Kasey’s Fund


Making the magic of the arts available to all!

To celebrate Deanna Tillisch’s final UPAF Campaign and her longstanding commitment to accessibility of the performing arts, UPAF is launching a special initiative for 2020 to increase dollars available through UPAF’s Community Outreach Programs – UPAF Bright Minds and UPAF Connect.


The initiative will be named after Deanna’s “special” daughter: Kasey’s Fund.

Kasey was born with a chromosome deletion, 1p36, which resulted in profound cognitive and physical disabilities.  Although 21 years old, Kasey is mentally a 10-month-old little girl.  Yet, despite her limitations, Kasey is among the happiest people you could ever meet.   

One of Kasey’s greatest joys in life – if not the greatest – is the sound of music.  While her brain prevents her from talking, walking, reading and writing, it savors the strings of a violin, the beat of a drum and the sound of a French horn. 

As a matter of fact, Kasey plays a musical instrument – Mozart’s Magic Cube.  For hours on end, she will press the buttons on this cube to hear the different instruments, including a full orchestra. 

Kasey’s story reinforces from a slightly different perspective why the arts matter – in ways not always obvious. For Kasey it is as simple as having the ability to gleefully express her happiness with the simple touch of a button.   

It is Deanna and her family’s mission to ensure that the music never stops for Kasey and that all individuals can experience the arts in their own special way.   

Funds raised will provide seed money for UPAF’s two Community Outreach Programs with a continued focus to increase diversity, inclusion and equality within the arts:


UPAF Bright Minds
  • Deliver arts education programming with a focus on children having limited or no access to the arts.               
  • Fund sensory-friendly performances.


UPAF Connect
  • Take performances, workshops, activities to neighborhoods.
  • Bring neighborhoods to performances, distinct experiences – backstage tour, meet the artist, etc.
  • Tailor programming to enhance mental and physical health.
  • Underwrite pay what you can/free performances. 


Ensuring Accessibility

Individuals, companies and foundations making a new or increased gift will have the option to direct dollars to Kasey’s Fund.  Doing so will help remove barriers that exist for many families and individuals so they, too, can enjoy the best in music, dance and theater.

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