Mary L. Nohl Fund Individual Artist Programs

The Suitcase Export Fund is now open. To view the guidelines and application instructions, click here.

The 2024 Nohl Fellowship cycle is now closed. If you would like to be notified when the 2025 cycle opens, please sign up for our mailing list here.

The 2023 cycle of the Ruth Arts Mary L Nohl Alumni Award is now closed. To learn more about the program, click here.

The Lynden administers the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists program. The program, funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and Joy Engine, has two components. The fellowship program provides unrestricted funds for Established and Emerging artists to create new work or complete work in progress. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Suitcase Export Fund for Visual Art was created to help artists with the cost of exhibiting their work outside the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington). Both programs are open to practicing artists residing in the four-county area. One hundred and twenty-one fellowships have been awarded since the program began in 2003, and 392 individual artists and 23 artist collectives have received Suitcase Awards.

With the addition of support from Joy Engine, the Nohl Fellowship has become one of the most generous regional fellowships for individual artists. The increased support has also enabled us to make significant changes to the program: increasing the size of awards for both the Nohl Fellowship and the Suitcase Export Fund; adding studio visits for the Emerging finalists during the jurying process; formalizing some of the professional development opportunities that come with the fellowship; and extending the fellowship period to provide artists with more time to develop their work.

The Ruth Arts Mary L. Nohl Alumni Award, launched in 2023, offers a new layer of support for former Nohl Fellows. It does this in two ways: by providing unrestricted funds to the selected artists and by working alongside artists to develop a network of career-sustaining opportunities to respond to their needs. It is awarded annually to four artists: three living in the four-county area (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha) and one currently living outside this area.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is Wisconsin’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has been at the heart of the civic community, helping donors achieve the greatest philanthropic impact, elevating the work of changemakers across neighborhoods, and bringing people and organizations together to help our region thrive. Racial equity is the Foundation’s North Star, guiding its investments and strategies for social and economic change. Leveraging generations of community knowledge, cross-sector partnerships and more than $1 billion in financial assets, the Foundation is committed to reimagining philanthropy, recentering communities and remaking systems to transform our region into a Milwaukee for all.

Joy Engine, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2019. Joy Engine uses public art as an “engine” to break barriers, spark meaningful human connections, and create equitable access and belonging within Milwaukee’s arts & culture community. Our goal is to activate creative community spaces through art.

The goal of the Ruth Foundation for the Arts is to explore new possibilities for arts philanthropy through an artist-driven approach. Responding to the evolving needs of our community and working across a wide spectrum of lived experiences, we aim to support those that center the unconventional and the exciting.

Lynden operates as a laboratory, increasing its impact by developing programs in three areas of interest--place-based education; support for artists; convening around public art and sculpture--that can be disseminated widely. This enables us to function efficiently with a small staff; to remain flexible enough to align with local and national initiatives; and to have a national voice while sustaining a local resource that offers hands-on experiences at the intersection of art, nature, and culture. Located fifteen minutes north of downtown Milwaukee, our programs are developed in dialogue with diverse urban populations. The Nohl Fellowship, the Suitcase Export Fund, and the Ruth Arts Mary L Nohl Alumni Award are three key programs that support artists. The staff of the Lynden does not participate in any part of the selection process for the Nohl Fellowship.

For further information:

Polly Morris
Lynden Sculpture Garden
2145 W. Brown Deer Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 446-8794

©2024 Lynden Sculpture Garden