Jazz in June 2017

(Left to right) Lakecia Benjamin plays the lead on alto sax while Sonic Black band leader LaFrae Sci backs her up on drums and lead vocalist Tamar Kali looks on during the first concert of Jazz in June’s 26th season in 2017 west of Sheldon Museum of Art. The upcoming 2018 Jazz in June summer concert series has received a $7,500 grant from the Cooper Foundation.

The Cooper Foundation has awarded a grant of $15,000 to the Wellbeing Initiative to expand the Peer Training Academy.

The Wellbeing Initiative is a peer-run organization that empowers individuals living with mental health challenges to reach their fullest potential. They provide alternatives to higher levels of care, work to fight stigma and promote self-advocacy.

The organization operates The Orchard, a drop-in center in downtown Lincoln that provides a safe, easily accessible and inclusive environment for people in recovery to find resources and to support and encourage one another.

In addition, the foundation’s first quarter meeting in March awarded grants to a diverse group of arts, community improvement, education, environment and human services organizations. In total, $191,000 was awarded. Following are other grant recipients from the Lincoln area:


Flatwater Shakespeare Company: $5,000 for the eighth annual Flatwater Shakespeare free summer tour presented in a variety of Lincoln parks.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jazz in June: $7,500 to support the 2018 summer concert series.

Vision Maker Media: $5,000 to support “We Are All Related,” the seventh Biennial Vision Maker Film Festival, April 20-26 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

Community Improvement

Community Services Fund: $6,000 to support the 2018 campaign of this fundraising coalition, serving 64 diverse Nebraska nonprofit organizations.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation: $10,000 toward a campaign feasibility study for the proposed Lincoln Botanical Garden.


Bright Lights: $10,000 for general operating support.

Lincoln Literacy: $12,500 to support technology infrastructure and integration of new technology innovations for students and teachers.


Nebraska Trails Foundation: $10,000 toward construction of the South Bridge that spans the Salt Creek tributary in Wilderness Park.

Human Services

Bridges to Hope: $15,000 for general operating support to provide donated furniture, clothing and household goods to men and women as they transition from correctional facilities back into the community.

Center for Legal Immigration Assistance: $15,000 toward general operations to provide legal assistance to immigrants and refugees.

Child Advocacy Center: $15,000 to support general operations of this agency that offers a safe, child-friendly environment for forensic interviews and medical evaluations for victims of child abuse, and provides advocacy and support for the child and caregivers.

Mourning Hope Grief Center: $15,000 in general operating support for this organization that provides programming and support to young people and their families in times of grief.

YWCA: $25,000 to support the new finance manager staff position.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted nearly $24 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The foundation makes quarterly grants supporting arts, community improvement, education, environment, humanities and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant eligibility and the application process, visit www.cooperfoundation.org.

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