with the community
Donations to UPAF go to support 15 member groups
As business people representing different industry segments — hospitality, legal services and financial services — we share an interest in making sure that the performing arts prosper and engage beyond just the performance on the stage. Of course, a vibrant arts scene helps us recruit and retain the best talent and brings greater economic prosperity to the region, but our involvement cuts deeper. We want to make sure the work of UPAF and its member groups connect to the community and that no one in the region should be excluded from experiencing the best in music, dance and theater.
Making this connection between community and the arts is an imperative for building future audiences and donors, and that includes efforts to make the arts more accessible to underserved residents. In the coming weeks, with the support of Michael Best & Friedrich, UPAF will be partnering with local nonprofits to bring these world-class performances and arts education programming to those who traditionally have not had this opportunity. The program called UPAF Connect works under the proven premise that arts exposure connects diverse populations, increases social engagement while also lowering crime and poverty rates.
UPAF Connect will bring greater exposure to the performing arts in two ways: provide opportunities to bring new audiences to UPAF member group productions, and take the performing arts out into the neighborhoods.
In addition to this initiative, UPAF and its member groups will continue to pick up the slack as funding for in-school arts and culture curriculum continues to be scaled back. Arts education programming has a positive impact on a child's Emotional Quotient, which is a proven predictor of future employability, life-long success and the ability to better cope with the complexities of a 21st century world.
This past year each of UPAF's 15 member groups received grants totaling $492,500, a 31 percent increase over 2014.
UPAF's core mission during its 2016 Workplace Giving campaign to raise needed dollars to support its Member Groups and affiliates goes unabated. Last year's appeal brought in just over $12 million, a testament to the generosity of our community, and its belief in the power of the arts to educate, inspire and entertain.
(of Elm Grove)
co-chairmen of the
2016 UPAF campaign