John Ball Zoo Awarded MCACA Grants for Habitat Improvements, and Diversity and Inclusion Program

John Ball Zoo has announced they have again been named as a recipient of two grants from The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). These grants, announced on October 15th, were awarded to 470 organizations including arts and history centers, performance arts, and cultural institutions for arts and culture projects in Michigan.

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is dedicated to ensuring that every citizen and community in Michigan enjoys the civic, economic and educational benefits of arts and culture. “It is wonderful to again be a recipient of this vital funding in support of our work here at the Zoo” said Peter D’Arienzo, CEO of John Ball Zoo.

“This season has brought many challenges to the Zoo and our team and while we’ve remained committed to providing excellent care to our animals, along with maintaining our facilities and providing a high quality guest experience, it has been a tough year financially. Support from our community and through grants like these are vital to help us continue to serve our community and offer an incredible cultural experience for all,” added D’Arienzo.

These grants will go to support two areas at John Ball Zoo. One being necessary renovations to the Zoo’s chimpanzee habitat, and the other to help support the JUMP program. This grant was also made possible by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA).

The JUMP program helps remove financial barriers families may face by providing free admission to John Ball Zoo for those who have a MI Bridges card. This program provides opportunities for meaningful family experiences, unstructured play and fun, and interactive learning with a hope to seed a life-long love for nature and wildlife.

John Ball Zoo’s chimpanzee troop has four females and two males. The renovations possible through the MCACA grants will improve and enhance the current habitat, which the Zoo then hopes will allow additional chimpanzees to join the troop. John Ball Zoo was one of 597 applications requesting support for fiscal year 2021 programs. For a complete list of grant awards, visit

John Ball Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1891 and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Guided by the four core values of Conservation, Education, Community and Celebrate, John Ball Zoo accomplishes the mission to inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. Additional information can
be found on their website at