UPAF receives major gift from Herb Kohl

Milwaukee Business Journal Covers Herb Kohl Philanthropies Donation to UPAF


Longtime arts supporter, philanthropist and retired U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, through Herb Kohl Philanthropies, has made a major gift to support the United Performing Arts Fund Inc.’s 50th anniversary campaign in 2017.

With the $50,000 gift, Herb Kohl Philanthropies will serve as presenting sponsor of the 50th anniversary campaign, which runs from March 6 through June 14. The gift is in addition to the significant annual support Kohl provides for the campaign. UPAF raises operating funds for 15 member performing arts groups and numerous affiliate organizations. Last year, UPAF raised more than $12 million in support of the arts in the Milwaukee area.

“The performing arts are critical to the vitality of the Milwaukee area,” Kohl said in a press release. “It’s important for us as a community to rally around the United Performing Arts Fund especially in their 50th Anniversary Campaign. UPAF’s arts education funding and other programs are invaluable assets to the health of our region and make the arts more accessible to a wide variety of people. I’m proud to help put the spotlight on the wonderful work UPAF has done over the past five decades and will continue to do in the future.”

UPAF has yet to announce the overall goal for the 2017 campaign.

Herb Kohl has been a generous donor to a variety of nonprofit organizations in the greater Milwaukee area, and his generosity continues to enhance the quality of life for all of us who live in our community,” said UPAF president and CEO Deanna Tillisch.

Kohl has been applying much of the proceeds from his $550 million sale of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014 to his charitable giving.

UPAF’s 50th Anniversary Campaign will be led by co-chairs Betsy Brenner, community volunteer; Linda Gorens-Levey, partner, General Capital Group; and Alex Kramer, market leader, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank. The campaign will officially launch on March 6 at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater with a retrospective look back at UPAF’s member groups over the past half century.

David Schuyler is Digital Producer overseeing website content and also serves as a reporter covering the arts and nonprofit organizations for the Milwaukee Business Journal.

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