United Performing Arts Fund
Press Release

UPAF Enters the “Final Stretch” of the 2020 Fundraising Campaign

Community support is needed for the performing arts to endure daunting times

By - Aug 6th, 2020 08:29 am

MILWAUKEE, August 6, 2020 – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) is entering the final stretch of its 2020 fundraising Campaign, at a time when the performing arts sector has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. After being extended by 10 weeks, the UPAF Campaign will officially close on August 31.

“Immediately after our Campaign Launch in March, we had to transform our fundraising strategy, just as our performing arts organizations had to pivot to a new virtual world,” said UPAF President & CEO Deanna Tillisch. “The dollars raised in the 2020 Campaign are imperative in keeping our Member Groups viable as they work to perform in a safe and sustainable manner during these unconventional times. As the 2020-21 season begins, Member Groups will be heavily reliant on contributed revenue, particularly dollars received from UPAF.”

“As a result of the current health crisis, arts organizations were among the first to close and will likely be the last to reopen,” said Milwaukee Rep Executive Director Chad Bauman. “In Milwaukee, many arts organizations have been fortunate to continue providing world class entertainment in a newly imagined way, due in great part to UPAF. While the Milwaukee Rep’s 2020-21 season will look different than originally planned, we will not have to hibernate, like many peer theaters around the country, because of the community’s commitment to the performing arts through UPAF.”

The 2020 Campaign also marks the final campaign under the leadership of Tillisch. To celebrate , UPAF is further demonstrating the deep commitment to ensuring accessibility of the performing arts through the special initiative, Kasey’s Fund. This fund is named after Tillisch’s daughter, Kasey, who despite having significant cognitive and physical disabilities, has tremendous passion for the arts. Throughout 2020, UPAF has seen incredible support of this fund, which will provide seed money for community outreach and arts education initiatives delivered by UPAF Member Groups.  Many times, these programs are the first to be cut due to lack of resources.  Learn more about Kasey’s Fund and how it will help ensure that this crucial programming can continue at http://upaf.org/kaseysfund.

Leading the 2020 UPAF Campaign are 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.

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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