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 83,940 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 $1,000 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.

Donate Now

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

Teachers, click here for your free gift from UPAF. Thank you to Herb Kohl Philanthropies and all sponsors and donors to the UPAF Rally for Arts Education for supporting our local students and teachers. 


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


UPAF Bright Minds is made possible with the generous support of our 2020 program sponsors:

Arzbaecher Family Foundation
BMO Harris Bank
Johnson Controls
Korb + Associates Architects
Phoenix Investors
Reiman Foundation


Berghammer Construction
Founders 3 Real Estate Services
Gilbane Building Company
WaterStone Bank SSB
Waukesha State Bank