist Amit Pele, a concert featuring renowned Israeli cellist along with the chamber orchestra.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, $4,000, for WCO’s youth education program, Along the Mississippi, focusing upon American music and melody from the heartland.

Wisconsin Union Theater, $3,000, supporting Spring 2009 Concert Series, a set of performances and outreach events featuring three outstanding classical musicians. 

Madison Music Collective, $4,000, in support of The Wealth in Our Midst, a concert series and lecture/film presentation celebrating creative and improvised music in Dane County.

Local History

Wisconsin Historical Foundation, $5,000, helping support Odd Wisconsin, a new sampler-style exhibition at the Wisconsin Historical Museum featuring curious and authentic artifacts, documents and image from around the state.

Sarah White, $1,000, for her Reminiscence Writing Program, a series of writing workshops targeting seniors.

In addition, the Commission approved two capital grants totaling $5,545 for equipment purchases and building improvements.  Capital grants awarded to small arts organizations with funds provided to the Commission by the Overture Foundation are matched dollar-for-dollar by the recipients with dollars from other local sources.  Recipients follow.

Madison Children’s Museum, $1,500, for purchase of portable sound system.

American Legion Post 59, $4,045, for historical war memorabilia and purple heart display cases.

The Commission also unanimously and enthusiastically approved two additional, special, unsolicited awards to deserving projects and organizations.     

Vi Miller Award of Excellence, $1,000, to Madison Youth Choirs, in support of their School Outreach Tour, a special opportunity for the nine MYC choirs to present free concerts in schools countywide in the spirit of sharing choral music with peers.  (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 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 both 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.  It is funded jointly by The Evjue Foundation, Inc., and Dane County.)

Liesl Blockstein Award for Distinguished Community Service in the Arts, $1,000, to Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, supporting Lost Track and Found Money, two new, full-scale original plays, and other productions, performed by the only Wisconsin professional theatre company dedicated to people with disabilities, in the Bartell Theatre.  (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.) 

During this year alone, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission has awarded a total of over $450,000 in public-private funds to nonprofit groups, schools, individuals, and municipalities for arts, cultural, and local history programs.  Application deadlines are February 1, June 1, and September 1.  For more information, contact Karen Crossley, Cultural Affairs office, City-County Building, Madison, 608-266-5915, or see 

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