UPAF launches 50th anniversary campaign

Organization sets goal to surpass 2016 total of $12.1 million

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

The United Performing Arts Fund launched its 50th anniversary fundraising campaign Monday night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Rather than setting a specific fundraising goal that is several percentage points higher than the previous year’s total as it has in previous years, UPAF said instead: “Our goal is to surpass last year’s record of about $12.1 million.”


After a string of years in which UPAF met or exceeded its annual campaign goals — the group has increased its annual fundraising total by more than $2 million since 2012 — it fell short of its $12.26 million goal in 2016.

UPAF raised $12.1 million last year, which, although short of its goal, still set a new fundraising record for the organization.

“When we announce the final results at our June 14 Finale celebration at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, we hope to unveil a new record for the fifth year in a row,” said UPAF president and chief executive officer Deanna Tillisch.

The campaign launch took place at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and was presented by Herb Kohl Philanthropies. The event featured performances from the Florentine Opera, Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The 50th Anniversary Campaign co-chars are former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publisher Betsy Brenner, General Capital Group partner Linda Gorens-Levey and The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank market leader Alex Kramer.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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