UPAF Launches 2018 Campaign with Special Downtown and Westside Events
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of UPAF.
The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) will kick off its 51st annual fundraising campaign with a downtown launch at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Monday, March 5 and a Westside launch Tuesday, March 6 at Carroll University in Waukesha. Last year’s campaign raised over $12 million for the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin.
The March 5 event, starting at 5:30 p.m., will feature a Q&A session with husband and wife performing duo Andrew Varela and Susan Spencer. Both Varela and Spencer spent years performing on Broadway and have made a major mark on Milwaukee's performing arts scene since returning home. Andrea Williams of Jammin’ 98.3 will moderate the Q&A. The night will also feature performances from UPAF Member Groups and a post-event reception, hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel, with light hors d'oeuvres.
Previously scheduled guests Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry can no longer attend the downtown launch event due to unforeseen health issues. They will instead host the UPAF Campaign Finale on June 13. While most know the married couple as Stuart Markowitz and Ann Kelsey on the hit NBC show L.A. Law, both have a long list of stage credits to their names. In fact, Tucker spent three seasons with The Rep, starring in shows such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Waiting for Godot, and The Prince of Peasantmania.
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and her daughter Ella Kleefisch will be the guests of honor at the Westside campaign launch. Ella has found great success in the Milwaukee performing arts scene and recently starred as Amy in Lake Country Playhouse’s Little Women: The Broadway Musical and Young Violet in Skylight Music Theatre’s Violet.
The Kleefisches will be joined by Dave Vetta, emcee and UPAF 2018 co-chair; George Tzougros, Wisconsin Arts Board executive director; and LaShawnda Holland, principal of La Casa de Esperenza Charter School. Registration and reception begins at 7 a.m. with a showtime of 8 a.m.