Major renovations at Dane County's Henry Vilas Zoo and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meeting House of the First Unitarian Society on Madison's near west side are major beneficiaries of grants announced today by The Capital Times' charitable arm, The Evjue Foundation.
The foundation's directors approved a $150,000 grant to the zoo to redo Anna Vilas Hall to create a visitor's center and $100,000 to the Friends of the Meeting House to repair Wright's signature glass "prow," a major feature of the building on the National Register of Historic Places.
The two grants are part of nearly $1.5 million that is being awarded for 82 community projects and causes and another 30 programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The grants include $75,000 for the Dane County Cultural Affairs program that supports youth music and arts programs throughout the county, $50,000 to continue annual Evjue scholarships for students at Madison College, $40,000 to support the Wisconsin Historical Society and $25,000 to the youth academic program of the Simpson Street Free Press.
The UW grants, which include a $30,000 grant for the university's acclaimed Odyssey Project that gives low-income adults a chance to attend college, total $322,500. The 82 community grants total $1,166,500.
As has been its tradition, the foundation distributed its available funds to numerous area organizations that focus on children's education, the arts and other social services.
The foundation's finances are derived from the controlling stock in The Capital Times Co. held by the late William T. Evjue — the founder and longtime editor and publisher of the newspaper — and the foundation's investments. The community and the university have received gifts and grants totaling more than $57 million since Mr. Evjue’s death in 1970.
Mr. Evjue established the foundation before his death, but it was the provision in his will to distribute the income from his controlling stock in the newspaper back to the community that accelerated the giving. The grants represent a significant portion of the profits of The Capital Times Co., which is locally owned.
The William T. Evjue Charitable Trust, which holds Mr. Evjue's controlling stock in the newspaper company, distributes the income from that stock and other investments to the foundation, which in turn makes decisions about where the money will be spent.
The foundation board consists of 15 directors. Seven are from The Capital Times Co.: John H. Lussier, Clayton Frink, Dave Zweifel, Nancy Gage, Paul Fanlund, Jim Lussier and Laura Lussier-Lee. Four of the directors represent the UW Foundation: Anne Lucke, Marion Brown, Vince Sweeney and Mark LeFebvre. And four represent the Madison Community Foundation: Kathleen Woit, Steve Mixtacki, Bob Sorge and Jim Bradley. Pam Wells is the Evjue Foundation's executive director and is in charge of its administration.
Here is a complete list of the 2017 grants:
University of Wisconsin grants
Center for Journalism Ethics: $10,000 in support of the center's annual ethics conference and to underwrite the William T. Evjue keynote address.
Wisconsin Idea Seminar: $11,000 for the annual trip around the state, which introduces new faculty to Wisconsin and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.
Madison Journal of Literacy Criticism: $1,500 to help support the only international journal dedicated to the publication of literary criticism.
Egungun Masquerade Performance and School/Community Workshops: $5,000 to bring a masquerade performance group from the Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, South Carolina, to the Madison campus.
Lily's Fund for Epilepsy Research: $10,000 in support of finding a cure for epilepsy.
UW Campus Child Care: $6,000 in support of developing model programs that demonstrate best practices in child care.
Dance Department's Performing Ourselves: $10,000 in support of the outreach program to teach dance to underserved youth in the Madison area.
UW Odyssey Project: $30,000 in support of the 15-year-old program, which offers adults near the federal poverty level a chance to start college for free.
Morgridge Center for Public Service: $15,000 in support of the center's Badger Volunteers program, which provides transportation for student community volunteers.
UW-Madison Libraries: $7,000 to help underwrite the Wisconsin Women Making History project, which tells the stories of women who have taken leadership roles.
UW-Madison Libraries: $20,000 to enhance the digitization of The Daily Cardinal student newspaper.
UW Infant Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Program: $8,000 to help provide scholarships to early childhood teachers and graduate students.
Center for History of Print and Digital Culture: $4,000 to support the center's annual conference and help lower the registration fees.
Waisman Center: $10,000 to help attack the waiting time for autism evaluations at the acclaimed center.
Wisconsin Union Theater: $15,000 to help underwrite the Theater's free performances, allowing lower-income people to attend the events.
Dictionary of American Regional English: $5,000 to help upgrade the unique dictionary's availability online.
Biocore Outreach Ambassadors: $4,000 in support of student volunteers who conduct science outreach in all corners of the state as part of its Wisconsin Idea mission.
Center for the Humanities: $25,000 to help underwrite the center's efforts to connect scholars in language and literatures with high school teachers and students across Wisconsin.
School of Human Ecology: $9,000 in support of the school's program to connect Wisconsin residents with health care coverage, particularly important given the changes Congress is considering for health care this year.
University of Wisconsin Press: $18,000 to support Evjue internships that allow students to get training and experience in publishing.
School of Library and Information Studies: $9,000 toward a program aimed at reaching campus and community members to explore printing technologies.
UW Law School: $10,000 in support of the school's Innocence Project, which attempts to exonerate innocent people who have been imprisoned.
Arts Institute: $7,000 to help underwrite the institute's Madison Early Music Festival.
School of Nursing: $5,000 toward a program aimed at increasing diversity in the nursing profession.
UW-Madison Writing Center: $10,000 in support of the center's Madison writing assistance program, which provides one-on-one assistance at libraries and neighborhood centers.
Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth: $12,000 to help underwrite one-to-three week academic experiences designed to help develop higher-level thinking skills.
School of Human Ecology: $2,000 toward the school's center for community and nonprofit studies.
Office of the Provost: $9,000 toward the Chancellor's and Powers-Knapp Scholarship programs for historically under-represented minority groups.
Office of the Provost: $25,000 for the Chancellor's Scholarship, which supports approximately 265 scholars each year.
UW System President's Fund: $10,000 to defray expenses incurred by the UW president in official duties.
ABC for Health: $2,000 to support the program, which aims to find health care coverage for area low income people.
Agrace Hospice Center: $20,000 in annual support of the center's end-of-life services.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center: $5,000 in general support of the center's work connecting young people with the marvels of nature.
Belleville School District: $2,000 to enhance the reach of the school's student newspaper, the Prowl.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dane County: $10,000 in general support of the nonprofit's efforts to connect young people with mentors.
Blue Jean Nation: $2,500 to help cover the organization's costs in helping citizens better understand Wisconsin politics.
Boys and Girls Club of Dane County: $10,000 in general support of the organization's work with young people throughout the county.
Braille Library and Transcribing Services: $3,000 in support of the organization's work providing taped reading material to the visually impaired.
Brat Fest: $8,000 to supplement the festival’s contribution to the Badger Honor Flight.
Capital City Band Association: $1,000 to help cover costs of the band's annual free concerts.
Community Groundworks: $10,000 in support of the organization's community gardens programs.
Dane County Cultural Affairs: $75,000 to allow the program to fund school and community arts programs for young people throughout Dane County.
Dane County School Supplies for Kids: $3,000 to help cover costs of distributing free school supplies to the needy outside of Madison.
Dane Dances: $8,000 to help underwrite the annual dance and music concerts atop Monona Terrace.
Dimensions in Sound: $1,000 in general support of the orchestra's efforts to keep the big band era alive.
Edgewood College: $35,000 in support of the Community Scholars program that has served to increase diversity at the college.
Families and School Together: $10,000 to help underwrite the program, which brings parents into schools to support their children.
Fighting Bob Fest: $15,000 to help cover expenses for the annual progressive event.
Fishing Has No Boundaries: $1,000 in support of the organization's work to give disabled people access to fishing areas.
Foundation for Madison Public Schools: $25,000 to support the foundation's efforts to fund special projects in the city's schools.
Friends of Allen Centennial Garden: $1,000 to help cover expenses at the celebrated garden on the UW campus.
Friends of the Capital Springs Recreation Area: $5,000 to help cover costs of a celebration highlighting the opening of the Lower Yahara River Trail.
Friends of the Meeting House: $100,000 to repair the prow of the First Unitarian Society of Madison’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meeting House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Friends of Wisconsin Public Television: $15,000 to support WPT's educational and cultural programming.
Gathering Waters: $5,000 to support the nonprofit's efforts to support land trusts that protect natural areas for future generations.
Girl Scouts of Wisconsin: $5,000 toward the Scouts' program to encourage interest in science and technology.
Greater Madison Jazz Consortium: $1,000 in support of the group's jazz programs.
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County: $15,000 in general support of the nonprofit's home improvement projects.
Handel Aria Competition: $1,000 to help cover costs of the annual competition at Mills Concert Hall.
Heartland Farm Sanctuary: $4,000 to help cover costs of connecting young people with orphaned animals.
Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society: $150,000 to remodel Anna Vilas Hall and create a new visitors' center.
Jazz at Five: $1,000 to help support the annual live jazz concerts on State Street.
Junior Achievement of Wisconsin: $5,000 to help fund its student empowerment program to help students stay on track to graduation.
Kennedy Heights Community Center: $3,000 to support the center's tutoring and after-school academic program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Lussier Community Education Center: $20,000 to support several youth programs at the center.
Madison College Foundation: $50,000 to provide scholarships to deserving students who would otherwise not be able to attend the college.
Madison Community Foundation: $48,000 in general support.
Madison Homelessness Initiatives: $5,000 in support of the nonprofit's "Project Bubbles," which supplies laundry services to the homeless in Madison.
Madison Music Collective: $1,000 to help underwrite the costs of hosting jazz pianist, composer and educator John Harmon at a concert in the fall.
Madison Opera: $5,000 to help defray the opera's operating expenses.
Madison Jazz Society: $1,000 to help underwrite the society's annual jazz fest.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: $5,000 in general support of the museum located in the Overture Center.
Madison Symphony Orchestra: $15,000 to support the orchestra's classical music outreach to the city's schools.
Mellowhood Foundation: $15,000 to help the program, which helps at-risk young people in Madison's Meadowood neighborhood.
Middleton Outreach Ministry: $10,000 in general support of the nonprofit's work with the homeless and hungry in west Madison, Middleton and Cross Plains.
Monona Terrace Community Programs: $3,000 to help defray expenses for the terrace's free public concerts.
MOSES: $10,000 in support of the group's work with incarcerated people and its programs to help those who have served their sentences reintegrate into society.
Natural Heritage Land Trust Inc.: $20,000 to help enlarge the outdoor classroom at Lake View Elementary School in Madison.
North/Eastside Senior Coalition: $1,000 in general support of the coalition's work with seniors.
Operation Fresh Start: $20,000 in support of the nonprofit's work in educating and training young people who have dropped out of high school.
Overture Center Foundation: $10,000 in support of the center's Rising Stars program, which reaches out to find talented youth in the Madison area.
PEBOGA: $1,000 for the fall gospel fest hosted by the nonprofit.
Porchlight: $20,000 to help the nonprofit's work with the homeless in Dane County.
Project Home Inc.: $5,000 in support of the nonprofit's work to improve housing for low-income people.
Read up! Madison Fund: $5,000 in support of the program's efforts to keep students reading during the summer.
REAP Food Group: $20,000 toward the group's expenses in developing a local food system that encompasses farm-to-school and buy fresh, buy local initiatives.
Red Caboose Child Care Center: $2,500 in support of the center's scholarship program for low-income families.
RSVP of Dane County: $5,000 to help support the nonprofit's work transporting seniors and operating a foster grandparent program where seniors visit young people in schools.
Simpson Street Free Press: $25,000 in general support of the after-school academic program in which students produce newspapers to further their writing, grammar and research skills.
Sector67: $20,000 in general support of the nonprofit's work encouraging and educating a community of entrepreneurs in the technological future.
Society of Professional Journalists: $2,000 in general support of the local SPJ chapter of journalists.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul: $20,000 to support the organization’s work with low-income and impoverished people.
Stoughton Area School District: $2,000 in support of the high school's student newspaper.
The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin: $2,000 in general support of the program, which uses golf to teach social skills to young people.
The Rainbow Project: $10,000 in support of Rainbow's work with the victims of domestic violence.
The Road Home Dane County: $10,000 to support the nonprofit's efforts to find housing, especially for homeless children.
Token Creek Festival: $1,000 in general support of the annual music festival.
United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Dane County: $10,000 to help cover program costs for severely disabled young people.
University of Wisconsin Foundation: $48,000 in general support.
Wisconsin Academy of Graduate Service Dogs: $2,000 in general support of the nonprofit, which trains service dogs.
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters: $10,000 in general support of the educational and cultural organization as well as its magazine.
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: $30,000 to help underwrite the costs of the center's investigative journalism projects.
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra: $12,000 in operating expense support for the orchestra's annual programming, including Concerts on the Square.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: $20,000 to help cover expenses in gathering and tracking campaign contributions to Wisconsin politicians.
Wisconsin Historical Foundation: $40,000 to support the historical society's magazine, underwrite the costs of two history books and digitize the photographs donated by longtime Capital Times photographer David Sandell.
Wisconsin Institute of Youth Journalism: $5,000 to support the annual program, which places young people in newspaper and TV newsrooms.
Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership: $3,500 in support of the partnership's apprentice programs to attract young people to construction jobs.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation: $2,000 in general support of the foundation's fundraising for the museum on the Capitol Square.
Wisconsin Women's Network: $3,000 in general support of the network's annual programming highlighting issues and opportunities for women.
Wisconsin Youth Company: $4,000 to support programming at the Theresa Terrace Neighborhood Center, which serves low-income families in the area.
Women's Medical Fund: $10,000 in general support of the organization's efforts to improve women's health.
YWCA: $20,000 in support of the Y's Empower Home and Third Street programs as well as its housing services for low-income women.
Editor's note: This story was updated in November 2018 to correct the amount given to UW's Office of the Provost for the Chancellor's Scholarship, and also to correct the name of the School of Library and Information Studies.