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Cooper Foundation approves $285K in grants

Cooper Foundation approves $285K in grants

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The Cooper Foundation awarded a grant of $30,000 to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition (NICWC) toward the position of training and education director during the Foundation's September meeting.

The Coalition is a Native American-led, not-for-profit corporation that provides education, advocacy and culturally-informed services and trainings for state employees, courts and service providers. Its work focuses on protecting Indian children’s rights, preserving cultural connections, and ensuring that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is followed for all Nebraska children.

ICWA was first passed in 1978 to prevent American Indian and Alaskan Native children from being unjustly taken away and adopted outside of their culture. Today, it still stands as a federal law central to protecting the best interests of indigenous children and promoting family unity. To learn more, visit

In total, the Cooper Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved 16 grants to a diverse group of arts, civic and community engagement, education, human services and humanities organizations. Grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.


Meadowlark Music Festival: $15,000

To support the Festival’s 20th anniversary season.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Repertory Theatre: $15,000

Support for the 2021-22 season.


Civic Nebraska: $15,000

Support for civic health education through the Capitol Experience Day Program.

MENTOR Nebraska (Omaha): $20,000

To support mentoring programs and organizations in Lincoln.

South of Downtown Community Development Organization: $10,000

Toward the South of Downtown Redevelopment and Strategic Plan.


Bright Lights: $7,500

Toward the 2022 summer camp programming.

Lincoln Children’s Museum: $25,000

Support for exhibits.


CenterPointe: $30,000

Toward client and staffing support.

Down Syndrome Association for Families of Nebraska: $12,000

Support for staffing.

HopeSpoke: $20,000

Support for outpatient therapy programs.

Legal Aid of Nebraska (Omaha): $10,000

Toward the UPLIFT project that brings legal services to low-income clients in Lincoln.

Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition, (Bloomfield, Nebraska): $30,000

To support a staff position.

NeighborWorks Lincoln: $30,000

To support the program design and implementation of a citywide Community Land Trust.

Voices of Hope: $15,000

For general operating support.

United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County: $21,000

Toward the 2021 campaign.


Legacy of the Plains Museum, (Gering, NE): $10,000

Toward the Japanese Hall and History project.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $26 million to benefit Nebraska citizens. The Foundation makes quarterly grants that support the arts, civic and community engagement, education, environment, the humanities, and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant guidelines and deadlines, visit


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