The United Performing Arts Fund Sets Goal to Raise An Additional $3 Million in Final Stretch of 2024 Campaign

UPAF | July 9, 2024

As the United Performing Arts Fund and its 14 Member organizations enter the final eight weeks of the 2024 UPAF Campaign, running through Aug. 31, they're committed to raising an additional $3 million with a heightened appeal for community support. This concerted effort aims to ensure the sustainability and growth of the arts in Southeastern Wisconsin, fostering a thriving cultural landscape for all residents and visitors.

The appeal comes at a time when Wisconsin’s government funding for the arts remains the lowest of all 50 states and while Milwaukee-area performing arts groups experience rising costs and continue to recover from the pandemic’s economic consequences. Without more corporate and individual philanthropic support of UPAF, performances and community outreach programs could be reduced or eliminated.

“As the Wisconsin Policy Forum said in its recent report, our local arts organizations’ survival hinges on philanthropic generosity in lieu of public funding,” said UPAF Board Chair Scott Beightol. “Together with our 14 member arts organizations, we are appealing directly to our community for a strong show of support for our region’s arts groups by donating to UPAF. We need to raise an additional $3 million by Aug. 31 to ensure that Milwaukee-area residents continue to benefit from a world-class performing arts community.”

UPAF provides critical operating support to 14 Members organizations and numerous Affiliate groups because of donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Over 1.2 million individuals enjoy over 3,400 performances at UPAF Members and Affiliates each year, all of which would not be possible without UPAF support. Additionally, over 150,000 young people annually are able to engage with the arts as a result of UPAF Member programming.

“Milwaukee’s vibrant performing arts scene thrives through the synergy of organizations of all sizes and focuses. The 14 Members of the United Performing Arts Fund showcase world-class talent, provide innovative experiences that engage and inspire our local community, educate our young people and more,” said Chad Bauman, Executive Director from Milwaukee Repertory Theater. “Each of us is better because of the company we share in Southeastern Wisconsin and the common thread through every one of our organizations is exceptional support from our community through UPAF.”

"UPAF funding is truly the backbone of our vibrant arts ecosystem. The community support demonstrated each year through the annual UPAF Campaigns is the reason that Southeastern Wisconsin has the depth and breadth of performing arts offerings that we do,” said Libby Amato, Managing Director at Next Act Theatre. “We are now asking our community to step up to ensure that our performing arts organizations remain a vital part of our cultural landscape in Southeastern Wisconsin with a gift to the UPAF Campaign.”

Donations to the 2024 UPAF Campaign can be made by August 31 at


About UPAF  

The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has been setting the stage since 1967 by providing critical investment in our region’s vibrant performing arts scene. UPAF’s mission is to secure community resources, promote the performing arts as a regional asset and improve the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. UPAF proudly bears a four-star rating with Charity Navigator, the highest distinction for nonprofits. 

With generous community support, UPAF funds 14 Member organizations and numerous Affiliate groups that provide our community with the best of music, dance, song and theater. In addition to entertainment excellence, these organizations provide transformative educational programs for local children, ensure that individuals from marginalized neighborhoods have opportunities to participate in the arts and expand arts access for people with disabilities.  

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