UPAF to distribute a record $9 million from successful fundraising campaign

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:36 am

After completing a record campaign of more than $11.7 million earlier this year, the United Performing Arts Fund has announced that it will distribute more than $9 million among its 15 member groups and 23 affiliates.

Representing a nine percent increase over 2013, the distribution total is also a record for the nonprofit performing arts advocate.

UPAF plans to dole out nearly $8.9 million to its 15 member groups and about $222,000 to 23 affiliate organizations.

“Allocating more than $9 million to our performing arts groups enables UPAF to fulfill a vital part of its mission, which is to judiciously steward the dollars we raise,” said Deanna Tillisch, UPAF president and CEO. “Our community has shown its commitment to the performing arts, which is essential to sustaining a vibrant cultural scene in southeastern Wisconsin.”

Remaining funds from the 2014 campaign, which ran from March 4 through June 5, will help cover the organization’s operating expenses.

UPAF determined specific dollar amounts for each beneficiary member organization through an independent committee, which was expanded this year so that more of UPAF’s corporate donors could weigh in on the funding decisions. The committee, which included representatives from Northwestern Mutual, Johnson Controls, We Energies, Baird, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ashton Group, followed an allocation process created in 2013 to decide how much to award each recipient.

UPAF member groups that each received a portion of the nearly $8.9 million include: Bel Canto Chorus, Dancework, First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Next Act Theatre, Present Music, Renaissance Theaterworks and Skylight Music Theatre.

A separate panel of reviewers decided how to distribute additional funds to 23 affiliate performing arts groups. Each affiliate applied for funding through a competitive, program-based grant application process.

UPAF’s 2014 campaign was co-chaired by Bob Arzbaecher, chairman of Actuant Corporation; Therese Burkhart, community volunteer; and Glen Hackmann, vice chairman of Robert W. Baird and Co.

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