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

Dane Arts Awards $131,098

November 09, 2017
Mark Fraire, 266-5915
County Executive


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


Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission announced the awarding of 45 project grants totaling $126,339 and three capital grants totaling $4,759  for community arts and culture during the second grant cycle of 2017. 


In the Commission’s second grant cycle of 2017, 49 project applications were submitted requesting a total of $193,710. County dollars were combined with funds from the Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.


“Congratulations to all of Dane Arts’ grant recipients,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Dane County is home to a thriving artistic community, and it’s great that we get to reward organizations looking to expand these efforts.”


This year, Dane County’s Dane Arts will award almost $250,000 in public-private funds to nonprofit organizations, schools, individuals, and municipalities for arts, cultural, and local history projects and programs offered countywide. The next project grant deadline is Thursday, February 1, 2018, 4:00pm.


Grant recipients are listed below this announcement.


Arts in Education

Theatre LILA $3,938 for Whoopensocker

Whoopensocker brings the extraordinary imagination of kids to life through a creative writing residency. This theatre workshop focuses on creativity and expression through language and collaboration.  The student's plays are then presented on stage by LILA actors where their voices are celebrated in a performance for their whole school.


American Players Theatre $3,930 for Potency of Poetry (PoP)

Potency of Poetry is a week-long, in-school residency program utilizing the unique performance skills of APT's teaching artists to infuse students with an enthusiasm and enhanced appreciation of words, language and storytelling, laying the groundwork for a student population better equipped to understand and appreciate complex text such as Shakespeare's, and ultimately to become ready audience members.


Madison Symphony Orchestra Inc. $3,150 for Fall Youth Concerts 2017

The MSO’s Fall Youth Concerts bring area elementary and middle school students into a world-class concert hall to experience live classical music performed by a professional symphony orchestra. Entering its 36th year, the Fall Youth Concerts introduce area students to live classical music through age-appropriate programming and innovative curricula. The concerts enrich, engage, and inspire through themed, multi-dimensional performances that include visual aids and inspiring performances by the students’ peers – the winners of the MSO’s annual Fall Youth Concerto Competition.


Central Midwest Ballet $1,874 for Little Matchstick Girl

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Matchstick Girl is an original ballet created to give Central Midwest Ballet students the opportunity to perform in a professional quality production while giving the Madison community an opportunity to experience the joy and artistry of dance.


Madison Symphony Orchestra Inc. $3,500 for Spring Young People's Concert 2018

The MSO's Spring Young People's Concert brings middle and high school students into a world-class concert hall to experience live classical music performed by a professional symphony orchestra. The concert is performed by the Madison Symphony Orchestra led by Music Director John DeMain in Overture Hall and features the MSO's Bolz Young Artist Competition winners.  


VSA Wisconsin Inc. $2,100 for Artist Residencies for Children and Adults with Disabilities in Dane County

During the 2017-18 school year, VSA Wisconsin will conduct three Artist Residencies in Dane County to benefit approximately 60 young children, youth and adults with disabilities. VSA Wisconsin staff, site staff, and the teaching artist will plan residences and then, staff and individuals with disabilities will actively participate in interdisciplinary residency activities led by the teaching artist.


The Artwrite Collective $3,640 for ALL Youth Arts Collective

The ALL Youth Arts Collective is a program for creative youth development among Dane County youth and a professional development program for teaching artists. Teaching artists will mentor middle and high school students in literary arts, visual arts, and community arts leadership in a group setting for a semester.



Cycropia Aerial Dance, Inc. $1,936 for Spring show production of new and existing aerial dance works

Cycropia Aerial Dance is a 12-member collective that will present a full-length production of aerial works in three performances. Six to eight advanced student flyers will also perform with the collective.  


Kanopy Dance Theatre Inc. $2,450 for Kanopy Dance Company presents ‘Dark Tales`

Kanopy Dance is pleased to collaborate with internationally renowned movement theatre Company Theatre de l'Ange Fou on two tales from the somber end of the spectrum; "Bluebeard Through The Looking-Glass Darkly" and "The Melancholy of Angels." Then, witness a modern response to violence against women in former Martha Graham Principal Dancer Sandra Kaufmann's award winning "A People's Cry."  Finally, consider Kanopy Co Artistic Director Lisa Thurrell's "Lamentation Variation," inspired by Martha Graham's masterwork of grief personified.


Performing Ourselves - UW Madison Dance Dept. $4,320 for Performing Ourselves: Community Connection through Dance

Performing Ourselves is a community dance program combining dance education, dance/movement therapy principles and performance to empower low income youth in the areas of embodiment, self-concept and resiliency. The Performing Ourselves curriculum has an innovative model, combining the strengths of both dance education and dance/movement therapy to offer a program that reaches beyond the norm of traditional dance programming.


Kanopy Dance Theatre Inc. $2,625 for Kanopy Dance Company presents ‘Radiance`

Kanopy Dance presents "Radiance." Celebrate 50 years of extraordinary, radiant choreography created by Lonny Joseph Gordon, including his piece “Radiant Shaman” and a new work for Kanopy Dance called “Bench, Benches, Benchmark.” Enjoy Chicago based company Winifred Haun & Dancers performing “Trashed.” Then bask in the glowing work of the Kanopy family, with original pieces by Company members and local guest artists Kiro Kopulos and Georgia Corner.  


Multidisciplinary Arts/Culture


Simpson Street Free Press, $1,275 for Where in Dane County is the Simpson Street Free Press? The Arts and Local History Come Alive for Young Readers and Writers 

The Simpson Street Free Press brings local history, music, and the arts alive for young readers through journalism. Coverage on the arts and history by young authors is rigorous, project-based, covers core academic subjects, and writing-for-publication curriculum. Stories produced by young readers give their peers fascinating content that celebrates history and the arts in Dane County.


Opera for the Young, Inc., $1,500 for Family Opera Day featuring ‘Rusalka` 

Opera for the Young presents its 8th annual Family Opera Day at the Overture Center for the Performing Arts.  A free performance of “Rusalka” will be complemented with workshops in theater, music, and design with assistance from the Madison Youth Choirs and Madison Children’s Museum. Family Opera Day will also include a movement workshop on the Rotunda Stage led by a children’s yoga instructor.


Africasong Communications, Inc. $2,494 for 38th Annual State of Wisconsin Tribute & Ceremony honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 38th Annual Tribute & Ceremony honoring the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through words and music draws a diverse audience, with thousands more who listen live to the program on WI Public Radio and view an edited broadcast on WI Public Television. Wisconsin's Tribute and Ceremony has historical significance as the oldest such King celebration in the nation.  The program includes an invocation, dance and music performances, brief speeches, and concludes with a young student's recitation of a portion of Dr. King's moving I Have a Dream speech.  


 Theatre LILA $3,938 for LINES: a Theatre LILA invention

Theatre LILA brings together female playwrights of color in a fierce, honest portrayal of the lines that separate and connect us.  This bold, new production hopes to inspire, provoke, build compassion and be a catalyst for change. LINES will premiere at Overture Center, April 2018.


TAPIT/new works $1,800 for First Person Quite Singular: Celebrating the Monologues & Artistry of Ruth Draper

In "First Person Quite Singular: Celebrating the Art & Monologues of Ruth Draper," a production for Women's History Month 2018, TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater brings together a diverse collection of Dane County's accomplished female actors to honor an inspirational woman of the American theater and welcome the next generation of female performers.


Overture Center Foundation $3,278 for International Festival 2018

On February 24, 2018, Dane County residents will again have the opportunity to participate in Overture’s International Festival to connect with cultures, languages and people representing countries from all over the world. In 2017, over 25 cultures were represented with an estimated attendance of over 16,000 people.  


City of Madison $3,000 for Madison Maker Faire 2018

The third annual Madison Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of artists, musicians, tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, students, local organizations and commercial exhibitors.


Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) $3,150 for "ALL 4 SCI: Engaging Students and the Public in Science through the Arts"

ALL 4 SCI brings together six teams of scientists, writers, and artists that will mentor six teams of high school students to produce original visual, literary, or performance-based artwork inspired by a scientific topic related to research done at WIPAC or in the Department of Physics at UW–Madison.



Madison Music Collective $3,339 for "InDIGenous Jazz Spring 2018 Concert Series: Showcasing Music Composed and Performed by Local Jazz Musicians”

The InDIGenous Jazz series presents new, original music composed and performed by local jazz musicians in a wide variety of jazz styles. Each concert is a two hour-long set of music and has a Q&A session with performers. 


Madison Youth Choirs $2,591 for 8th Annual Madison Boychoir Festival

The Madison Boychoir Festival welcomes a diverse group of over 450 young men in grade 2-12 for a daylong celebration of choral music, culminating in a free concert for the community. The performance will feature a vibrant selection of multicultural choral literature stemming from a variety of languages and musical traditions.


Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc. $3,302 for The Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concert Series

The Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concerts, performed by WYSO's five orchestras comprised of 485 young musicians, feature the most challenging repertoire of the year.  These performances inspire WYSO members to increase their instrumental skills, listen closely to fellow musicians, and give a stunning display of their talents to an appreciative audience. 


Madison Youth Choirs $3,778 for 2018 Spring Concert Series

In a School and Community Outreach Tour and a series of three concert performances, Madison Youth Choirs' nine performing ensembles will explore a variety of classical and contemporary choral literature using humor as a lens to examine how composers use irony, incongruity, defied expectations and satire to encourage audience members to re-examine a variety of pre-conceived ideas and assumptions. 


Middleton Community Orchestra $3,675 for 2018 Winter and Spring Concerts Celebrating MCO's Eighth Season

Performed by outstanding, amateur musicians from Dane County in collaboration with some of classical music’s brightest stars who have ties to the area, MCO's Winter and Spring Concerts are affordable, accessible community events perfect for audiences of ALL ages. 


Madison Choral Project $2,792 for 2017 Winter Concert Series and Choral Education Workshops

The Madison Choral Project, a fully professional choir, will welcome a diverse audience to a winter concert series celebrating multiple faith traditions through carefully curated selections of choral music, spoken readings, and audience-participation singing. The Madison Choral Project will also conduct free choral education workshops and pre-concert performance previews for diverse audiences that have been previously underserved by professional performing arts.


Madison Choral Project $2,880 for ‘Drown'd in One Endless Day`

The Madison Choral Project, a fully professional choir, will present the concert series Drown'd In One Endless Day featuring a world premiere by Wisconsin composer Eric William Barnum, as well as classical and contemporary choral works exploring the transformational moments when time seems to stop. The Madison Choral Project will also conduct free choral education workshops and pre-concert performance previews for diverse audiences that have been previously underserved by professional performing arts.


Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc. $2,759 for Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Spring Concerts

The Bolz Spring Concerts serve as the last performances of the WYSO season, and their diverse orchestra members are able to showcase their musical progress from the beginning of the season including instrumental mastery, poise, confidence and musical understanding.


Greater Madison Jazz Consortium $3,645 for “Enriching Jazz Education for Madison’s Elementary and Middle School Students”

“Enriching Jazz Education for Madison’s Elementary and Middle School Students” provides MMSD students access to high-quality jazz music experiences and helps address lack of familiarity with this American art form. This project will enable MMSD students to learn from locally-based musicians who share their love of jazz and improvisation with students.


Madison Opera, Inc. $3,938 for Youth Engagement Programs 2017-18 Season

Madison Opera offers a range of youth engagement activities, all designed to share the magic of live professional opera with students from around Dane County, helping bridge the gap left by dwindling arts exposure and education in our schools.


Music con Brio, Inc. $2,265 for Music con Brio's Sixth Annual Community Concert Series

In 2017-18, Music con Brio will perform two community concerts in Madison, working in partnership with diverse local professional artists and exploring new styles of music: string quartet and jazz. These concerts will provide motivating performance opportunities for our students, outreach to the wider community, and exciting collaborations across arts organizations.


City of Madison $2,345 for Concerts on the Rooftop at Monona Terrace

For more than a decade, Concerts on the Rooftop at Monona Terrace has provided an opportunity for thousands of music fans to enjoy the spirit of Dane County in a world class venue at no charge. The six concerts showcase a variety of music, opportunities for dance, great food and spectacular views.


PEBOGA $3,488 for 2017 Fall Gospel Fest

Fall Gospel Fest is a one-day inspirational music event that serves as a platform for both contemporary and traditional gospel music and features national recording artists who share the stage with local artists.


Dimensions in Sound & The Studio Orchestra Inc $1,905 for Senior Living Establishments Concerts

Dimensions in Sound and The Studio Orchestra are non-profit ensembles, fifty volunteer musicians, dedicated to performing big band era and orchestral music. We bring professional quality music to senior living facility residents who are no longer able to seek out this music due to advanced age or disabilities.  


Arts & Literature Laboratory, Inc. $2,450 for Spring Jazz & Experimental Music Series

Arts and Literature Laboratory’s jazz and experimental music series showcases renowned avant-garde musicians and rising stars in progressive jazz and other genres from across the country alongside talented artists from Dane County and throughout Wisconsin.



Music Theatre of Madison $1,475 for Hephaestus: Workshop

Hephaestus, a story about the Greek god of artisans, who is frequently overshadowed and pines for the beautiful Aphrodite, is written by Nathan Fosbinder, a LaFollette High School graduate. The Hephaestus workshop with Fosbinder will offer audiences and artists the opportunity to immerse themselves in what it takes to create a new musical theatre piece. Audiences who follow the workshop process will have the opportunity to track the show from its early development stages into seeing it fully realized in the summer of 2019.  


Children's Theater of Madison $3,038 for Tuck Everlasting

The beloved children’s novel Tuck Everlasting was recently adapted into a Broadway musical and the Children’s Theater of Madison will present the regional premier. The production will feature a live orchestra and simple yet evocative production design to bring the audience into the experience by using the full theater environment. The production will resonate with hundreds of youth who read the novel, and it will be a tribute to the story’s original author, Natalie Babbitt, who died just last year.


Children's Theater of Madison $3,038 for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Children’s Theater of Madison will present the South-Central Wisconsin premiere of Newberry-award winning novel, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted for the stage by Dwayne Hartford. The production will feature imaginative staging and a small ensemble of actors, both children and professional adult actors. This epic story will touch, move and inspire children and adults alike.


Forward Theater $4,725 for ‘Exit Strategy` production and community engagement activities

Forward Theater will produce one of the first regional productions of Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy to be directed by Marti Gobel. This timely story set in the teachers' lounge of a failing public high school features a diverse cast of underdogs on a no-holds-barred journey to save their school and, with it, their community. This play will not only be a compelling and entertaining experience for our audience, but also will provide a catalyst for fresh conversations about the equity issues in our own school system.


PlayTime Productions $2,450 for the Little Match Girl

A young girl tries to sell matches to support her family as a cold, windy New Year’s Eve approaches in Little Match Girl. Witness the adventures she encounters as the touring children’s troupe, PlayTime Productions, brings another classic tale to life on stage at 15 Dane County venues, at a low cost for the entire family.


PlayTime Productions $2,450 for The Reluctant Dragon

A youngster befriends a peace-loving dragon as a famed dragon slayer arrives to rid the area of this so-called menace. Through friendship and diplomacy people come to accept the amiable Reluctant Dragon. PlayTime Productions inflates this classic tale to life at venues across Dane County for a low cost for the entire family.


Visual Arts

Mount Horeb Area Arts Association, $900 for 12th Annual Spring Art Tour

The Spring Art Tour is a three-day, free, family-friendly, open art studios event, which showcases the artwork of 2-3 dozen artists living and/or creating within 20 miles of Mount Horeb. Participating artists share their small town and rural studios with the public as they demonstrate a variety of media.


VSA Wisconsin Inc., $1,750 for VSA Art Gallery Exhibitions of Works by Artists with Disabilities

VSA Wisconsin will mount five to seven art exhibitions by approximately 70 Wisconsin artists with disabilities at its art gallery on Madison’s north side. The exhibitions are free and open to the public, and will draw an audience of approximately 1,000.


Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, $2,625 for BIG.

BIG is an exhibit that explores large scale in modern and contemporary art. The show will feature more than thirty immersive and significant works in a broad variety of media drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. In conjuncture with the exhibition, educational programming for children and adults will be developed.


Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, $2,443 for FlakPhoto-PhotoMidwest exhibition, curated by Andy Adams.

Curated by Andy Adams of FlakPhoto Projects, this exhibition will offer an in-depth look at some of the most exciting photography being done in the Midwest today. A partnership with PhotoMidwest will bring a large regional audience of photography enthusiasts and artists to Madison, and the show coincides with the Wisconsin Book Festival.


Arts & Literature Laboratory, Inc., $2,400 for CSArt Madison 2018.

CSArt Madison is the first community supported arts program in southern Wisconsin. Now in its second year, ten artists will receive a stipend and promotional support to produce 60 limited edition works of art to be distributed CSA-style to local buyers. In addition to the CSA, the artists will participate in an exhibition and exhibition-related events at Arts and Literary Laboratory (ALL).


Capital Grants

Waunakee Community Foundation, Inc., $3,000

Waunakee Sculpture Project


Central Midwest Ballet, $259

Portable sound systems for community outreach performances


Coney island Studios, $1,500

Meet The Artist: Short, documentary-style video profiles of Dane County artists, musicians and un-sung heroes