Over $4 Million in Grants Awarded During First Grant Cycle

Grants Strengthen Emens Auditorium, Muncie Central, Burris

MUNCIE—Ball Brothers Foundation awarded 40 grants totaling over $4 million during its first grantmaking cycle of the year. The grants were approved at the Foundation’s May board meeting.

Marking the Foundation’s commitment to improving the quality of life in its hometown of Muncie was a grant to support renovations at Emens Auditorium. “Since Emens Auditorium opened in 1964, it has not only become East Central Indiana’s leading performing arts venue, bringing world-class artists, entertainers, musicians, and lecturers to Muncie, but it has also become a cherished landmark. It is where Muncie’s citizens celebrate graduation ceremonies, perform in dance recitals, and attend school music concerts. Emens Auditorium has truly achieved the original vision of becoming a combined community and university gathering place,” said Jud Fisher, President and COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “As we look ahead to the future of Emens Auditorium,” continued Fisher, “Ball Brothers Foundation is pleased to support renovations which will enhance visitors’ experiences for decades to come.” Funding from Ball Brothers Foundation for the planned renovations totals $500,000.

Also marking the family foundation’s commitment to its hometown were grants to support the two public high schools in the city’s core, Muncie Central High School and Burris Laboratory School. Grants of $250,000 to Muncie Central High School and $200,000 to Burris Laboratory School’s grades 9-12 will support student and faculty development, extracurricular activities, the creation of new courses, and minor capital improvements at both schools.

“In considering the factors that contribute to a strong, desirable community, education plays a key role. Good schools are necessary for helping young adults gain the tools and resources that they need to develop into contributing members of society, as well as being important for attracting and retaining a quality workforce. As businesses consider where they will locate and as families consider where they will live and work, Ball Brothers Foundation knows that good schools matter tremendously,” said Jud Fisher. “Tight district budgets provide little to no funding for the ‘extras’ that are critical to attracting and retaining both students and high quality faculty. Our support is designed to help strengthen local schools starting in our city’s core.”

Other education-related grants awarded by Ball Brothers Foundation will also impact children, youth, and families in Muncie and surrounding communities. These grants included:

  • Ball State University, Muncie P3 Family Engagement Initiative, $230,000
  • College Mentors for Kids, Delaware County Programming at Ball State University, $7,500
  • Delaware County BY5 Early Childhood Initiative, Year Three Operations, $75,000
  • Huffer Child Care Resource and Referral, Early Education Resources Outreach Van, $15,000
  • Ivy Tech Foundation, Student Success Program, $150,000
  • Motivate Our Minds, Faculty and Operations, $30,000
  • Muncie Community Schools, Camp Adventure Renovations, $60,000
  • Muncie/Delaware FIRST Robotics, 2015-2016 Build Season and CNC Machine, $10,000
  • Project Leadership, Inner City Educational League, $60,000
  • Project Leadership, Scholar Success Initiative, $348,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center, Operations/EDGE Afterschool Program, $35,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center, AIM Summer Program Collaboration, $80,000
  • United Day Care Center, Facility Improvements and Professional Development, $15,000

In addition to the Emens Auditorium renovation support, grants to strengthen arts and culture venues and offerings in Muncie also included:

  • Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Marketing/Fundraising/Operating Support, $100,000
  • Muncie Civic Theatre, Strategic Building Improvements, $125,000
  • Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Sesquicentennial Community Event Series Expansion, $50,000
  • Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Three Trails Music Series, $7,500
  • Music for All, 2015 Summer Symposium, $40,000

Continuing the Foundation’s long history of support for the environment, BBF’s board approved grants including:

  • Ball State University, Remediation of Brownfield Sites in Muncie, $20,000
  • Red-tail Land Conservancy, Marketing Campaign Phase III, $15,000

Other grants will strengthen amenities that improve the quality of life in Muncie/East Central Indiana, including:

  • Cardinal Greenway, Operating Support, $350,000
  • City of Muncie, Eastside Gateway/Cornerstone Park, $60,000
  • Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, Prairie Creek Trail Build-Out Phase II, $225,000
  • Healthy Communities of Henry County, Wilbur Wright Trail Build-Out Phase II, $40,000
  • Muncie Innovation Connector, Innovation Outreach, $10,000

Organizations addressing human service needs and neighborhood needs also received Ball Brothers Foundation support, including:

  • A Better Way Services, Victim Services and Shelter Support, $25,000
  • American Red Cross, Home Fire Preparedness and Relief in Delaware County, $10,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, Secure Our Doors Operational and Facilities Support, $225,000
  • ecoRehab of Muncie, Thomas Park/Avondale Sustainable Residential Rehabilitations, $100,000
  • Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity, Seeing Hope in Neighborhoods and Families Operations and Building/Rehabilitation Support, $100,000
  • Indiana Youth Institute, Organizational Effectiveness Grants and Assessment, $67,000
  • Inside Out, Kitchen Capacity Building and Hot Meals Program, $50,000
  • United Way of Delaware County, Matching Funds for 2015 Campaign, $100,000
  • Youth Opportunity Center, Wellness Programming and Development Capacity-Building, $50,000
  • YWCA of Muncie, Facility Security Installation, $25,000

Finally, while the majority of Ball Brothers Foundation funding supported organizations in the Muncie/East Central Indiana area, two grants with a statewide focus were approved. Both grants support interactive exhibits that are scheduled to open in 2016 during the State of Indiana’s Bicentennial, including:

  • Conner Prairie, “The Treehouse” Outdoor Exhibit, $30,000
  • Indiana State Museum, “Lincoln Cabin” Highlighting the Frontier Experience of the Lincoln Family, $125,000

The deadline for organizations interested in applying for general grant funding during Ball Brothers Foundation’s final grant cycle of the year is July 15. Details about all Ball Brothers Foundation funding opportunities are available on the Foundation’s website at www.ballfdn.org.


With assets exceeding $165 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based family foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state.
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