Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: United Performing Arts Fund brings in more than $10.7 million in its third annual campaign since COVID-19 began

Jim Higgins | September 28, 2022

The United Performing Arts Fund took in $10,782,496 for local performing arts organizations during its recently concluded 2022 campaign, UPAF announced Tuesday evening. 

That total includes $10,121,262 through campaign fundraising, plus $661,234 from a bequest "that will be directed to UPAF reserves for future use in aiding the long-term health of the performing arts sector," UPAF reported in a statement.

UPAF said 13,400 donors contributed to this year's campaign.

This was UPAF's third campaign affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the performing arts sector hard. UPAF's 14 member groups "experienced a collective revenue loss of nearly $38 million during the past three seasons," UPAF wrote in a letter to the Journal Sentinel earlier this year.

UPAF raises operating funds for 14 performing arts organizations such as the Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and First Stage. It also provides one-time grants to arts organizations. 

UPAF raised $10,148,461 during its 2021 campaign. The 2020 campaign raised $11,662,693, including $304,000 in grant revenue and $720,000 raised specifically for Kasey's Fund, a one-time initiative to support arts accessibility.

As a result of the 2022 campaign, $8,267,000 will be allocated to a record 47 performing arts organizations throughout eastern Wisconsin, UPAF said.

A total of $7,976,806, or 96%, goes to UPAF’s 14 member groups. This total includes a one-time COVID relief distribution of $700,000 from UPAF’s reserves.

The remainder, $290,194, or 4%, will be distributed as one-year unrestricted grants to 33 UPAF affiliates. A one-time distribution of $50,000 from UPAF reserves is included to expand the affiliates' diversity and geographic reach.

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