Zindzi Frederick and the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) Youth Board

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.

Story: Richard Hynson, Music Director and Connector

Story: 'Motivational Mover' Christopher Gilbert

Meet Christopher Gilbert, choreographer of Black Arts MKE's Black Nativity.

Story: Local Acting Student Nahjee Robinson


Story: Local Actor, Producer, Director and Artistic Director DiMonte Henning

Video: MYSO Youth Conductor and Trombone Player Maliq Veal

"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

Video: Local Actor and Nursing Student Shawn Holmes

"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

Video: Local Actor Laura Gordon

"That need for community, that need for inspiration, that need for empathy, for filling one soul is direly important. ​​​​​​" - Laura Gordon

Video: First Stage Actor Makayla Davis

"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

Video: Milwaukee Ballet Company Artist Itzel Hernandez

"The arts are a positive, powerful, and universal force." - Itzel Hernandez

Video: Florentine Baumgartner Studio Artist Nathaniel Catasca

"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

Video: MSO Principal Trombone Player Megumi Kanda

"Music lifts your spirits up, music unites, and especially at a dark time like this, we need music." - Megumi Kanda

Jarred Manista Goes From Young Actor in Milwaukee to the Stages of NYC

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.

The Performing Arts Provides Sense of Belonging for Young Performer

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.

Performing arts background helps advocate raise funds for UPAF

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.

The performing arts helped a Marquette law student connect with Milwaukee

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!

UPAF Connect - a program to provide accessibility to the performing arts.

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.

Have a Story to Tell?

Has your life been enhanced by the performing arts? Share your story with us!