United Performing Arts Fund
Press Release

UPAF Welcomes Black Arts MKE as Newest Member Group

Black Arts MKE has been a UPAF Affiliate Member since 2014

By - Aug 13th, 2020 08:57 am

MILWAUKEE, August 13, 2020 – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved Black Arts MKE as a Member Group, effective immediately. The organization joins 13 other premiere world class performing arts organizations as a UPAF Member Group.  Since its inception six years ago, Black Arts MKE had received annual grants through the UPAF Affiliate Program.

“We are so honored to become a UPAF Member group,” said Black Arts MKE Founder and Board Chair Cory Nettles. “This continues UPAF’s longstanding support since we started the organization, and it further deepens UPAF’s support for African American arts and culture in our community.”

Black Arts MKE collaborates with local artists and arts organizations to bring renowned and original performance arts works by African American authors, playwrights, poets, musicians and composers to the Milwaukee community. The organization serves over 15,000 low income youth and their families with arts education outreach and community programs each year. Black Arts MKE’s  signature event, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes, has become a holiday tradition for many.

“Black Arts MKE is a welcomed addition to the roster of Member Groups,” said UPAF President & CEO Deanna Tillisch. “The organization’s success, reach and community impact put Black Arts MKE in an excellent position to make the move from Affiliate to Member Group. We are pleased to help ensure the preservation and accessibility of African American arts that are a true reflection of Milwaukee.”

More information on UPAF Member Groups can be found at https://upaf.org/about/who-we-support/member-groups.

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 $11.8 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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