UPAF Annual Meeting

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 16, 2015 – Just off a record-setting year, the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) closed the curtain on its 2015 Campaign with its Annual Meeting today, held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. “The meeting provides us with an opportunity to review the year’s highlights and recognize and thank the many people and companies who support the performing arts with their time and dollars,” said Deanna Tillisch, UPAF’s president and CEO.
The organization celebrated raising a record-setting $12,018,207, a 2.3% increase over last year and 18.1% over 2012. UPAF distributed $9,175,000, a 1.1 percent increase over 2014 and the most in UPAF history. UPAF’s 15 Member Groups received a total of $8,991,549 with the additional $183,451 supporting 18 Affiliates.
The record-setting 2015 UPAF Campaign was co-chaired by Patty Cadorin, vice president and chief of staff to the CEO of BMO Harris Bank; Tom Cardella, MillerCoors (retired); and Mark Sabljak, publisher, Milwaukee Business Journal.
The 2016 UPAF Campaign Co-chairs were also introduced at the meeting: Paul Eberle, chief executive of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Paul Purcell, chairman and CEO of Baird; and Peggy Williams-Smith, senior vice president, SafeHouse Restaurants and Marcus Hotels and Resorts.
Each of UPAF’s 15 Member Groups also received an Arts in Education grant this year, totaling $492,500, a 31 percent increase over 2014 and UPAF stewardship of donor dollars continued to receive Charity Navigator’s highest possible rating – four stars.
Outgoing UPAF board Chair Curt Culver, chairman of MGIC introduced his successor, incoming chair Jon VanDrisse of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Members of the Board of Directors were present, including the new officers: VanDrisse, chair, and Tim Mattke, treasurer, from MGIC. Austin Ramirez, from HUSCO International will continue in his position as secretary. Newly elected board members include Joe Rock from KPMG and Mattke. Outgoing board members Greg Ryan and Carlene Ziegler were also recognized for their longstanding dedication to UPAF.
In addition to performances by two UPAF Member groups, First Stage and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, UPAF unveiled two new 30-second TV commercials, the UPAF Celebrity Video Series, produced by CBS 58 featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Donny Most, from “Happy Days.” Abdul-Jabbar called supporting UPAF a “slam dunk” while Most said that the performing arts “make everybody happy.” The Most spot can be found at: Donny Most for UPAF
MYSO & First Stage Recognized
Two UPAF Member Groups received awards at the meeting: The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra with the UPAF Arts Education Award, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, and First Stage with the UPAF Good Stewards Award, sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. Sue Frautschi, current board member of Renaissance Theaterworks, past board president for the Skylight Music Theatre and former UPAF board member was honored for her active support of arts education and was presented the UPAF Notable Women Award, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. The award was presented by Patty Cadorin of BMO Harris Bank.
About UPAF
United Performing Arts Fund’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. Our vision is to shape a diverse, vibrant and sustainable cultural life for all. In 2015 UPAF’s Annual Campaign raised more than $12 million dollars to support the area’s vibrant performing arts environment. The 2015 Campaign will run from March 1 through June 14. UPAF proudly bears Charity Navigator’s highest distinction for nonprofits – a four-star rating.
As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 15 Member Groups and numerous Affiliates. More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.

Sign Up for Arts Beat

Get involved with local arts news. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and you'll always have local performing arts information at your fingertips.