Milwaukee Ballet, City on a Hill among Bradley Foundation recipients

By Margaret Naczek  –  Reporter , Milwaukee Business Journal
Dec 15, 2022

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation awarded $14.5 million in grants to a variety of arts and culture, education and community-based organizations throughout the city and state, including the Milwaukee Ballet, City on a Hill and the Notre Dame School of Milwaukee.

The total was up about $2.5 million from the $12 million awarded in 2021 to state and local organizations.

The Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee was started in 1942 following the death of Lynde Bradley. The foundation’s assets were boosted by over $290 million in 1985 following the sale of the Allen-Bradley Co. to Rockwell International for $1.65 billion. The foundation donates annually between $35 million to $45 million in grants to organizations in Milwaukee and across the U.S.

Since 1985, the foundation has awarded over 15,000 grants, which total $1.2 billion, including over $400 million to organizations in Wisconsin. The foundation gives about 70% of its annual contributions to organizations outside of Wisconsin and about 30% within the state.

The Milwaukee Ballet received a $100,000 grant for its new Nutcracker campaign. The ballet has a $5 million capital campaign for this new production, which is slated to debut in 2023.

Optimist Theatre, based within the Marcus Performing Arts Center, received a $10,000 grant to support general operations. Optimist Theatre produces the free Shakespeare in the Park productions within Milwaukee green spaces.

West Allis-based Beyond Vision, which is a nonprofit that employs people with visual impairment or blindness, received a $225,000 grant for its capital campaign. Milwaukee-based nonprofit City on a Hill received a $90,000 grant and The Phoenix’s Wisconsin chapter received a $150,000 grant, both to support general operations.

The Bradley Foundation also awarded Notre Dame School of Milwaukee $500,000 to support its capital campaign, which includes a campus expansion to Milwaukee’s near north side. It also awarded Messmer Catholic Schools a $275,430 grant to support capital expenses and a $175,000 grant to support general operations.

“The Bradley brothers cared deeply about Milwaukee and its people,” The Bradley Foundation president and CEO Rick Graber said in a press release. “Allen-Bradley, the company they built from scratch, became a local economic powerhouse, but it was their philanthropy that helped Milwaukee become a world class city. The foundation carries on the Bradley legacy today by supporting groups that are essential to arts and culture, education freedom and strong families across the city and state.”