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Milwaukee Arts Board awards $213,500 to 33 organizations; Steve VandeZande, Lori Bauman named Friends of the Arts

 An Eco-Arts Park in Walker’s Point, a bilingual Spanish community storytelling project, and a multi-disciplinary play celebrating the wisdom of Native elders are among 33 projects awarded funding recently by the Milwaukee Arts Board. At its May meeting, the MAB approved the recommendation of its citizen review panel to award $213,500 in grants ranging from $3,500 to $7,000. 

At the June 9 Grant Awards Reception the MAB will also honor the recipients of the 4th annual Friends of the Arts Award. This award, established in 2012, is given to individuals who, often behind the scenes, have distinguished themselves through exceptional service to Milwaukee’s arts community.  Receiving the award this year are Steve Vande Zande and Lori Bauman, co-founders of RedLine Milwaukee, described as “an urban laboratory that seeks to nourish the individual practice of contemporary art and to stimulate the creative potential of the local community to which we are linked.”     Read More

Milwaukee Arts Board Names 20th Annual Artists of the Year

Dale Gutzman and John Riepenhoff were named Artists of the Year, the Milwaukee Arts Board announced today.   Awards of $1,500 each will be presented to the recipients at a March reception.

Gutzman, an actor, director, playwright, producer, and educator/mentor, has been a Milwaukee theater fixture for 50 years.  He was a protégé of theater legends Robert Pitman of Alverno College and Clair Richardson of Skylight Music Theatre, where Gutzman directed, wrote, and performed in dozens of productions. He founded the highly successful Off The Wall Theatre, repeatedly cited among the “Year’s Best” by the Milwaukee Journal SentinelOver his long career he mentored dozens of actors from local/regional stages to Broadway to prime-time television to film, including two-time Tony winner Mark Rylance.

“Few Milwaukee theater professionals have the length of history, breadth of experience, and depth of influence as Dale Gutzman,” said David Flores, the arts board member who nominated him.

Riepenhoff is a Milwaukee native, an artist, curator, co-owner of The Green Gallery, and co-organizer of The Milwaukee International and Dark Fairs. He is “an inventor of artistic platforms for the expression of others.” His work has been widely exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. This year he was selected to participate in the exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum, where he participated in a panel “Decentralizing Art-Making in America.”                                        Read More


MAB Releases 2015 Applications for Project Grant Funding

The City of Milwaukee Arts Board has released guidelines and applications for 2015-16 Project Grants.   The Arts Board invites requests for funding from 501c3 arts organizations offering programs, exhibits or performances that are open and accessible to the citizens of Milwaukee. These may be free or require paid admission. Eligible organizations must have a physical administrative office located in the City of Milwaukee. Applications should be postmarked no later than March 9, 2015.

Arts organizations, especially first-time applicants and those that did not receive a grant in the last three years, are strongly encouraged to attend a Milwaukee Arts Board Grant Writing Workshop.  This year the workshop will be offered at two different times:  Tuesday, February 10, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. in the 1st floor meeting room at 809 North Broadway; or Thursday, February 19, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at East Library, 2320 N. Cramer Street.

Until March 9, staff will be happy to answer questions and provide assistance.  Please contact:  Sally Witte, MAB Grants Administrator, at  or 414-286-5794.


Apply by Jan. 31 for 2015 Public Art Conservation and New Work Funds

The City of Milwaukee Arts Board has released 2015 guidelines and applications for Public Art Conservation and New Work Funds.  Requests for both funds will be accepted starting Jan. 1, and are due no later than Jan. 31, 2015.

Up to $15,000 is available to disburse toward Public Art New Work in 2015.  The Public Art Subcommittee seeks strategic partnerships with organizations, neighborhoods, and artists to commission new public art in the City of Milwaukee. The Arts Board is willing to consider large projects for which the board is a smaller catalytic funder, as well as smaller projects in which the board would be an equal partner.   In 2014 the Arts Board awarded $15,000 to the Milwaukee RiverWalk District toward Phase 1 of “The City as Living Laboratory,” a major public art commission by renowned artist and urban landscape designer Mary Miss.

Concurrently, the Arts Board is launching its eighth cycle of funding devoted to conserving public art in the City of Milwaukee. The goal of the fund is to preserve that part of the city’s cultural and civic heritage embodied in its public art. The fund supports the conservation of works that are historically, culturally and aesthetically important to the city.

In this round, $10,000 will be available to conserve public art in the city. Grants will be made in increments of $1,000, with no single award greater than $5,000. Qualifying works must be fully accessible to the public.  Most recently, $2,000 was awarded to refurbish “Salutation,” a work by local sculptor Narendra Patel located on the grounds of the District #6 police station at 3006 S. 27th Street.  It is one of the first two commissions awarded by the Milwaukee Arts Board in the early 1990’s and is included in the Smithsonian’s survey of public sculptures. The work is also included in WikiProject Public Art Milwaukee, a Milwaukee Arts Board-funded project designed to share the city's public art collection on Wikipedia.

To alert the Public Art Subcommittee to a piece of public art that requires conservation or to pose questions about the funding process, individuals can contact the Arts Board at


Milwaukee Arts Board

Optimist Theatre

Project Grants

The Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) Grant Program serves to bring accessibility and enjoyment of the arts to the citizens of our culturally diverse city. We do this by essentially "purchasing" arts programming and arts education from  Milwaukee's eligible arts organizations.  By so doing, we provide a measure of financial support to our vibrant and exciting arts community. The MAB promotes the formation and growth of artistic projects or programs that are administered by and responsive to the needs of Milwaukee's racial and ethnic minority communities. Grant guidelines and applications are released annually in January.


Public Art Conservation Fund

The Milwaukee Arts Board Public Art Conservation Fund preserves that part of the city's cultural and civic heritage embodied in its public art. Funds are made available every six months, releasing applications in January and July. Works of art must be located in the City of Milwaukee and must be fully accessible to the public. Priority will be given to art works of particular historical, cultural or aesthetic importance. Priority will also be given to projects with a well-formulated fundraising plan and evidence of fundraising sucess.


Public Art New Work Fund

The City of Milwaukee Public Art Subcommittee seeks strategic partnerships with organizations, neighborhoods and artists to commission public art in the City of Milwaukee. Although the Arts Board's public art resources are limited, the subcommittee can use its technical expertise to assist in the preparation of RFQ's and selection processes, and can work with partners to select artists and leverage resources.


Artists of the Year and Friends of Art

A memorial bequest in honor of local artist and MAB member Jim Chism launched the first Artist of the Year Award in 1995.  Additional funding comes from donations.  Artists are nominated for the award by members of the Arts Board.

In 2012 the MAB created a new award, "Friends of the Arts," to recognize those who, often behind the scenes, have demonstrated exemplary support to the arts community.


About Us

The Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) was created to enhance the development, cultural diversity, accessibility and enjoyment of the arts for Milwaukee's citizens. All regular meetings of the Milwaukee Arts Board are scheduled for the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 4:00 p.m. and are held in Room 301-A or 303 of City Hall, 200 E. Wells St. Dates and location are subject to change.

The Arts Board provides a range of support to arts and community organizations that produce innovative projects or programs. Additionally, the MAB is committed to supporting public art projects that provide a sense of place, celebrating our community in city neighborhoods, parks and public spaces. For specific information about the MAB email For meeting information, please contact Jessica Celella at 286-2775 or


Milwaukee Public Library - East Branch

The Milwaukee Arts Board partially funded works by two local artists at the new East Library Branch, which officially opened on November 22, 2014. Read more about the project on the library website.

  • kathryn e. martin
  • Santiago Cucullu

Contact Us

City of Milwaukee Arts Board
809 N. Broadway, 2nd Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 286-5794

Learn more about meetings, members and agendas of the Milwaukee Arts Board and Public Art Subcommittee on Legistar.

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View City Art Collection Inventory

View Wikipedia List of Public Art in Milwaukee

MAB Project Grant Info
2015 guidelines
2015 application
2014 interim report
2014 final report

Acknowledgment requirements

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MKE Arts Board logo (black/white)
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This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.