Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

IPCF Awards 77 Grants to Nonprofits

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.  – Illinois Prairie Community Foundation has awarded $140,613 in three categories of grants to 77 programs in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties. Grants ranged from $500 to $5,230. Funding came from the Jerome Mirza Foundation, donors to the Community Foundation’s annual campaign and several endowments at the Community Foundation.

Receiving 42 General Grants totaling $56,756 for programs in the fields of education, environment, health and wellness and youth were:

  • Best Buddies – $1,000 for “Best Buddies Leadership Program” to develop leadership skills
    in students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through school friendship program and ambassador program.
  • Bloomington-Normal Mulberry School – $1,200 for “#MulberryArts: Fine Arts Education”to support and enhance the arts education opportunities for Pre-K through 2nd grade students through field trips and classroom projects.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal & West Bloomington Active Gardens – $1,000 for “Young Gardeners Internship and Grow Your Garden” to cultivate curiosity and build knowledge about environmental stewardship and healthy eating through hands-on gardening activities.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County – $1,000 for “Connecting Teens and Building Self-Esteem Through Mentoring” to provide rural youth with opioid/substance use and misuse with support from mentors who are living healthy, drug-free lifestyles.
  • C.H.A.R.M. – $1,000 for “West Bloomington Neighborhood Block Party” to provide resources, school supplies, educational and nutritional components for low-income families in west Bloomington.
  • Chenoa Public Library – $500 for “Building the New Library: Memory by Memory” to encourage children and adults to read throughout the summer while introducing children to the building trades and arts while the new library is being built.
  • Chestnut Health Systems – $3,000 for “Hope and Help for the Homeless” to supply clients with a mental health disorder, substance use disorder and co-occurring behavioral health disorders with housing and utility deposits along with essential household items.
  • Child Protection Network – $500 for “Caring After Abuse: A Caregiver Support and Education Group” to provide education about trauma and its effects, self-care tactics for caregivers and information on parenting children who have experienced trauma.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum Foundation – $2,300 for “STEAM Powered Play” to increase youth exposure to out-of-school, informal learning opportunities focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of B-N.
  • Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois – $1,400 for “Hand Up Project” to empower the low-income population to lead a lasting self-sufficient lifestyle through a series of classes and coaching.
  • Community Health Care Clinic – $2,500 for “Restorative Dental Care at McLean County’s First Dental Clinic for the Uninsured” to offer acute, restorative and preventative adult dental services to existing Clinic patients.
  • Cultural Festival – $500 for “Storytelling (African Drumming and Hawaiian Dance)” to provide cultural storytelling through segments on drumming and hula tradition while also offering opportunity to drum and dance.
  • DeWitt Piatt Bi-County Health Department – $1,614 for “Dental Clinic” to provide dental education and preventative dental services to low-income school children and link them to local dentists for treatment of acute dental problems.
  • Environmental Education Association of Illinois – $500 for “Increasing Participation in Birding Citizen Science Programs in Central Illinois” to provide citizens and educators in Central Illinois with birding skills necessary to increase bird data collected, providing valuable scientific data to national citizen science programs.
  • Faith in Action of Bloomington-Normal – $2,300 for “Medical Transportation Program Support” to purchase software that will help staff work more efficiently and free staff to concentrate of supporting volunteers.
  • Farmer City Public Library – $700 for “Lending STEAM” to purchase STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) products which could be checked out or used in library by patrons and their families.
  • Fostering Dignity – $1,000 for “Backpacks for Youth” to purchase backpacks that will be distributed to local DCFS offices for use by staff when removing a child from an abusive/neglectful situation.
  • Fox Center Family and Friends – $500 for “Respiratory Equipment” to purchase equipment for residents of Fox Center who have respiratory difficulties.
  • Friends of the Autism Place – $1,500 for “Resource Room” to provide resources and therapeutic items for parents to check out and try at home before fully committing to purchasing a product that may not be beneficial for their child.
  • Girl Scouts of Central Illinois – $650 for “Outdoor Skill Development I and II at Camp Peairs” to support two Outdoor Development events that will help girls develop life and leadership skills, discover new abilities and take on unique challenges in the outdoors.
  • Girls in the Game – $1,000 for “After School Program” to provide a safe, noncompetitive environment for girls at five District 87 schools to learn and stay active in this weekly after-school program.
  • Girls on the Run of Central Illinois – $750 for “Girls on the Run McLean County Program” to help girls attending Cedar Ridge Elementary School recognize their inner strength during after-school program that focuses on building confidence through running, culminating in a 5K race.
  • Great Plains LIFE Foundation – $1,000 for “Stay 4 Project” to provide support for first-year college or trade school students for rent, food, books or computers.
  • Green Top Grocery – $1,000 for “LINK Match Program” to provide LINK users who shop at Green Top Grocery with vouchers to purchase local produce at Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market.
  • Heartland Head Start – $2,935 for “On the Road to School Readiness” to enhance ability of teachers to provide quality activities that build children’s skills through hands-on activities with the purchase of Creative Curriculum support materials.
  • Illinois State University – $500 for “Reduce and Recycle: An Evaluation of School Recycling Systems in District 87” to expand recycling/composting methods in two schools to test new ways to make waste reduction fun and easy for students and staff.
  • Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries – $500 for “Improving the Goodwill Career Center in Bloomington” to update computer equipment in Career Center allowing users to build skills, create resumes and find employment.
  • Lexington Elementary School – $700 for “Learning Doesn’t Stop on the Blacktop” to purchase equipment that will help teachers and students increase active learning on the blacktop throughout the year.
  • Lifesong For Orphans – $1,000 for “The Forgotten Initiative First Response Program” to provide items necessary when a foster child is placed in a home, making the home safe and comfortable for the child.
  • Living Independence for Everyone – $1,000 for “Equipment Loan Closet Enhancement” to allow Central Illinois residents to live more health and independent lives by borrowing durable medical equipment for free for up to 90 days; grant to purchase equipment.
  • Midwest Food Bank – $3,000 for “Backpack Program” to add a nutritious fruit product to backpack of shelf-stable food that is given to low-income students in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties to eat over the weekend.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association – $1,000 for “Central Illinois Summer Camp” to allow children aged 8-17 who have a muscle disease to attend week-long summer camp where they will learn independence and engage in typical camp activities.
  • Odell Public Library – $500 for “Showtime at the Library” to maintain and strengthen children’s reading skills over the summer through program that includes activities focused on theme.
  • Project Oz – $2,400 for “McLean County Youth Intervention Program” to provide safe, emergency shelter in Host Homes for youth, up to age 18, separated from their families.
  • Recycling Furniture for Families – $2,000 for “Providing Furniture to Families in Need” to provide safe and clean furniture to families in need.
  • Salvation Army – $2,000 for “Pathway of Hope” to provide targeted services to families with a desire to take action, break the cycle of crisis and enable a path out of intergenerational poverty.
  • Timber Pointe Charitable Foundation – $1,000 for “Outdoor Education and Environmental Center” to restore the Tim Dawkins Nature and Environmental Education Center, replace inventory and revitalize nature and environmental programs at Timber Pointe.
  • Vault Community Center – $4,000 for “The Golden Gears Café: Small Business Leadership Program” to provide cooking classes taught by students and local chefs at this student-run café that teaches real-world experience in small business skills, management and operations.
  • Vespasian Warner Public Library District – $700 for “Memory Lab” to provide tools and education for patrons to preserve their memories for a lifetime, while also allowing library staff to digitize many items in archives so they can be posted online for public view.
  • West Bloomington Revitalization Project – $1,000 for “Rick Heiser Memorial Garden” to create a garden next to WBRP building with volunteers helping in a learn-and-do workshop; at the end of the season, youth will learn how to harvest seeds then teach a harvest workshop with their new skills.
  • YouthBuild McLean County – $2,000 for “Safety, Health and Wellness for Youth by Youth” to train 40 YouthBuild students in health and wellness topics so they may educate more teens in McLean County about healthy lifestyles.
  • YWCA McLean County – $2,089 for “Young Wonders Early Learning Spanish Education” to begin a Spanish curriculum in toddler through 5-year-old classrooms where 20% of children and families speak Spanish as primary language; program will help the children communicate with each other and staff communicate more effectively with families.

Receiving 28 Arts and Culture Grants totaling $61,097 were:

  • Atlanta Public Library District – $4,000 for “The Discovery Box: Atlanta Public Library Community Programming” to inspire creativity and experimentation with arts and cultural programs for children and adults at The Discovery Box, located in the newly acquired Union Hall Building which now houses APLD’s community cultural programs.
  • BCAI School of Arts – $3,000 for “BCAI Summer Arts Exposure” to provide a 3-week arts immersion experience for up to 60 students (ages 8-14) in collaboration with District 87 schools; students will rotate through programming in visual, media and performance art.
  • Bloomington Center for Performing Arts – $2,000 for “Miller Park Summer Theater” to provide an opportunity for community performers to present a live performance free to the public in outdoor theater at Miller Park.
  • Brass Band of Central Illinois – $1,000 for “2020 Spring Concert” to help offset the cost of the 2020 Spring concert that is free and open to the public and features a guest artist/soloist.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum Foundation – $1,500 for “Art Around You: Exploring Contemporary Art in the Community” to provide children in 2nd to 5th grades an opportunity to view, discuss and create contemporary art; partnership with Illinois State University Galleries.
  • Cultural Festival – $1,000 for “Live Music Stage & Workshop” to conduct a music segment during 40th Annual Cultural Festival featuring bands performing three distinct music genres (jazz, country and rhythm & blues) and a workshop on similarities/differences of music styles.
  • Further Jazz – $1,500 for “Jazz on Film Concert Series at the Normal Theatre” to produce a series of films/concerts that will focus on jazz films and jazz-influenced films; each film will be followed by a concert featuring the music of the artist featured in the film.
  • Heartland Productions – $4,000 for “Two New Play Programs” to assist with the Mike Dobbins Memorial “New Plays from the Heartland” one-act play competition and “The Play’s the Thing” which helps a playwright refine a full-length play.
  • HeART Arts Council – $3,300 for “Bringing an Array of Art Experiences to Heyworth and Randolph Township in 2019-20” to support three programs: Heyworth Youth Summer Art and Music Camps, inaugural Heyworth and Randolph Township Arts Festival for local artists to show their work, and new HeART Planter Project to create community planters for streetscapes in Heyworth.
  • Holiday Spectacular – $2,000 for “Free Tickets for Low-Income Community Members” to underwrite the cost of free tickets to Friday night and Saturday afternoon performances of 2019 Holiday Spectacular; Western Avenue Community Center and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church of Bloomington will target families to receive tickets.
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra – $3,500 for “ISO Concert for Kids!” to create a highly interactive and engaging concert experience that will introduce, engage and inspire students in grades K-5 through live orchestral performance in Bloomington.
  • Illinois Voices Theatre – $2,500 for “Seedling Theatre and Seedling Encore Performances” to provide a range of theater opportunities for special needs populations and their able-bodied peers.
  • Inside Out Accessible Art (IOAA) – $2,000 for “IOAA Art Education” to develop a lifelong pursuit of the arts by providing a variety of art classes at reduced cost to youth, seniors, adults and individuals with disabilities.
  • Illinois State University – $4,000 for “2019 Concerts on the Quad” to provide free summer concert series that focuses on interesting and accessible music of the highest quality.
  • Illinois State University – $2,000 for “ISU Community School for the Arts” to support three programs: Traditional Music Lessons taught by ISU music students; Redbird Road Concerts where free performances are given in area venues; and MusicScores! instruction on the violin at two area Head Start locations.
  • Illinois State University – $1,000 for “Teen Arts Group at University Galleries” to provide 15 Bloomington High School students with free opportunities to engage with contemporary art, interact with arts professionals and gain professional gallery experience.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $2,000 for “45th Annual Jazz Festival at IWU” to expand program by adding additional day to the festival offering master classes and a concert on opening day.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $2,000 for “The IWU Summer Music Composition Institute” to provide an opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects in music for high school students interested in music composition.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $3,500 for “IWU School of Music Summer Music Program” to allow young musicians (ages 12-19) to perfect their skills as individual and ensemble musicians through an intensive educational experience.
  • Lincoln’s Festival in Bloomington – $2,000 for “Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66” to entertain and educate audiences with stories of Abraham Lincoln’s life and times in McLean County; new this year are vintage baseball games and performances of Shakespeare works which were key to Lincoln’s education.
  • McLean County Arts Center – $1,000 for “Sugar Creek Arts Festival” to present festival that features artists in a variety of disciplines, children’s art activities and live music.
  • McLean County Historical Society – $2,000 for “Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Walk” to enable schoolchildren to experience live theater while teaching them about their community’s history and the importance of respecting cemeteries.
  • Normal Township Activity & Recreation Center – $2,000 for “ARC Music Enrichment Series” to promote social engagement and well-being in older people through participation in musical activities; classes are led by music educator/music therapist and focus on a topic of mutual interest.
  • Prairie Central Elementary School CUSD #8 – $1,985 for “General Music” to get students to move, create, think, dance and make music using a combination of instruments and method  music learning; grant will purchase instruments. This grant is given through the David & Kay Williams Music Education Fund.
  • Regional Alternative School/ROE 17 – $2,000 for “RAS Plaza” – to reconstruct sidewalk  which doubles as an art installation in collaboration with City of Bloomington; AltAction (a student/staff leadership team) and field technician from Bloomington Public Works will design the project around the theme “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” a poetry book by Shel Silverstein.
  • Society for Preservation & Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America – $2,000 for “2019 Central Illinois Youth In Harmony Festival” to draw singers from area high schools for a full day of choral instruction, small group coaching and performances.
  • Threshold to Hope – $1,000 for “Painting Instruction for Low-Income Artists” to increase low-income artists’ skills, allowing them to experience emotional benefits of painting and assist them in creating paintings that have the potential to be sold for their financial benefit.
  • West Bloomington Revitalization Project – $1,312 for “Westside Mural” to create a mural on the side of WBRP building with input from community residents, thereby beautifying the neighborhood and reflecting its unique identity to visitors and residents.

Receiving 7 Sol Shulman Jewish Life and Education Grants totaling $22,760 were:

  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra Inc. – $3,000 for “Orchestra Around the Town Free Concert Series” to celebrate the legacy of Sol Shulman by partnering with Moses Montefiore Temple to increase awareness of Jewish composers through a free concert (in fall 2019 or spring 2020) at the Temple.
  • McLean County Diversity Project – $5,000 for “Exploring the Abrahamic Faiths in the Holy Land” to explore all three Abrahamic faiths and examine where they connect; in June, scholars and team captains will travel to Israel where we will tour sites important to members of all three faiths.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $3,000 for “Family Concert of Jewish Music” to host a Jewish Music Concert for families with children, providing cultural enrichment, exposure to Jewish performers and provide a fun and educational opportunity to Jewish and non-Jewish families in the community.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $550 for “Literacy for Our Learners” to support youth in exploring Jewish text through PJ Library, a national organization dedicated to providing age-appropriate, engaging Jewish text to families around the country.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $5,230 for “Jewish Music Enrichment” to provide music leadership to the Temple through a Cantorial soloist and a Religious School song leader.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $3,480 for “Tech in the Temple” to integrate technology into various programs and services, allowing learning to extend beyond the four walls of the Temple; grant to purchase a portable interactive board, laptop and student Chromebooks.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $2,500 for “Union of Reform Jewish (URJ) Biennial Convention” to provide needs-based assistance to Jewish adults wanting to attend the convention; attendees will gain knowledge on how to become effective leaders in the Jewish community as well as community at large.

Applications for grants from the Foundation’s Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) will be available in October.

About Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, now in its 21st year, encourages and facilitates philanthropy in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties by connecting donors who care with causes that matter to them. The Foundation currently manages assets of more than $16.8 million in 165 funds including endowments and donor advised, fiscal sponsorship and scholarship funds.


Michele Evans, Grants & Communications Director, 309-662-4477