Life's better with the arts.
The performing arts make our community a better place to live and improve our quality of life.
The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) is a nonprofit, umbrella organization that supports 36 performing arts groups in Southeastern Wisconsin through its annual fundraising campaign.
UPAF has raised over $234 million in support of the performing arts since its inception in 1967. In 2011, UPAF's annual community-wide fundraising campaign allocated over $7.5 million to its Member and Affiliate performing arts organizations.
UPAF's Member Groups produce over 2,000 live performances of music, dance, theater and opera each year. These performances connect us to new people and open our minds to new perspectives. They cause us to question and to contemplate. They move, motivate and amuse us. The arts add richness and meaning to our lives.
Art drives our local economy.
Our thriving art scene attracts innovative people and creates a sense of identity for our city. Residents spend money and time where the arts are present. Visitors come. Restaurants, bars and businesses spring up. The performing arts help businesses attract and retain talented professionals, employ hundreds of actors, dancers, musicians and people behind the scenes each year and have a significant economic impact in Southeastern Wisconsin. They are indispensable to the vitality of our region.
Participation in the performing arts has been shown to improve confidence, focus and test scores, which in turn helps students succeed in the classroom - and beyond. UPAF Member Groups help train and educate 400,000 area youth each year, often augmenting what schools can no longer directly offer.
UPAF funds the largest youth symphony orchestra (Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra) and the largest theater training school (First Stage Children's Theater) for young people in the country. Examples of other such programs include Danceworks' Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program that helps students at 40 schools develop their self-expression and social skills, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's ACE Program which is a sequential, multi-year program that integrates the arts into the daily school curriculum.
UPAF Member Groups serve the community at large by making the arts accessible to all through free performances in public places such as parks, libraries, cafés, and recreation centers. UPAF Groups offer Pay-What-You-Can Nights at the theater and incorporate targeted programming and services for seniors.
Help UPAF make life better with the arts.
When you support the arts, you're helping your local economy, improving education, and strengthening outreach programs to the disabled and elderly - all while adding culture to your own life. Please give generously.