Associated Bank becomes lead corporate sponsor of the Marcus Center

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Thanks to a financial gift Associated Bank has bestowed upon the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the bank has been named the lead corporate sponsor of the cultural venue.

Associated Bank announced its support of the Marcus Center on Monday but declined to disclose the specifics of its monetary commitment.

While the bank has supported past Broadway shows performed onstage at the Marcus Center, its most recent gift represents its most significant, according to Christopher Piotrowski, chief marketing officer of the bank.

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The new partnership, to extend for a minimum of three years, has dual purposes. A portion of Associated Bank’s sponsorship will back the Broadway at the Marcus Center series. The upcoming Broadway season will feature popular productions such as Wicked, Newsies, Cabaret, Once and Kinky Boots.

Associated Bank’s gift will also contribute to the Marcus Center’s operating and capital costs so that it can rent its space to area performing arts groups at an affordable rate. Among the organizations that use the Marcus Center routinely are the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Florentine Opera, First Stage, the Milwaukee Ballet, and Handsberry-Sands Theatre Company.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to sponsor the facility and really help continue to grow and cultivate the arts within the community,” Piotrowski said.

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Associated Bank focuses much of its philanthropic efforts on the performing arts sector, according to Piotrowski, who said the sector is “very near and dear” to the bank’s heart.

“One of our goals is to make sure that we help build strong communities that we not only live in, but we work in,” he said. “And part of a strong community is a strong and vibrant arts and cultural scene.”

Associated Bank is also dedicated to supporting United Performing Arts Fund and the Milwaukee Art Museum along with a host of other cultural groups and venues in its other markets in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

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Beyond the Broadway series and facility costs, the bank’s partnership with the Marcus Center will entail collaboration on initiatives that benefit students, veterans and multicultural audiences, among other demographics.

The two entities plan to sit down to discuss how to align their visions and goals in the months ahead, Piotrowski said.

Events and programs held at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts draw close to 800,000 people each year.

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