12 awarded Collective Impact Lincoln mini-grants

Collective Impact Lincoln has awarded 12 mini-grants of up to $1,000 each for improvement projects in Lincoln’s core neighborhoods.

The partnership, which is made up of Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed, and the South of Downtown Community Development Organization and that focuses on resident-led change in Everett, Hartley, Near South, University Place, Clinton, and Belmont neighborhoods, helped fund art, social, placemaking, and civic activities with the grants.

“Every day and in a variety of ways, Lincolnites are taking the time and care to build up their neighborhoods,” said Nancy Petitto, director of Collective Impact Lincoln. “Our partnership is pleased to help fortify this social and civic fabric.”

The latest mini-grants went to:

Lulu’s on N. Lulu’s provided 213 take-home Easter meals and 63 Easter baskets to families who access the OpeN Shelf pantry at ConnectioN Point in the Clinton neighborhood. 

LUX Center for the Arts. LUX will focus on improving the walkability and safety of University Place. LUX will install lighting in the Community Art Alley, a 4-by-8-foot ‘Lite Brite’, and add lighting to another corner of the campus with two murals. 

Public Art Space. Neighborhood resident Ella Durham received funding to create an outdoor walk-by art gallery and public art space in the Clinton neighborhood. The project encourages making public art accessible and engaging for neighbors, while also drawing on aspects of placemaking.

Little Free Library. Clinton resident Lorna Parks received funding to buy children’s books for Little Free Libraries in her neighborhood. The books are available to children who attend Clinton Elementary or who are on their way home from The Shield and Pentzer Park.

Belmont Community Center. The Center will create and showcase a piece of public art to inspire the community toward organizing and civic engagement and to highlight the attributes of their neighborhood. 

Public Seating Area. Near South resident Nicholaus Svoboda received a mini-grant to install a public seating area next to a Little Free Library that is frequented by community members. The seating area includes a large recycled plastic park bench for neighbors to enjoy.

University Place Community Organization (UPCO). UPCO continued its annual Easter Egg Hunt with a COVID-friendly drive-through Easter Egg Hop. The event was a fun way to re-engage neighbors.  

City Impact Youth Communications Team. The City Impact Youth Communications Team is creating a YouTube channel and podcast to spotlight an array of local community leaders. The funds will help purchase equipment and launch the communications platforms to mentor, teach, and empower.  

The Bay. The Bay, 2005 Y St., teamed with Community Learning Centers to produce and host a Youth Film and Photo Festival. The goal was to provide a spotlight to young creatives to instill future-focused skills and thinking in the field of digital arts and emerging media. 

Indigo Bridge. Indigo Bridge received funds to create and maintain a free, community tool share library in the Everett neighborhood. The tool share library will help support mutual-aid projects by providing access to basic tools for renters and homeowners.

Lincoln Northeast Auto Club. The club received funding to offer member endorsements for dual credit classes for students at Lincoln Northeast and Lincoln High, as well as offering a tool voucher program for students who plan to attend college for an automotive degree. 

Hazel Abel Park. Near South resident Kate Farneth received a mini-grant to support social events in Hazel Abel Park. These events include a one-day dog park followed by a park cleanup, live music, and the opportunity to meet neighbors.

This is the second set of Collective Impact Lincoln mini-grants since the partnership was formed four years ago. The first round of grants, which were awarded in 2019, helped make eight improvement projects and events across the core neighborhoods possible.