Violinist Zindzi Frederick first began her musical career in third grade when she began playing instruments at her elementary school. Soon after, she joined MYSO where she spent time learning the violin, piano and steelpan. Today, Zindzi is a recent high school graduate with no plans to end her musical journey soon. Next year, she is attending the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she is considering auditioning for the orchestra or forming a steelpan band with her peers. Before she heads off to college, Zindzi reflected on her experiences with MYSO and on the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) Youth Board.
Meet Christopher Gilbert, choreographer of Black Arts MKE's Black Nativity.
"My favorite part about performing is the feeling that you get after a great concert. There's always a moment of silence at the end of every piece and it's very touching." -Maliq Veal
"Music is always going to be a part of me. Helping people out on the medical side will always be a part of me. So why can't I do both if I physically can, and I love what I do." - Shawn Holmes
"That need for community, that need for inspiration, that need for empathy, for filling one soul is direly important. " - Laura Gordon
"Without First Stage, I don't think I would be like the person I am today about how confident I can be outside of theater and in real everyday life." - Makayla Davis
"The arts are a positive, powerful, and universal force." - Itzel Hernandez
"I think it's also been really beautiful to see how the community at large wants the arts to continue, because it is their escape." - Nathaniel Catasca
"Music lifts your spirits up, music unites, and especially at a dark time like this, we need music." - Megumi Kanda
You are helping young people in Milwaukee discover their careers in the performing arts through your support of UPAF. Jarred Manista's involvement in the Milwaukee performing arts scene has led him to a Broadway stage in the upcoming Broadway revivalof West Side Story.
Kate Ketelhohn, an actor and playwright, finds a sense of belonging and support within the performing arts as she faces battles with her health throughout her life.
As an experienced theater director and arts administrator, Andrew Volkoff understands the support that Greater Milwaukee's performing arts groups need to be sustainable. He puts this knowledge into practice as he helps Rockwell Automation raise funds for UPAF.
Erik Gustafson served as a UPAF Ambassador when his law firm, Borgelt, Peterson& Frauen, S.C. hosted a Workplace Giving Campaign last spring. Erik, an associate with the firm, has a strong affinity for the performing arts due to his extensive musical background. As a UPAF Ambassador, Erik internally coordinated activities and encouraged fellow employees to donate to UPAF!
In 2016, UPAF launched UPAF Connect, an outreach program designed to unite Greater Milwaukee around the power of performance through increased accessibility to the performing arts. Through UPAF Connect, UPAF connects the performing arts to new audiences by working with community organizations like Life Navigators.