The Art of Giving: Orange and Dean Schroeder

MCF Donors Orange and Dean Schroeder with their children Erik and Katrina.

 “My husband Dean and I have always been great fans of the vibrant arts scene in Madison, especially music and theater, and we know that the arts are consistently underfunded,” says Carol “Orange” Schroeder, coowner of Orange Tree Imports (for 41 years and counting!) and MCF donor.

“It’s a privilege to help make possible the art and performances we enjoy so much.” Orange and Dean are such true-blue believers in giving back through their advised funds at MCF that they recently opened two new funds for their adult children, Erik and Katrina.

“The idea of giving them each their own fund was to provide an opportunity to talk to them about the long-term benefits of starting an endowment that continues to grow, and that you can distribute grants from every year,” says Orange. “I’m hoping that as their lives unfold they will add to their funds, and enjoy the ongoing opportunity to decide how the money is used.”

Today, Orange’s Fund for the Arts supports annual scholarships available to all high school graduates who have participated in the Madison Youth Choirs (where Erik and Katrina got their start in music) for at least seven years.

Margie’s Music for Life Fund, which is Dean’s fund, supports UW Opera as well as Dean and Orange’s own nonprofit, the Handel Aria Competition, a new program to encourage young singers around the world to explore Handel’s operatic repertoire.

“Madison is a community where a small donor can make a really big impact,” says Orange, who started her Acorn Fund in 1999 and began making distributions in 2003 when it matured into a permanent endowment. Now she and Dean make annual contributions to their funds, and they have designated Erik and Katrina as their funds’ advisors as part of their legacy. “I will always appreciate the fact that MCF made it possible, when we were young, to establish a way to make a lasting contribution to our community.”


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