UPAF Seeks to Ensure ‘A Stage For All’ with 2020 Campaign

UPAF | February 18, 2020

MILWAUKEE – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) will launch its 2020 Campaign with a special mission to ensure accessibility of the arts to all. This year’s campaign will kick off with two launch events on Tuesday, March 3.

Throughout her tenure at UPAF, President & CEO Deanna Tillisch has been known for expanding the impact of the arts to underserved communities and that focus will be put center stage throughout her final Campaign at the helm of the organization. “The ability to create and experience the performing arts opens up new worlds for everyone, including people with disabilities, those with serious illnesses and people in underserved communities,” said Tillisch. “I look forward to sharing stories of how the performing arts touch all lives throughout my final campaign with UPAF, as well as raise additional funds for this cause.”

Throughout the 2020 Campaign, donors will have the opportunity to contribute directly to ensure arts accessibility in our community through the one-time initiative, ‘Kasey’s Fund.’ Named after Deanna’s daughter Kasey, who while having profound cognitive and physical disabilities has an extremely evident appreciation for the arts, this fund will increase dollars directed towards UPAF’s two community outreach programs: UPAF Bright Minds, presented by BMO Harris Bank and UPAF Connect, presented by Northwestern Mutual. Any new or increased gifts given during the 2020 Campaign designated to Kasey’s Fund will fund these two existing programs.

Leading this year’s efforts are UPAF Campaign Co-Chairs Tami Garrison, community affairs director at Molson Coors, Justin Mortara, principal of the Mortara Group and Rolando Rodriguez, chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres.

The UPAF 2020 Campaign will launch on Tuesday, March 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Skylight Music Theatre. Throughout the program, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Rep, Florentine Opera, First Stage and Skylight Music Theatre will share performances as well as insight on their UPAF-supported community outreach programs. The program will be emceed by local actors Andrew and Susan Varela and will also feature remarks from UPAF and community leaders. A reception will immediately follow in the Salon at the Broadway Theatre Center. Reservations for $10 can be made at https://events.upaf.org/2020launch. Potawatomi Hotel and Casino is sponsoring the UPAF Campaign Launch downtown.

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 2019 UPAF raised more than $11.9 million to support the area’s performing arts environment. 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.

As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 14 Member Groups and numerous Affiliates. More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.

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