The United Performing Arts Fund has named Advocate Aurora Health Foundations executive Patrick Rath as its next president and chief executive officer.
Rath succeeds Deanna Tillisch, who recently retired after leading UPAF since 2011.
“Patrick’s deep love of the performing arts and his commitment to Greater Milwaukee is outstanding,” said Steve Johnson, regional president at BMO Wealth Management and chair of the CEO search committee. “We know that he will continue the great legacy of Deanna and those who came before her, of growing UPAF’s role in working with all of UPAF’s stakeholders to sustain a vibrant arts sector long into the future. Patrick is a consummate professional, a strategic and visionary thinker and a stellar leader.”
Rath is currently the executive development officer and system vice president at Advocate Aurora Health Foundations.
Previously, he held development roles at Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Art Museum. He also was UPAF’s chief development officer from 2002 to 2004.
"For the past 40 years, I have experienced our performing arts community as a student, performer, executive and leader," Rath said. "These roles have given me a deep desire to ensure that future generations have these same opportunities and experiences. While our performing arts community is experiencing an unprecedented loss of revenue during this pandemic, I am confident that UPAF will lead all facets to ensure a strong and sustainable future that builds on our core beliefs of excellence and access for all.”
UPAF recently completed its 2020 campaign, which raised about $11.7 million for Milwaukee-area arts groups.
UPAF raises funds on behalf of 14 member performing arts organizations, including its cornerstone groups First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Rep, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Skylight Music Theatre. Those organizations face significant funding challenges this year as many have had to cancel in-person performances.