August 18-21, 2016

August 18-21, 2016

Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation

Foundation Mission

The Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation was formed in 1994 to advance the charitable and educational purposes for which Irish Festivals, Inc. was originally formed.   

Grants are made to projects or for purposes consistent with the Foundation’s priorities, and only to non-profit organizations which meet federal and state requirements for tax-exempt status. Grants may not be made to individuals. The Foundation does not commit to multiple-year projects, although applications for ongoing support or new projects may be reviewed and granted on an annual basis. 

Since its creation, the Irish Fest Foundation has granted over $500,000 to non-profit entities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada and throughout the United States. Grants have reflected the priorities of the Foundation, with special grants given for catastrophic events, such as 9/11, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

Foundation Grants and Requests

The Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation awards grants based on earnings from its investments. The three areas of priority are cultural, educational, and civic/community: 

  • Initiatives which support excellence and innovation in Irish music, drama, arts and culture
  • Special needs of the Irish and Irish-American communities
  • Special needs of the Milwaukee metropolitan community which provide support for children, the elderly, the disadvantaged or people with developmental disabilities
  • Programs and activities which promote the development of community leadership, volunteerism and service
  • Other initiatives which support the charitable and educational purposes of Irish Festivals, Inc.

In 2012, a designated fund was established in memory of Chuck Ward, a key figure in the Irish Fest family. Funds donated to the Chuck Ward Fund are separated, and the earnings will, in time, be used for community and civic purposes in the Greater Milwaukee area.


The Board of Directors of the Foundation acknowledges and thanks Irish Festivals, Inc. for its continuing support, which allows the Foundation to support projects and organizations in the Milwaukee area and beyond to further their perpetuation of Irish culture, music, education, and charitable services.

Applications / Questions

Please refer to Grant Guidelines for instructions to apply for grants.

Grant Guidelines

Milwaukee Irish Fest FoundationWant to apply for a Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation Grant? Our Grant Guidelines describe the information you'll need to submit!

Examples of Grants

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care
St. Francis Children’s Center – autism program
Windsor Women’s Center, Belfast
Hope House of Milwaukee – Youth education
Emerald Isle Immigration Center: Hurricane Sandy relief

Ulster Project Milwaukee – fostering peace in Northern Ireland
Wisconsin Historical Foundation – “Irish in Wisconsin” book
North American Folk Alliance – workshop
Wisconsin Scottish – Adaptive Clinic/Conference
Milwaukee Film Festival – Irish film

Willie Clancy Summer School –Irish traditional music festival
Milwaukee Irish Arts - Theater festivals
Milw Co Historical Society – Jeremiah Curtin House restoration
Celtic Cultural Center Madison – Irish language weekend
Catskills Irish Arts Week
Milwaukee Hurling Club – Boston youth games