Milwaukee Arts

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Lifting our community by infusing creativity into diverse settings

Creative minds make a difference, so Bader Philanthropies strives to weave the inspirational power of arts and creative thinking into everything we do.

We have helped to support a variety of engaging activities, from hands-on workshops and inspiring performances, to introspective storytelling exercises. When we seek to inspire each other, we not only make an interpersonal connection, but can also touch something deep within our own spirits.

Our Approach: Engaging and inspiring new audiences

Through our dedicated arts funding program, we bring the arts closer to audiences who have traditionally been underserved in Milwaukee. We believe that low-cost, accessible arts programming can help build bridges and increase cross-cultural understanding. Just as importantly, we believe a healthy, diverse arts community is a major factor in the vitality of the larger community.

We also bring arts and creativity into our program areas when it fits with our strategies. For example, our Alzheimer’s and Aging programs and Community Youth Partnerships build creativity into their funding approaches, helping to further their objectives of nurturing older adults and engaging Milwaukee youth.

Our Impact: Crossing boundaries

We have reached Milwaukee youth through partners such as the one with Sharp Literacy, which uses storytelling as a launching pad for building the reading and writing skills of Milwaukee children in low-income schools. Working together on poems, short stories and visual arts projects teaches kids how to collaborate, even as they gain a better sense of how to express themselves individually.

For Wisconsin’s older adults with Alzheimer’s, the 11 museums in the SPARK! Alliance are an inspiration. Using a model pioneered by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the museums tailor their exhibits and hours so that older adults and their caregivers can reflect on the diverse collections, whether they be fine art or historical exhibits. Now in its third year, the SPARK! Alliance brings educational experts from each museum together so they can share – and learn from – their collective successes and challenges.

Our support is also helping organizations reach out to non-traditional audiences. In 2005, Ruach, Inc. was created to bring arts programming to Milwaukee-area Jewish institutions, including day schools and older adult residences. Since then, it has expanded to include cross-cultural audiences across Milwaukee, bringing greater understanding among diverse ethnic groups.