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

Dane County Awards Over $116,000 in Grants to Local Arts Organizations

November 15, 2018
Mark Fraire
County Executive

Dane Arts Awards 55 Grants Supporting Arts and Cultural Activities Countywide with Public-Private Funds


Dozens of local organizations that promote community arts, history,  and culture are receiving “Dane Arts” grants, County Executive Joe Parisi and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission announced recently.. Fifty-five project grants totaling $116,511 were recently awarded in cycle 2 for “Dane Arts” project grants in 2018.  


“Dane County is proud to support our thriving arts and culture communities,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Additional financial support available this year, along with the continued support of private donors, will enable us to better promote and support the work of the diverse, dedicated, and tremendously talented individuals and organizations that call Dane County home.”

The “Dane Arts” grants are funded by county dollars in conjunction with private donations 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.


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 Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 4:00pm.


Grant recipients are listed below this announcement.


2018 Cycle 2 Project Grants

PlayTime Productions - The Prince and The Pauper            

Award: $1,050

PlayTime Productions will prepare and present its own version of the enchanting story of The Prince & The Pauper based on the classic tale by Mark Twain. Children and families will enjoy delightful and humorous sequences as a street urchin and young prince trade places, through PTP’s drama, song and dance. PlayTime Productions magically transposes the classic tale at 15 Dane County venues at low cost for the entire family.


Madison Youth Choirs - 2019 Spring Concert Series, “legacy”                                                       

Award: $3,421

Madison Youth Choir’s ten performing ensembles will explore the theme of “legacy” in a School and Community Outreach tour and a series of three concert performances. They will celebrate music that has endured throughout history, folk traditions that have been passed on, and musical connections we maintain with those who have come before us.


Overture Center Foundation Inc. -  2019 International Festival                                                   

Award: $3,191

Overture’s annual International Festival brings together thousands of Dane County residents to celebrate our collective cultural heritage. Over 30 performers and 40 vendors representing cultures and ethnicities from all over the world will share music, dance, language, food, visual arts, and culture.


Mount Horeb Area Arts Association - 13th Annual Spring Art Tour                                                   A

Award: $800

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


PlayTime Productions - The Red Shoes                                                                                                    

Award: $1,050

The Red Shoes, partnered with PlayTime Productions, whirls audiences on a dancing tour of world cultures at 15 Dane County venues, at low cost for the entire family. Audiences of all ages will step across the globe through PTP’s drama, song, and dance with the heroine, Kaaren, as she frantically dances her way out of the trap of the magic shoes.


Madison Opera, Inc. - Youth Engagement Programs 2018-19 Season                                         

Award: $4,160

Madison Opera offers a range of Youth Engagement Programs, all designed to share the magic of live professional opera with students from across Dane County, helping to bridge the gap left by dwindling arts exposure and education in our schools. The Student Matinee, The High School Apprentice Program, and A Night at the Opera provide an entry point into the arts.


Madison Contemporary Vision Dance - Community Dance Concert                                            

Award: $2,614

Holidays Collide is a new contemporary and hip-hop dance concert inspired by the story, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Madison Contemporary Vison Dance is partnering with the Madtown Hip Hop Crew, Performing Ourselves, and A Step Above Dance studio to include children, teens, community members, and the MCVD company in the concert.


Madison Youth Choirs - Music Education Workshops with Guest Artist Tony Memmel        

Award: $2,954

In the fall and winter of 2018, Madison Youth Choirs will welcome special guest artist Tony Memmel, an inspiring singer-songwriter born without a left forearm or hand, to lead a series of music education workshops focused on overcoming adversity, vocational craftsmanship, artistic integrity and entrepreneurial spirt.


Emily Stix-Moynihan - Dane County Performance Series                                                                     

Award: $590

A free-to-the-public series of readings, interactive performances, and discussions by Black Earth Institute’s core of accomplished and respected fellows and scholars will be performed with the goal of raising awareness around interconnectedness and social justice issues. The series will feature four artists, each headlining their own event, showcasing diverse media of expression for a public audience.


Middleton Community Orchestra - 2019 Winter and Spring Concerts                                          

Award: $3,150

The concerts are performed by outstanding, amateur musicians from Dane County in collaboration with some of classical music’s brightest stars who have ties to the area. Middleton Community Orchestra’s Winter and Spring Concerts are affordable, accessible community events perfect for audiences of all ages.


Africasong Communications Inc. - 39th Annual State of Wisconsin Tribute and Ceremony honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Award: $2,958                                                                                                                                                               

The Martin Luther King Jr. state event is a multi-disciplinary and multi-ethnic arts and cultural showcase that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and inspires hope using music, dance, and spoken word. The program is a recognition of Dr. King's sacrifice as well as those of others who gave their lives for the Civil Rights cause.


TAPIT/new works - Fish Fry: A Tasty Community Collaboration                                                    

Award: $1,200

Fish Fry, a collaboration between TAPIT/new works and Fresco Opera Theatre, will celebrate the casual, big-hearted spirit of community and good fun of our state’s beloved dining tradition. The production will fuse theater, opera, comedy, and a taste of tap dance to showcase the flavors of a vibrant neighborhood.


Madison Jazz Society - Enriching Jazz Education                                                                                   

Award: $2,450

“Enriching Jazz Education for Madison’s Elementary and Middle School Students” provides Madison Metropolitan School District students access to high-quality jazz music experiences and helps address the 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.


Center for Community Stewardship (On behalf of WHOA!) - Real life Library                          

Award: $1,838

Real Life Library is a unique event where you “check out” a real person from the library-as you would check out a book-and hear a 15-minute true life story. Each Half-day event hosts up to 12 “books” (real people) available for checkout by you, the “reader.” The goal of Real-Life Library is to bring opportunities for deep listening, connection, and community to Dane County.


Theatre LILA - R & J: A Theatre LILA Invention                                                                                        

Award: $2,625

Theatre LILA’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will take the love story told through Shakespeare’s poetry and deconstruct it, re-imagining this classic unfolding through music, dance and Shakespeare’s poetry. Theatre LILA’s signature sense of inventive storytelling, ensemble acting, and physicality will completely transform how the story is told.


Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc. - Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concert Series      

Award: $2,616

The Winterfest Concerts, performed by more than 400 of Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s young musicians in five orchestras, feature the most challenging repertoire of the year. These performances inspire WYSO members to increase their instrumental skills, actively listen and collaborate with their peers, and engage audiences in a stunning display of their dedicated, hard work.


Sustain Dane - The Megaphone: Connecting Stories for a Sustainable Future                          

Award: $1,838

The Megaphone is a powerful community arts platform that will spark dialogue around issues like environmental protection, sustainable living, and civic participation. Through high-quality storytelling, arts coaching, and video production training, 20 individuals from across Dane County’s immigrant communities will co-create 3 inspiring, artistic videos of their personal stories. By crafting and elevating stories of immigrant communities across Dane County, the Megaphone will amplify local resilience, connection, and creativity in the face of social and environmental challenges.


Tone Madison LLC - I Made This: Tinkers and Makers of Madison                                                   

Award: $500

To create a documentary and workshop series spotlighting Madison area musicians who make and modify their own instruments and gear. The series will create new connections among local musicians, and between musicians and audiences, as it explores the intersection between musical expression and hands-on tinkering.


Forward Theater - FUN HOME                                                                                                                     

Award: $4,200

FUN HOME, Tony Award-winning musical based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic novel, is one of the most exciting and innovative new musicals of the last decade. FUN HOME shares Alison's coming-of-age story from her youth to her years at Oberlin College, and finally to the present, where Alison (now grown) is struggling to write her autobiography. Although FUN HOME is a musical, it is at its essence exactly the type of innovative, thoroughly entertaining, and thought-provoking story that Forward Theater is known to produce.


Madison Bach Musicians, Inc. - The Mozart Miracle                                                                           

Award: $2,446

Madison Bach Musicians will conclude its 15th season with “The Mozart Miracle” program featuring performances of Mozart’s music by an all period-instrument chamber orchestra. This ensemble consists of an outstanding 19-member chamber orchestra, with players from Madison, Chicago, Omaha, Philadelphia, and New York City. Madison Bach Musicians will perform and discuss selections from this repertoire for an all-school assembly at Crestwood Elementary and for a combined assembly of Madison Memorial High School and Jefferson Middle School students.


Music Theatre of Madison – HEPHAESTUS                                                                                             

Award: $2,328

After a successful, audience-informed workshop performance in 2018, Music Theatre of Madison will present a revised, fully-staged production of Hephaestus by Madison-born composer Nathan Fosbinder. The process will include a free community performance and a UW-supported workshop with Fosbinder who will work with aspiring writers from throughout UW-Madison.


Madison Symphony Orchestra, Inc. - Fall Youth Concerts 2018                                                      

Award: $1,050

The Madison Symphony Orchestra’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. The concerts are performed by the MSO in Overture Hall and feature the MSO’s Fall Youth Concert Competition winners.


Madison Symphony Orchestra - Spring Young People’s Concert 2019                                          

Award: $2,100

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


Children’s Theater of Madison - CTM “Tibet Through the Red Box” Production                       

Award: $3,641

Tibet Through the Red Box will be performed in the Playhouse at Overture Center for the Arts. Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) masterfully adapts the true story written by Peter Sis to surround the audience with the sights, sounds and culture of Tibet.


Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts & Letters - Gaylord Schanilec: My Mighty Journey     

Award: $1,069

Internationally known for his exquisite wood engravings, letterpress printing, and handmade books, Gaylord Schanilec has often focused his attention on the landscape, natural history, and culture of the upper Mississippi. This exhibition will include his four fine-press books focused on natural history—Mayflies of the Driftless Region (2005), Sylvae (2007), Lac Des Pleurs (2015), and A Mighty Journey (2019)—along with individual prints and working materials.


UW-Madison Arts Institute - Wisconsin Film Festival: Big Screens, Little Folks                         

Award: $4,000

Big Screens, Little Folks is an exciting branch of the Wisconsin Film Festival, curated specifically to educate and inspire elementary school children. The High-level goals of this program are to encourage creativity, build bridges between communities, and expose children to the art of the cinema. Films included in this series contain appropriate content for school-age children and often focus on depicting childhood from diverse communities around the globe.


Simpson Street Free Press -  Journalism for Youth, “Where is Dance County”                           

Award: $1,190

Simpson Street Free Press brings local history, music, and the arts alive for young readers. Through planning and publishing arts and history features, Simpson Street Free Press students polish academic and professional skills. They learn to think critically, write well, work in teams, and apply an organized approach to academic work. The “Where is Dane County” series brings communities together and bridges achievement gaps.


Madison Choral Project -  2018 Winter Concert Series, “Hope in the Future”                            

Award: $3,209

The Madison Choral Project, a fully professional choir, will welcome a diverse audience to the winter concert series "Hope in the Future" featuring carefully curated selections of choral music and readings composed by local students ages 11-18. Madison Choral Project will continue to develop its mission by highlighting the immense talent of local singers, musicians and composers as well as poetry and prose by local students. The concert, following the theme of "Hope in the Future" will primarily feature works by living composers and composers of color.


Central Midwest Ballet - Little Matchstick Girl 2018                                                                              

Award: $733

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Matchstick Girl is an original ballet created to give 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. The dancers infuse light playfulness into the classic fairytale while narration by Dr. J. Adam Shelton makes the ballet even more accessible to the audience, especially the children.


Madison Choral Project - “Mother: Nature”                                                                                          

Award: $3,789

Madison Choral Project will present a spring concert series over Mother's Day weekend focused on nature and nurturing. Entitled "Mother: Nature," the concert will feature a world premiere by Timothy Takach, Madison Choral Project's current composer-in-residence, based on a text by Aldo Leopold, as well as additional works that contemplate the wild landscape that surrounds us and our impact upon it. Madison Choral Project will collaborate with Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Olbrich Gardens, and the UW Arboretum to stage several pieces in the beautiful natural settings of these venues, offering a free musical experience to visitors who may not otherwise engage with contemporary choral music.


Board of Regents (on behalf of UW Community Arts Collaboratory) - Performing Ourselves Showcase

Award: $3,643

The Performing Ourselves Showcase is an opportunity for young dancers across Madison to share their talent and passion with their families, friends, and greater community. Throughout the year, through after school and in-school dance classes, the participants build dance, social-emotional, and collaborative skills. When the dancers from all across the city engage for this special performance, they have the opportunity to meet, create with and celebrate other youth from all across the city, truly expanding their own view of the place they each call home.


Common Arts (on Behalf of American Players Theatre) - Potency of Poetry                            

Award: $5,100

Potency of Poetry is a week-long, in-school residency program which utilizes the unique performance skills of American Players Theatre’s teaching artists to infuse students with an enthusiasm and enhanced appreciation of words, language and storytelling. Potency of Poetry equips students to better understand and appreciate complex poetic texts such as Shakespeare's.


Fresco Opera Theatre - Garage Opera                                                                                                   

Award: $1,760

Fresco takes opera from the concert stage and brings it to you, performing the classics in your neighborhood! As the garage door opens, sit back and enjoy the art that so many have for hundreds of years without leaving the comfort of your community. Garage Opera will be performed in the summer of 2019 and it will consist of four shows in four different neighborhoods throughout the greater Dane County region.


Delicious Creative Inc. - Are We Delicious? A Serpent’s Tooth, the King Lear Musical                

Award: $638

A Serpent’s Tooth is a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's King Lear for six characters. Addressing the themes of power, family and aging, A Serpent’s Tooth explores the dissolution of the family of King Lear and his two daughters, Goneril and Cordelia, and the family of the Duchess of Gloucester and her two sons, Edgar and Edmund. Backed by an all-star band of local musicians, 6 local performers write, rehearse and premiere a full-length musical in a single week.


Theatre LILA - Whoopensocker Arts Residency                                                                                     

Award: $4,200

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.


Kanopy Dance Theatre Inc - “Devil’s Night Heavy Metal Dance”                                                   

Award: $2,450

Enter the dark land of enchantment, the world of Puppet Master, in this glam-rock evening. Delight in a topsy-turvy world set to music of a Finish cello metal band. Devil's Night Heavy Metal Dance is a collaboration between 6 choreographers who create a full length work. Kanopy's Artistic Directors and local and regional guest choreographers work together to create the storyline, choose music and give input.


Madison Museum of Contemporary Art - Young at Art 2019                                                          

Award: $4,000

Young at Art is a biennial exhibition featuring artworks by K-12 students that will be presented at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition celebrates the talents of our community's youngest artists and the value of visual art instruction in the public schools.


Wisconsin Historical Society - Cure Cabin Fever!                                                                                    

Award: $252

Cure Cabin Fever! provides free crafts and activities for children and families at the Wisconsin Historical Society museum on Saturdays during January. Museum staff and local professionals work together to provide hands-on experiences, creative learning opportunities, and an inclusive environment.


Opera for the Young, Inc. -  Family Opera Day featuring “Super Storm!”                                   

Award: $1,000

Opera for the Young presents its 9th annual Family Opera Day at the Overture Center for the Arts in June 2019. A free performance of "Super Storm" will be complemented by area partners with workshops in theater and design (Madison Children's Museum), movement and mindfulness (little om BIG OM), and music (Madison Youth Choirs).


Dimensions In Sound & The Studio Orchestra Inc. - Senior Living Concert Series                    

Award: $1,005

Dimensions In Sound and The Studio Orchestra are non-profit ensembles which consist of fifty volunteer musicians, dedicated to performing big band era and orchestral music. They bring high quality music to senior living facility residents who are no longer able to seek out live music due to advanced age or disability. 


Li Chiao-Ping Dance - Li Chiao-Ping Dance at the Masonic Auditorium: Dolce Stil Nuovo     

Award: $1,575

Li Chiao-Ping Dance will create a new concert at the Masonic Auditorium, a three-quarter round arena space, titled Dolce Stil Nuovo. Dolce Stil Novo refers to the poetic style of 13th C. Italian writers, like Dante Alighieri, which celebrated the female form, love, and womanhood from a spiritual and idealized perspective. Anachronistic as a whole and with a feminist gaze, Li navigates conventions of beauty, societal norms, and gender politics.


Music con Brio, Inc. - Seventh Annual Community Concert Series                                                          

Award: $2,458

Music con Brio will perform two community concerts in Madison, working in partnership with diverse local professional artists and exploring new musical styles: Balkan folk music and Gypsy swing. These concerts provide motivating performance opportunities for our students, outreach to the wider community, and exciting collaborations across arts organizations.


Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc. - Bolz Family Spring Concert Series                             

Award: $2,586

The Bolz Family Spring Concerts are a series of four concerts that will include all five of the WYSO orchestras, the Harp Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Brass Choirs. The concerts serve as the last performances of the WYSO season, and the diverse orchestra members are able to showcase their musical progress from the beginning of the season including instrumental mastery, poise and confidence, and musical understanding. All of the Bolz Family Spring Concerts will include an eclectic selection of repertoire, including both classical and contemporary works. 


City of Madison - Madison Maker Faire                                                                                                      

Award: $2,625

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—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. All of these makers come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned through hands-on activities and exhibits. 


Kanopy Dance Theatre Inc. -  “Spring’s Awakening”                                                                                   

Award: $1,400

Kanopy Dance Company presents Spring's Awakening. A New Collection Of World Premieres, Locally created, Globally Inspired by Kanopy’s Company of Dancers and Collaborators. Innovation, expressions, and inspiration in modern dance: New works created as part of the Kanopy Dance Lab Works, an ongoing initiative by Company members and guest artists committed to advancing the art of modern dance.


Dance Wisconsin - “Nutcracker Ballet”                                                                                                           

Award: $900

Dance Wisconsin's production of "Nutcracker Ballet" is a family-friendly ballet, performed by local dancers. It includes a talented live orchestra and Monona High School Singers. Dance Wisconsin's Nutcracker parallels the original story and dance sequences, but each year's ballet includes creative adaptations, to accommodate all dancers auditioning to be in the production. Beautiful caroling before and during the performance by Monona Grove High School Singers greatly complements the storyline and music arrangements by Taras Nahirniak.


Madison Music Collective - InDIGenous JAZZ Spring 2019 Concert Series                                                 

Award: $1,245

The InDIGenous JAZZ series presents new, original music composed and performed by local jazz musicians in a wide variety of styles. The Spring 2018 series concerts will each include two hour-long sets of music, plus a Q&A with the performers. Because it offers a too-rare opportunity for local jazz musicians to perform original works in front of a receptive audience in an outstanding venue, the “InDIGenous Jazz” series has proven extremely popular in the local jazz musician community.


PEBOGA - Fall Gospel Fest                                                                                                                             

Award: $1,720

PEBOGA (People Building Opportunity Through Grace and Action) is a non-profit organization that has provided the community with uplifting and inspirational music events for the past 13 years. Fall Gospel Fest is an inspirational music event that features national gospel recording artists and local artists in a one-day concert filled with energy, music, choreography, singing and anticipation.


Arts Wisconsin (on Behalf of Veteran Print Project) - In Good Company Phase II: An Exposition of Emerging Veteran Artists 

Award: $3,132

In November 2018, veteran and civilian artists will merge together in Madison, Wisconsin to exhibit new works that reflect the profundity of the veteran experience. Multiple exhibition venues will host these artistic talents that range from two and three dimensional visual-art to theater/performance art, music and writing.


City of Madison - Concerts on the Rooftop                                                                                            

Award: $2,625

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! Monona Terrace has committed its time and attention to Concerts on the Rooftop for so many years as a direct reflection of its commitment to improve the quality of life for area residents by providing a safe, fun, fully handicap accessible event at a premiere community venue.


Madison Bach Musicians, Inc. - Baroque Holiday Concert                                                                   

Award: $1,194

The Madison Bach Musicians eighth annual Baroque Holiday Concert will feature masterworks by Josquin, Schütz, and J. S. Bach. A combined vocal/instrumental ensemble composed of four outstanding singers and three instrumentalists will present Renaissance and Baroque selections. Madison Bach Musicians hopes that the concert and educational outreach events will help listeners hear this beautiful, inspiring music in a refreshed way.


Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation - In My Spare Moments: The Art of Harold Schmitz           

Award: $2,090

In My Spare Moments: the Art of Harold Schmitz depicts the view of an Army topographical draftsman serving in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Through extensive research and primary accounts, this exhibit will examine how a soldier’s Military Occupational Specialty, training, and background informed his art practice when sketching abroad.


Grace Episcopal Church (on Behalf of Grace Presents) - Monthly Concert Series                             

Award: $1,060

Grace Presents’ monthly concert series offers a broad range of musical styles including jazz, classical, folk, world, etc. Hour-long concerts, held on the third Saturday of the month at Noon, are free for all to enjoy and feature talented musicians from the local area while promoting diversity and inclusion through eclectic performances.


Arts & Literature Laboratory, Inc. - ALL Jazz Fest 2019                                                                        

Award: $1,940

The ALL Jazz Fest is Madison's only avant-garde jazz music festival showcasing the world class talents of our local and regional jazz musicians. This evening of free concerts activates the Schenk's Corners neighborhood and increases public awareness of avant-garde music and support for the local musician community. The ALL Jazz Fest is unique among the numerous Madison music festivals in that, like our year-round jazz series, it focuses on progressive jazz and other improvisational/experimental music.


Wisconsin Regional Artists Association - The Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) Exhibition     

Award: $129

The Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) with assistance from the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association will hold a public exhibit of work by local non-professional visual artists from Feb.24 to April 6, 2019 at the Pyle Center, Langdon St., Madison.  The exhibit will conclude with a guest artist presentation and critique of artworks.