The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has announced fourth-quarter grants totaling more than $30 million to nearly a hundred and twenty nonprofit organizations working in the areas of education, arts and culture, and the environment.
Of the $30 million in grants approved, $6 million was awarded to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations created by McKnight in 1986. In addition, the foundation awarded $200,000 through its arts program to the Ritz Theater Foundation to help strengthen and stabilize the theater's role as a home for live performance organizations and artists in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District and beyond; $150,000 to the Plymouth Christian Youth Center in support of its Capri Theater; and $30,000 to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library to support the Minnesota Book Awards.
Recipients of fourth-quarter grants through the foundation's education and learning program include SRI International in Menlo Park, California, which was awarded more than $3.5 million to establish baseline evaluation information for district and implementation partners as well as early literacy program implementation and outcomes measures; the University of Minnesota Foundation, which received $250,000 to provide, in partnership with local education and nonprofit agencies, intensive and continuous educational and family-support services targeting students from preschool to third grade; and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, which was awarded $50,000 to provide project support to the Saint Paul's Promise Neighborhood initiative.
The foundation also awarded $10 million to Youthprise, an out-of-school-time funding partner that McKnight established in 2011, for program and administration support. "This major investment is a testament to two things," said McKnight Foundation president Kate Wolford. "First, to McKnight's belief in the value of quality opportunities for learning beyond the classroom for Minnesota's youth. Second, and more importantly, to our belief that Youthprise is well positioned to lead this field and to make a powerfully positive impact on the scope and quality of those opportunities for kids in our communities in the short- and long-term future."
For a complete list of the foundation's fourth-quarter grantees, visit the McKnight Foundation Web site.