Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Pens Opinion Piece on UPAF

Journal Sentinel Opinion Piece on UPAF

UPAF: A great opportunity to help the arts scene

One of the best things you can do for the arts in the Milwaukee area is give to the United Performing Arts Fund, which raises operating cash for many of the performing arts groups in the region. UPAF is in the middle of its 2016 fund-raising campaign, which has the biggest goal in the group’s history: $12.26 million. We urge lovers of the arts to give generously.

Co-chairs of this year’s campaign are Paul Eberle, chief executive of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Paul Purcell, chairman of Baird; and Peggy Williams-Smith, senior vice president of SafeHouse Restaurants, Marcus Hotels & Resorts. The 15-week campaign began March 1 and will run through June 14. UPAF’s marquee event of the year — the Ride for the Arts — will be June 5.

Ever attended a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert? How about a chamber theater production? Gone to the ballet? Or the Milwaukee Repertory Theater? What about the Florentine Opera or the Bel Canto chorus? The children’s choir? Next Act? Present Music?

All of these groups and many more receive essential help each year from the UPAF fund drive.

But UPAF also is essential for school kids. By connecting its member groups directly to children, UPAF helps instill in youngsters a love of theater, music and dance and other art forms. It is one of UPAF’s core missions in this community.

Through its Arts Education Grant Program, UPAF helps channel dollars so member groups can provide arts programming. The program served 88,960 students in the 2014-2015 school year; nearly 80% of them came from impoverished households.

There’s still time to help the arts in the Milwaukee area: Please consider a donation to UPAF. For more information, go to

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