Northwestern Mutual announcing over $500K in grants to nonprofits

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is announcing $594,000 in grants to support nonprofits that help make Milwaukee an attractive place to live, work and play.

Each of the eight nonprofits attract at least 100,000 attendees annually, offering a variety of programs that not only bring visitors to the community but also help retain current residents. By supporting these projects, Northwestern Mutual hopes to continue increasing Milwaukee’s attractiveness to prospective employees.

“Northwestern Mutual has had roots in Southeastern Wisconsin for more than 155 years and we are committed to supporting this region where our 5,000 employees live and work,” said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “These grants will further strengthen Milwaukee’s image to tourists, and help Northwestern Mutual and other Milwaukee area employers attract exceptional employees in the future.”

Spotlight on Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

One Northwestern Mutual grant recipient is the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Open since 1995, the museum promotes the healthy development of children from birth through age 10. Each year the museum attracts more than 200,000 visitors, encouraging hands-on learning.

Specifically, this grant will support the refurbishment of The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD. Returning to Betty Brinn Children’s Museum Jan. 26 – May 12, 2013, the 2,500 square foot exhibit leads children on adventures in outer space, on a jungle safari, under the sea and on an archeological dig. Exhibit activities reflect developmental milestones set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and are designed to develop a child’s school-readiness and academic skills. Hands-on experiences focus on: science, technology, engineering, math, literacy, social studies, the arts and choosing career paths. The exhibit was originally developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and Hasbro, Inc. in 2007, made possible by a grant from Northwestern Mutual.

More than 36,000 children and adults enjoyed the exhibit during its premiere at the museum in 2008. The display drew more than one million visitors during its four-year tour to 12 museums and science centers throughout North America.

“Due to the tremendous success of The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD tour, this well-loved exhibit is in need of refurbishment, and we are grateful to Northwestern Mutual for a grant that will make these enhancements possible,” said Fern Shupeck, executive director, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. “This must-see exhibit provides exceptional learning opportunities for children and we look forward to welcoming families and community groups from throughout the region.”

“Giving children and families opportunities for education and entertainment is important to life-long learning skills, so we are pleased to continue our partnership with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and return the MR. POTATO HEAD exhibit to Milwaukee,” said Kordsmeier.

The other nonprofit programs receiving a grant from Northwestern Mutual include:

  • Brewers Community Foundation: “Stolen Bases, Happy Faces” program
  • Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin: Discoverer’s Fund
  • Friends of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center: Reforestation Demonstration and Community Education Project
  • Milwaukee Art Museum: MAM After Dark
  • Milwaukee Public Museum: Real Pirates Exhibit
  • Milwaukee World Festival: Summerfest
  • Zoological Society of Milwaukee County: Improvements to the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation’s giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2013, the Foundation will contribute $16.9 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.