Herb Kohl Philanthropies Gives $2 Million to Support Future Museum, Creates Herb Kohl Education Fund | Milwaukee Public Museum (2024)

April 30, 2024

Maddie Krebs


Herb Kohl Education Fund will provide free Future Museum memberships for Wisconsin educators

MILWAUKEE —The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is proud to announce that Herb Kohl Philanthropies has provided a $2 million gift to the Future Museum’s Wisconsin Wonders capital campaign, in part to create the Herb Kohl Education Fund, which will provide Wisconsin educators with free memberships to the Future Museum for its first three years.

“Herb Kohl left behind a powerful legacy in Wisconsin, including his commitment to education, especially for teachers who help young people discover the true joy of learning,” said Herb Kohl Philanthropies President & CEO JoAnne Anton. “As we approach Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5 through 11, we are proud to provide a gift that will ensure our educators have the tools and the access they need to leverage the valuable resources the Future Museum will offer. This will be a monumental, one-of-a-kind institution, building on its own legacy of educational impact while setting new standards for visitor learning opportunities.”

In addition to free memberships, the Museum’s new Herb Kohl Education Fund creates regular opportunities for educators to connect with the Museum and explore how its educational offerings can be maximized as a resource for students from all over Wisconsin.

“I firmly believe the Museum’s collaboration with educators across the state is essential to fulfilling our mission of inspiring curiosity, exciting minds and increasing desire to preserve and protect our world's natural and cultural diversity,” said MPM President & CEO Dr. Ellen Censky. “We are humbled by Herb Kohl Philanthropies’ donation of $2 million and honored that Herb Kohl’s legacy will continue through the Future Museum. Together, we have a priceless opportunity to create deeper connections with educators across the state and help teachers enhance their curriculum.”

Herb Kohl made an everlasting impact on our state, from growing up in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood, leading in business and public service, to keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee. He also invested in early childhood and K-12 education and prioritized protecting and helping young people reach their fullest potential. Kohl started the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation in 1990, which has provided nearly $38 million in grants and scholarships to Wisconsin students, teachers and schools.

Herb Kohl Philanthropies joins a group of more than 300 donors who’ve contributed $80 million to the Wisconsin Wonders campaign as well as the State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County, which have given a combined $85 million to support the Future Museum project. The Museum is 70% of the way toward achieving its total campaign goal with three years left to raise funds.

More information about the Future Museum, including details about the Wisconsin Wonders capital campaign, is available on the MPM website.

About the Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is Wisconsin’s natural history museum, welcoming over half a million visitors annually. Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Museum was chartered in 1882, opened to the public in 1884, and currently houses more than 4 million objects in its collections. MPM has three floors of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rainforest, and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref Dome Theater & Planetarium. MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit company, housed in a county-owned facility with collections that are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.

About the Future Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum, Wisconsin’s natural history museum, will be relocating from its current location on Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee to a newly constructed building due to open in early 2027.

To be located on a 2.4-acre site at the corner of Sixth and McKinley Streets in the Haymarket neighborhood adjacent to the city’s Deer District, the Future Museum will be the largest cultural project in Wisconsin history. Heavily influenced by the ecological histories of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, the design of the new Museum will be reminiscent of the geological formations in Mill Bluff State Park, emblematic of the region’s diversity of landscapes formed by the movements of water through time. The building will be approximately 200,000 square feet, including five stories, with an additional 50,000-square-foot collections storage building.

To learn more about the Future Museum, visit mpm.edu/future.

About Herb Kohl Philanthropies

Philanthropy was always part of Herb Kohl's ethos. Herb Kohl Philanthropies (HKP) continues the legacy of giving that followed Herb Kohl's truly inspiring career through retail business, professional sports and public service. Today, his philanthropy lives on through the foundation he established to especially focus on investing in education, the city he called home and state that so richly supported him in all endeavors.

Herb Kohl Philanthropies operates as one entity supporting several initiatives, all aimed at supporting young people, strengthening civic engagement, and fostering solutions to community challenges for the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin. In addition to select projects, these initiatives include Herb Kohl Charities, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, and Learning Journeys.

HKP is a private foundation that awards grants to non-profit organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Funding is restricted to Wisconsin based organizations and initiatives with an emphasis on those that benefit the people of the Greater Milwaukee area.


Herb Kohl Philanthropies Gives $2 Million to Support Future Museum, Creates Herb Kohl Education Fund | Milwaukee Public Museum (2024)
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