February 2017

Celebrate Black History Month

The performing arts have always been about inclusion, a universal language and a way to bring people from completely different backgrounds together. Inclusiveness in the arts has continuously been an important part of Greater Milwaukee, and a vital part of the groups that UPAF supports. This February, we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the talent that lies in our own community.

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January 2017

MSO’s Yaniv Dinur Makes Music Accessible to Milwaukee

In the fall of 2015, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra gained a new Assistant Conductor, Israeli native Yaniv Dinur. Born in Jerusalem in 1981, Dinur has performed with orchestras all over the world. He began his conducting career at the age of 19, and was the youngest conductor to ever conduct an orchestra in Israel.
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December 2016

Skylight Music Theatre’s KidsWrites Program

You are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who benefit from UPAF-funded arts education programming!

KidsWrites is a free in-school arts education program that builds confidence, creativity, and a sense of teamwork.

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November 2016

The Florentine Opera Company’s Young Singing Actor Intensive Changes Young Lives

You are making a difference in the lives of nearly 83,000 children who benefit from UPAF-funded arts education programming! Here is just one program where your gift has made an impact.

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October 2016

The Performing Arts Can Heal!

Nearly half of the nation’s healthcare institutions recognize art’s healing powers and provide arts programming for patients, families and staff.

UPAF Member Groups are invested in improving our community’s physical, mental and behavioral health. Read below about just a few of the healing programs that are happening right here in our community!

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September 2016

Teaching Apprentices Share the Magic of Theater with a New Generation of Artists

For the young adults working as Teaching Apprentices at First Stage’s Theater Academy, acting and performing have given confidence, creativity and purpose to their lives. Now they work to share the gifts bestowed by theater with a new crop of young performers.

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August 2016

Ko-Thi Dance Company Strengthens Roots with Traditional Musical Art and Dance

In our vibrant city of the arts, the uplifting dance and musical forms of the African Diaspora can often go unseen and unheard. DeMar Walker of Ko-Thi Dance Company seeks to change that.

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July 2016

UPAF Connect Changes Lives

The mission of UPAF Connect seeks to give more access to the performing arts among under-served members of our community. In partnership with local non-profits, it brings world-class experiences to the heart of Milwaukee. With just a $25 contribution, you give someone the chance to experience a UPAF Member Group performance.

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June 2016

Congratulations to Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap 10th Anniversary

Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap is an innovative, educational dance program that provides desperately needed arts and physical education programming to underserved urban youth in low-income central city schools in and around Milwaukee.

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May 2016

Mike Fordney is a top pledge raiser for the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by MillerLite

The performing arts have always been a part of Mike Fordney’s life. He picked up the French Horn in grade school and continued with the instrument through college.

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April 2016

“We’re All in the Arts Together.” Al Jarreau Voices his Support for UPAF and Arts Education Programs

Al Jarreau, Milwaukee native and multiple Grammy award-winning music artist, recently penned an opinion piece advocating for UPAF and arts education programs.

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March 2016

The Importance of Giving Back: Why the Hupy Family Supports UPAF

Attorney Michael Hupy has been giving back to the Greater Milwaukee area for over 20 years, donating to UPAF and championing the performing arts as an essential part of our community.

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 Ayad Akhtar_What Your Dollar Does_Feb 16
February 2016

The Rep and Playwright Ayad Akhtar Enhance Cultural Understanding

Pulitzer Prize-winning, Pakistani-American and Milwaukee-raised playwright, Ayad Akhtar, continues tackling tough issues with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s The Invisible Hand.

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 Milwaukee Ballet 1_What Your Dollar Does_Jan 16
January 2016

Milwaukee Ballet Relevé Program

The Milwaukee Ballet’s community outreach program, Relevé, is on “pointe.”  The  program provides high quality ballet for over 200 students at four Milwaukee Public Schools.

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December 2015

Renaissance Theaterworks’ New York City Adventure

This summer, Renaissance Theaterworks earned an exciting opportunity: to perform in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway (OOB) Festival. The Festival is New York’s oldest, continuous short play festival and has attracted submissions from the U.S. and abroad.

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What Your Dollar Does, November 2015
November 2015

Ann Janikowsky – Why I Care

Music and performance have always been important to Ann, who grew up right here in Milwaukee. She played clarinet in both grade school and high school, working her way up to playing with the renowned University of Wisconsin Marching Band while in college!

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UPAF Member Groups Focus on Health, October 2015
October 2015

UPAF Member Groups Focus on Health

Everyone knows that the performing arts entertain and boost our economy. But did you know the arts also improve our community’s health and wellness? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the arts can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve well-being, and enhance the way we fight infection.

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MYSO goes to Vienna and Budapest
September 2015

MYSO Travels to Vienna and Budapest

This summer, the Senior Symphony of Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), consisting of 93 of the area’s most talented young musicians, embarked on a performance and educational tour to Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary from June 28 – July 8..

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Ballet, August 2015
August 2015

Grief and the Ballet

Carol had been looking forward to her husband’s retirement for a long time. With their children grown and out of the house, the couple had made plans to travel to all the places they always dreamed of, and to enjoy everything life had to offer. But in a blink of an eye, it all changed…

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NM Choir, July 2015
July 2015

Northwestern Mutual Choir

Northwestern Mutual believes in Greater Milwaukee! The company has been a staunch supporter of the performing arts and UPAF since our inception in 1967. But what many people don’t know is that Northwestern Mutual also actively participates in the performing arts through its company choir.

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Lilly Miller, MCC, June 2015
June 2015

Lilly Miller, Milwaukee Children’s Choir

Lily Miller was a timid and introverted eight-year-old little girl. She enjoyed doing things alone like listening to music and reading. Also, since she was homeschooled, she didn’t really have many opportunities to interact with people. One day, Lily ask ed her mother if she could sing in a choir like her sisters…

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Molly Rhode, May 2015
May 2015

Molly Rhode, Milwaukee Actress

A Conversation with Molly Rhode: actor, teacher, director, choreographer. Throughout her career, Molly has worked for 10 UPAF Member Groups and Affiliates. Read on to see how your donation to UPAF has affected her life and career.

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Andrew Herndon, MYSO, April 2015
April 2015

Andrew Herndon, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO)

When he was just five years old, Andrew Herndon picked up his first trumpet at the Salvation Army, and 13 years later he has yet to put it down. It didn’t matter that he didn’t have his two front teeth back then; he had discovered something that would become his life-long passion: music.

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April 2015

Beck, First Stage Academy Student

Eleven-year-old Beck Lawrence, a 5th grader at Fairview Elementary, has blossomed in Next Steps. “First Stage is where you can be yourself and have fun. You can act, make movies, and do improv. All the classes are fun. They even have a class for kids with autism. That is where I started,”says Beck.

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Frank Almond, MSO, March 2015
March 2015

Frank Almond, Concertmaster, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO)

Frank Almond has had an eventful year. Between the theft and successful recovery of the “Lipinski” Stradivarius violin he plays on loan; the violin’s recent 300 th birthday; and a full schedule of rehearsals, solo performances, and concerts; it can safely be said that for Almond, there is never a dull moment.

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Theater Couples, February 2015
February 2015

Married Couples in the Theater

Norman and Carrie. Laura and Jonathan. Tami and Jim. Three Milwaukee theater couples whose love shines on and off the stage. Each has a unique love story, but share similar feelings about what it’s like to make a living in the theater.

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Danielle Bly, Next Gen, January 2015
January 2015

Danielle Bly of We Energies, Next Generation UPAF

For Danielle Bly, a UPAF donor and area professional, the performing arts have played a huge role in her life. She feels that her participation in performing arts has impacted her development and success as a business professional.

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Nutcracker, Ballet, December 2014
December 2014

Nutcracker Dancers, Milwaukee Ballet

Seeing Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker creates memories that last a lifetime. Just imagine how special those memories will be for 12-year-olds Nadia Dietrich and Claudia Torres, who danced as soldiers in last year’s production.

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Matt Daniels, October 2014
October 2014

Matt Daniels, Milwaukee Actor

It can be a rough road making a living as an actor, musician or dancer. Your donation to UPAF supports our diverse performing arts culture and provides opportunities for skilled individuals, like Matt Daniels.

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May 2014

Josh, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO)

This is the story of how a UPAF Member Group, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), has impacted a young man’s life.

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