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Partnership for the Arts & Humanities

The 2023-25 application is now closed. The next funding cycle will begin in the fall of 2025 with the application opening in the spring of 2025.

For additional information, please review the Program Guidelines.

Join our mailing list to receive periodic updates about Partnership for the Arts & Humanities, including the official email announcing the opening of the application.


Milwaukee Recreation operates the Partnership for the Arts & Humanities, which is an allocation of $1.83 million approved annually by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors to support afterschool and summer arts and humanities-related opportunities for children, youth, and families. After a rigorous application review process, funds are released to community-based organizations planning to partner with schools and/or youth-serving agencies. A dollar-for-dollar match requirement encourages new partnerships between community-based organizations, schools, youth-serving agencies and the funding community, and promotes the use of additional funds for programming during the school day.

The Partnership for the Arts & Humanities has supported various programs throughout the Milwaukee area. Here are the projects that the program is currently funding.


  • Increase access to arts and/or humanities-related experiences for all city of Milwaukee children, youth, and families.
  • Strengthen existing and establish new community partnerships that motivate students to higher levels of achievement through creative academic/cognitive, social emotional and physical/skill based learning.
  • Expand resources and support for arts and humanities education and build the collective capacity of community based partners to effectively serve children, youth and families.


  • Applicant is a community-based organization (LLC, Sole Proprietor, etc. - 501c3 status preferred but not required). Schools are not considered community-based organizations for this grant.
  • Applicant has at least one program partner (individual school and/or youth-serving agency). MPS as an entire district is not considered a program partner.
  • Applicant has or will have cash or in-kind sources to meet the dollar for dollar matching requirement. Applicant must provide information about matching resources to support the same or similar arts and/or humanities-related activities. 
  • Applicant's matching fund are from outside of the MPS budget. 
  • Applicant's request must total between $3,000 (minimum) and $85,000 (maximum) and include a detailed budget showing how the request will be used.
  • Applicant's project or program serves city of Milwaukee children, youth and families.
  • Applicant's project or program occurs outside of the regular school day - during afterschool, weekend or summer hours.
  • Applicant's project or program aligns with the definition(s) of “arts” and/or “humanities” as described here.
  • Priority is given to projects and programs that focus on serving children, youth, and families that may not otherwise have access to arts and humanities programming.

Advisory Committee

The Partnership for the Arts & Humanities Advisory Committee was established in December 2018 to assist program staff with establishing a strategic vision for the program and serve as an oversight body. The strategic visioning work is currently underway.

Dr. Bradley Carl: Assistant Scientist and Co-Director of the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative
Anne Chapman: Senior Researcher, Wisconsin Policy Forum
Sumaiyah Clark: Enterprise Project Administrator, Department of Health and Human Services – Milwaukee County
Dr. Kim Cosier: Professor of Art Education & Director of Community Engagement, Peck School of the Arts
Lynn Lucius: Arts Consultant to Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Jim McLaughlin: Education Portfolio Manager, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
Mary Reinders: Senior Research Analyst & Owner, Reinders Research
Steve Vande Zande: Art Integration Support Teacher, Milwaukee Public Schools and Co-Founder, RedLine Milwaukee

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