The Cooper Foundation, a private foundation established in 1934, was founded by Joseph Cooper. Joseph had a great interest in the theatre business and developed a chain of theatres in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado. After establishing the Cooper Foundation, he donated proceeds from his theatre interests to the Foundation to provide gifts to organizations in Nebraska. Joseph's donations to the Foundation continued until his death in 1946, at which point he bequeathed his theatre business to the Foundation. His theatre chain grew and flourished, and later, in the mid-70s, was sold by the Foundation. This sale provided a significant gift to the Cooper Foundation's endowment. The Cooper Foundation supports programs in the areas of education, human services, the arts, humanities and the environment.