Omaha-area nonprofits to receive millions in grant funding | Politics

Nearly two dozen nonprofits in Douglas and Sarpy Counties are slated to receive grants totaling millions of dollars, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development announced Friday. 

A total of $115 million in grant funding was set aside for Nebraska nonprofits with shovel-ready projects that were delayed by the pandemic. Seventy-six of the 125 organizations that applied for funding were approved, with awards ranging from $6,000 to renovate a community playhouse in York to more than $12.5 million for a sports complex in Columbus.

Just over $47 million of the total will be distributed to 23 nonprofits in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The money will help fund projects from restoration of the ceiling in the Durham Museum’s Omaha Union Station to a multimillion-dollar outdoor athletics space at Marian High School. 

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This funding comes via the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act, a bill passed last year by Nebraska lawmakers aimed at helping nonprofits complete capital construction projects that were put on hold after the pandemic hit. The grant application was open to organizations with a focus on arts, culture and humanities and to nonprofits operating sports complexes. 

Legislators approved using $100 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars and $15 million from the state’s general fund to support the shovel-ready projects. Nonprofits also had to match the grants with at least an equal amount of privately raised dollars.

Grant recipients in Douglas and Sarpy Counties include:

Douglas County

  • Omaha Zoological Foundation: $3.8 million to build an Alaska exhibition at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.
  • Joslyn Art Museum: $3.8 million for museum expansion.
  • Omaha Performing Arts: $3.8 million to establish a center for arts engagement.
  • Kaneko: $3.8 million.
  • Elkhorn Athletic Association: $3.8 million.
  • Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority: $3.6 million to establish traffic safety barriers. 
  • Marian High School: $3 million for an outdoor athletic project.
  • El Museo Latino: $2.1 million for “Elevating the Tradition” project.
  • Lauritzen Gardens: $2 million to develop a “play and grow” area for children.
  • The Union for Contemporary Art: $1.8 million.
  • Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education: $1.5 million.
  • The Collective for Hope: $1.4 million for education and support programming. 
  • Nebraska Wildlife Rehab: $1 million for a new rehabilitation center. 
  • The Durham Museum: $625,000 for restoration of art deco ceiling in Union Station.
  • inCOMMON Community Development: $486,800. 
  • Bennington Soccer Club: $437,700 for development of Neumeyer Park Sports Complex.
  • Holy Name Men’s Club: $350,000 for fieldhouse renovations.
  • Benson Theatre: $276,000 for renovations and restoration.
  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts: $250,000.
  • Omaha Children’s Museum: $80,000 for projects delayed by COVID.

Sarpy County

  • Nebraska Multi-Sport Complex: $12.6 million for development of sports complex in La Vista. 
  • Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial Association: $1.2 million.
  • Sarpy County YMCA: $250,000 for construction and renovations.



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