YOUR County Chamber

  • Member Spotlight


    United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF)

    414-273-UPAF (8723)

    301 W Wisconsin Ave, Suite 600
    Milwaukee, WI 53203


  • What is the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite?


    The UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite, travels along Lake Michigan with routes ranging from Port Washington to South Milwaukee. The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is featured as well as Lakeshore State Park, the only urban state park in Wisconsin. The event is one of the nation’s largest one-day recreational bike rides. Since 1981 more than 288,000 people have participated in our annual fundraising event to raise more than $9 million for the performing arts. It’s one of the nation’s largest one-day recreational bike rides, and it’s all about keeping our performing arts scene a dynamic and vital part of our community’s culture.


    UPAF Ride for the Arts General Information


    • WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • WHERE: The Ride starts and finishes at the South Gate of the Summerfest Grounds, at the intersection of Polk Street and Harbor Drive.
    • WHAT: The Ride offers 5 routes that showcase Milwaukee’s lakefront and neighborhoods.
    • WHY: The Ride supports Southeastern Wisconsin’s dynamic, diverse and vital performing arts scene.


    The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has been setting the stage for 50 years by providing critical investment in our region’s vibrant performing arts scene.  UPAF’s 50th Anniversary Campaign will take place from March 6, 2017 to June 14, 2017.



    UPAF is the largest united arts fund in the country for the performing arts and has raised over $300 million for the performing arts since its founding. By providing a single point of giving, UPAF has continuously been able to raise funds greater than any individual Member Group could on its own. 




    UPAF’s three-part mission is to raise much needed funds to support entertainment excellence, to promote the performing arts as a regional asset and to responsibly steward the dollars our donors so generously give.



    The 15 Member Groups that receive UPAF funding are:

    • Cornerstones:  First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Skylight Music Theatre
    • Bel Canto Chorus, Danceworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Next Act Theatre, Present Music, Renaissance Theaterworks



    The performing arts are a regional asset, enjoyed by residents throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.  In fact, more than half of UPAF Member Groups and several Affiliates provide entertainment and educational opportunities within Waukesha County.

    • A strong downtown Milwaukee benefits the entire region.  Innovative companies and talented individuals are drawn to regions with a strong culture, and many of those businesses and employees reside in the suburbs.
    • World-class entertainment is available within 30 minutes of Waukesha County residents.
    • UPAF Member Groups provide arts education outreach that impacts almost 50,000 students in Waukesha County schools.
    • Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, a cornerstone of the Waukesha County performing arts scene, receives funding from UPAF as an Affiliate.


    A vibrant arts scene provides entertainment excellence, engages diverse audiences, boosts our economy, educates our kids and enhances health and well-being.  Invest in our community, and donate to UPAF today, at


    Did you know how many people are impacted by UPAF every year?

    Every year, UPAF touches over one million people through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.


    Do you know where UPAF get its funding?

    UPAF receives NO government funding.  It is through the generosity of individuals, companies and foundations that UPAF achieves its mission.


    How can I be sure that my donation will be used responsibly?

    UPAF’s sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned the organization a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, (the highest possible rating). UPAF is ranked the #1 non-profit organization in Southeastern Wisconsin.


    What is a Workplace Giving Campaign?

    Over 200 local businesses and organizations that are making a difference through their UPAF Workplace Giving Campaigns. A Workplace Giving Campaign is an organized, company-sponsored fundraising drive where employees are asked to contribute to UPAF. It’s good for business! Being a good corporate citizen increases employee engagement and employee engagement reduces employee turnover. A UPAF Workplace Giving Campaign is an innovative way to build strong teams by allowing employees from different levels and department come together for a common cause.


    Why donate?

    Giving to UPAF means you’re supporting 29 local arts groups with just one donation. Our financial support allows these groups to perform vital community outreach work and produce world-class shows that make Southeastern Wisconsin a destination for visitors and businesses alike. UPAF offers benefits to both individual donors as well as corporate donors, including the UPAF SMART CARD. In addition, UPAF offers cumulative benefits to individual donors of $52 or more and corporate benefits to businesses and corporations that donate $1,000 or more.


    What is the UPAF SMART CARD?

    As a UPAF donor of $100 or more, you’ll receive the UPAF SMART CARD. This donor benefit offers “buy one, get one FREE” tickets to one performance for each of the 15 UPAF Member Groups and discounts to many area restaurants. New this season—the UPAF SMART CARD app, available for download for free on both Apple and Android platforms.


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