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Dr. Monroe and Sandy Trout honored for arts support

Generous support for the arts over many years has resulted in Dr. Monroe and Sandy Trout being named recipients of an Outstanding Lifetime Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Northeast Wisconsin Chapter) presented last week.

Dr. Monroe and Sandy Trout

The Trouts were nominated by Curt Detjen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Wisconsin Public Television, Christina Turner, president of the Trout Museum of Art, and others.

Central to their giving for the arts has been support for the Trout Museum of Art (formerly the Appleton Arts Center) in downtown Appleton, including donation of an eclectic mix of more than 150 museum-quality works of art.

The collection of American, European, Asian and African paintings, sculptures and other decorative objects represent more than 400 years of art history. It came with a 
$1 million endowment to preserve, protect and promote the collection.

Turner called the Trouts “fantastic partners.” They have provided multiple more moderate donations, in addition to the art collection and charitable funds they established at the Community Foundation to support the museum.

“The Trouts don’t just give money, they have become part of our community,” Detjen said.

The couple said they want the Trout Museum of Art to form faithful relationships with the community and believe that art is at the center of what it means to be alive and an empathetic person.

Dr. and Mrs. Trout established a charitable fund to support an exhibition endowment that leveraged gifts from new donors and increased giving by current donors. They gave a boost to the museum’s August 2020 “Made to Order” fundraiser with a significant gift and a lead gift to its fundraising Gala, which netted revenue of $250,000.

The Trouts also offered a sizeable gift to help create an exhibition that focuses on artwork by people of color to be on viewed in winter 2021. In addition, they have given multiple lead gifts for exhibitions and other programming. Their support goes well beyond the Trout Museum of Art, and beyond the Fox Valley community, to organizations such as Cambridge in America, where they support the Churchill Archives; Knoxville Opera Company; and the McPherson Eye Research Center at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

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