Biz Times Profiles the Performing Arts in Milwaukee

Molly Dill of the Biz Times interviewed UPAF President and CEO Deanna Tillisch as part of her piece on the state of the performing arts in Milwaukee.

The next act

“As downtown Milwaukee is undergoing a renaissance a number of civic entities besides the MSO, including the Milwaukee Public Museum (which needs a new building) and Discovery World (which is planning an expansion), are also working on large capital projects. Fundraising for numerous big projects could put a strain on Milwaukee’s philanthropic community.

How many of them can be supported? There are a lot of asks out there, but there’s also momentum for the MSO, Tillisch said.

“They have such strong support in the community and people are really enthusiastic and energized about this move for them,” she said. “There’s an energy right now, with all the other things that are happening in this community. The symphony is right up there as a project that people are really excited about.”

UPAF saw contributions dip during the recession, but over the past five years its annual campaign has grown 23.5 percent.

“This is an incredibly generous community and the reason why people don’t give is because they haven’t been asked,” Tillisch said. “There are untapped wallets in this community.””

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