UPAF Bright Minds

UPAF Bright Minds, presented by We Energies Foundation, delivers high-quality arts education programming, preparing students with the tools to be successful in work and life. Collectively, UPAF’s 14 Member Groups impact the lives of 50,640 children — many of them underserved — through in-classroom and after-school programming.

UPAF’s comprehensive arts education program evaluation measures student growth across five skills deemed essential to future success:

UPAF Bright  Minds Five Skills Graphic

UPAF’s Member Groups lead the nation in innovative and proven arts education programs, including:

  • First Stage Theater Academy, the nation’s largest theater training program for young people
  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, which trains teachers to use the arts and music as tools for teaching core subjects
  • Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap, teaching life skills by integrating dance classes into regular school curriculum for more than 2,500 local students

With a gift of $1,200 or more, you can designate a portion of your gift to UPAF Bright Minds or one of our other Community Impact Programs and change countless lives through the performing arts.

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For more information, view the 2019-2020 Bright Minds Impact Report.


It surprised me how happy I was dancing. The experience changed how active I was. I learned to be more patient. Being part of this makes me feel like part of a team. I liked best that I became friends with new people.

Danceworks Mad Hot Participant, Alcott School