The United Performing Arts Fund Announces $11,300,000 Fundraising Target for 2021 Community Campaign

UPAF | March 3, 2021

MILWAUKEE – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) kicked off their 2021 Community Campaign tonight with a virtual Launch event. This event highlighted the important role  local artists play on our Member Group stages and throughout the community. At the event, UPAF  announced their 2021 fundraising target of $11.3 million and the critical need of the performing arts during these difficult times.

“Throughout 2021, we are shining the spotlight on the amazing creative talent that is essential to our quality of life,” said Patrick Rath, president & CEO of UPAF. “While the 14 UPAF Member Groups have experienced a collective loss of more than $22M due to COVID-19, our talented local artists, on stage and behind the curtain, never wavered as they innovated in order to continue entertaining and inspiring. We are now asking the community to play their part in supporting the work of these local artists with a gift to the 2021 UPAF Community Campaign.”

The 2021 Community Campaign is co-chaired by Heather Dunn, Senior VP & Chief Financial Officer at West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, Steve Johnson, Regional President of BMO Private Bank and Greg Wesley, Senior VP of Strategic Alliances and Business Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“The performing arts often reflect the moment in time and plays a vital role in helping our community heal,” said Co-Chair Greg Wesley. “When we can safely gather, the performing arts will be an inspirational leader to so many corners of our community.  Every gift is appreciated. It is like a ‘standing ovation’ for the thousands of artists that make this community home.”

The 2021 UPAF Community Campaign runs from March 3 through May 26.

About UPAF

The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has been setting the stage since 1967 by providing critical investment in our region’s vibrant performing arts scene. UPAF’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. In 2020, dollars generated through fundraising totaled $11,358,693, with an additional $304,000 raised in grant revenue. UPAF proudly bears Charity Navigator’s highest distinction for nonprofits – a four-star rating – and is the No. 1 united arts fund in the country in terms of dollars raised.

UPAF works in partnership with its 14 Member Groups to ensure more than one million people are inspired each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships. UPAF Cornerstone Groups include First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Skylight Music Theatre. Member Groups include Bel Canto Chorus, Black Arts MKE, Danceworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), Next Act Theatre, Present Music and Renaissance Theaterworks.