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

UPAF | June 20, 2019
Milwaukee Ballet dancers visit Life Navigators'
Winter Celebration event.
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.
Life Navigators, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with developmental and related disabilities, has been a longstanding partner to UPAF and was one of the first UPAF Connect program partners. This partnership is generously sponsored by Catalyst Construction.
The Power of Performance
A night at the theater is more than just a chance for those served by Life Navigators to enjoy world-class entertainment. These arts outreach activities help Life Navigators to build their vision of an inclusive community where individuals with disabilities and their support networks can experience full participation and maximized independence.
Life Navigators consumer Cindy with 
Executive Director Vicki Wachniak (far right) 
and her son John Ryan.
"Our consumers and families have experienced so many wonderful performances. But what has really made a difference is UPAF's commitment to bring the arts to us," said Life Navigators Executive Director Vicki Wachniak. 
UPAF Connect programming allows unique access, such as private performances and backstage tours that include meeting performers and seeing and touching costumes. "This is where the arts truly matter; families will share in the transformation they see in their loved ones with disabilities when they are out and active."
The Benefits are Real
Daire enjoys A Christmas Carol at Milwaukee Rep.
These moments have lasting impact. Connecting with art and artists leads to increased confidence, less isolation, and a growing network of friends with shared interests for Life Navigators consumers.
"I had never ever before been to a performance and it was beautiful. I hope I get to go to more performances, please and thank you!"
-Cynthia, 60 years old
"The performance made me so happy; my favorite part was when everyone went on stage to sing"
UPAF Connect ensures that Life Navigators consumers, many of whom had never been to a live performance, are part of the community and also part of the conversation.
Thank you for supporting the arts, which truly change lives.