{   The Annual Report   }

  • Lyric Opera of the North (LOON)

    2015 Grantee

    Lyric Opera of the North

    Lyric Opera of the North (LOON) has been delighting area audiences since 2004 with fully-staged, high-quality opera. In 2015, realizing their responsibility to introduce new generations to opera and provide opportunities for the area’s emerging artists, LOON launched “Little Opera of the North” (Little LOON) with the assistance of a $5,000 grant from the Foundation. A children’s adaption of Hansel and Gretel performed in local elementary schools, is the first of many children’s performances to come for Little LOON.

  • Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

    2015 Grantee

    Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

    Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center located in Finland, Minnesota was awarded two grants in 2015 – an unusual move by the Foundation but important in supporting the educational work of this fine organization. The first grant in early 2015 was for $20,000 to support the “Naturalist Training Program” - a unique program providing training and experiences to 20 naturalists annually. The second grant in late 2015 for $50,000 in capital support, seized on an exciting opportunity Wolf Ridge had to create a new learning experience for students on the shores of Lake Superior.

  • GND Development Alliance

    2015 Grantee

    GND Development Alliance

    As is often quoted, never doubt what a small group of citizens can do to change the world. In this case, GND Development Alliance, a small group of concerned citizens, took on a project to revitalize the Gary New Duluth Recreation Area into a fully functioning Community Center and Recreation Area. Through the dedicated efforts of many volunteers and community partners, a beautiful gathering spot is being created in Gary New Duluth. The Foundation provided $25,000 in grant funding to support an open-air pavilion at the Center that will be used by the community for many years to come.

  • Northwoods Volunteer Connection

    2015 Grantee

    Northwoods Volunteer Connection

    Northwoods Volunteer Connection (NVC) is a new organization located in Cook County Minnesota focused on recruiting, training and providing volunteers for projects within or near the Superior National Forest. NVC works to be better stewards of the land by putting boots on the ground and tools in the hands of people that care about the northwoods. Working on public lands, volunteers help ensure good trail and forest management practices, increase forest health, and gain new experiences while doing meaningful projects. In 2015 the Foundation assisted with start-up efforts for Northwoods Volunteer Connection with a grant of $20,000.

  • Valley Youth Centers

    2015 Grantee

    Valley Youth Centers

    Valley Youth Centers has been serving youth in the western neighborhoods of Duluth since 1983. VYC understands the importance of play and creating opportunities for youth to grow, learn and succeed in life with the support of positive adult mentors. In 2015, Valley Youth took on a new project to develop an outdoor-based recreation program providing youth access to recreational projects that they may have not experienced previously. Creating opportunities for youth to develop a healthy life-style, socialize and engage in positive activities with caring adults can make a significant difference in the choices young people make for their future. To help launch this new initiative, the Foundation was honored to provide a grant of $26,000.

Grants Awarded in 2015


Arts & Culture

Boreal Community Media
General Operating Support,
Capacity Building - $25,000

Cook County Historical Society
Capacity Building - $25,000

Grand Marais Art Colony
Staff Capacity Building - $30,000

Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
Kitchen Remodel - $12,929

North House Folk School
Capacity Building-Year II - $35,000

Schroeder Area Historical Society
General Operating Support - $2,000

Community/Economic Development

Birch Grove Foundation
General Operating Support/Capital - $25,000

Cook County Community YMCA
New Childcare Program - $20,000

Cook County Tennis Association
Tennis Court Reconstruction - $5,000


Cook County School ISD #166
Alternative Learning Center Support - $10,000

Hovland Volunteer Fire Department
STOP Training - $1,200


Northwoods Volunteer Connection
Start-up Costs - $20,000

Social Welfare

North Shore Health Care Foundation
Oral Health Task Force - $10,000

Violence Prevention Center
Womens Support Group - $2,000


Arts & Culture

Northern Lake County Arts Board
Artist Fees for "Brule" performance in Silver Bay - $10,000


Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Naturalist Training Program - $20,000

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Renovation of West Dormitory and Education Building on Lake Superior - $50,000

Social Welfare

Just Kids Dental
Preventive Dental Services - $10,000



Arts on Superior, Inc.
School Story to Literacy Residency - $2,000

Northland Foundation
Child Care Training Project - $10,000


Conservation Corps Minnesota
Summer Youth Corps - $10,000

Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association
Parking Lot and Signage Replacement - $9,000


Arts & Culture

Armory Arts and Music Center
General Operating Support - $8,000

Arrowhead Chorale
Student Apprentice Program - $2,000

Colder by the Lake
Les Uncomfortable Performance Support - $8,000

Duluth Art Institute Association
Free Family Days - $4,000

Duluth Children's Museum
Capacity Building - $10,000

Duluth Playhouse, Inc.
Resident Company Program - $15,000

Duluth Superior Symphony Association
North Shore Arts Learning Projects - $6,000

Lake Superior Youth Chorus, Inc.
Honor Choir for 4th-6th Graders - $1,995

Lyric Opera of the North
Support for "Little Opera of the North" Launch - $5,000

Minnesota Ballet
Outreach Week - $8,500

Northern Expressions Arts Collective
Support Summer Arts Program in West Duluth - $500

Swedish Cultural Society of Duluth
Midsommar Programming Support - $2,000

Community/Economic Development

GND Development Alliance
Open Air Pavilion/Bandstand - $25,000

Harbor Centers, Inc.
General Operating Support - $10,000

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
General Operating Support/St. Louis River Corridor - $17,000

Minnesota Land Trust
Strengthen Recreational Infrastructure Duluth - $10,000


Animal Allies Humane Society, Inc.
Educational and Volunteer Initiatives - $12,000

Community Action Duluth
The Adult Freedom School Project - $20,000

Duluth Library Foundation
Mt. Royal Library Remodel - $27,920

Hartley Nature Center
Capacity Building - $25,000

Lake Superior Center dba Great Lake Aquarium
Discovery Center - $10,000

Lake Superior College
Scholarships - $6,000

Life House, Inc.
Futures Education Program - $20,000

Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative
Expansion Early Childhood Programming - $3,000

Seeds of Hope Youth Ranch
New Coverall - $20,366

MN Reading Corps - $20,000

The Scottish Rite Foundation of Duluth
New Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders - $50,000

Valley Youth Centers dba The Welch Center
Outdoor Environmental Program - $26,000


Friends of the Sax-Zim Bog
Capacity Building: Collaborating on a Full-Time Education Director - $20,000

W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America
Support for Community Meetings on the St. Louis River Corridor - $1,895

Social Welfare

Equipment and Installation Costs for Prep Kitchen - $16,800

Churches United in Ministry
Capacity Building Project - $15,000

Damiano of Duluth
Soup Kitchen - $20,000

Kids Closet of Duluth
Purchase Clothing - $10,000

Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
Support for At-Risk Youth Program - $15,000

Men As Peacemakers
Capacity Building - $20,000

Miller-Dwan Foundation
Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit-Renovation and Expansion - $20,000

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
Remodel Sleeping Area - $10,000

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
Support for Homeless Vets in Duluth - $10,000

Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative
General Operating Support - $25,000

Trafficking Awareness Program - $25,000

The Salvation Army
Pathways Program - $20,000