Your Regional Guide To The Performing Arts

UPAF Launches Performing Arts Awareness Campaign

UPAF Launches Performing Arts Awareness Campaign
Photo Credit: Design by EPIC Creative

The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) is switching gears this fall by raising awareness instead of funds. The nonprofit, now in its 50th year, recently launched the campaign “MKE Home is Where the Art Is,” aimed at bringing art lovers together and kicking off the performing arts season.


“Our member groups have always wanted a way to keep the drum beat going all year round,” said Katie Joachim, public relations and social media specialist for UPAF. “No fundraising is involved and it doesn’t have UPAF as the center of the show. It’s all about our member groups and purely to get butts in seats.”


One of the main tactics UPAF is using to build this bigger awareness for the Milwaukee arts is a live podcast with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. The podcasts will be hosted by Adam Carr, a true Milwaukee renaissance man, who has built a career around celebrating and documenting Milwaukee through his storytelling.


“Adam is so connected to the community,” Joachim said. “He just has this great attitude and ability to speak with people that is not intimidating and really down to earth.”


The upcoming podcasts include “Arts Education” with First Stage education director Julia Magnasco; “The Art of Art” with Renaissance Theaterworks artistic director Suzan Fete and Milwaukee Repertory Theater properties director Jim Guy; and “Dinner & A Show” with Milwaukee Ballet dancer Erik Johnson. "Arts Education" and "Dinner & A Show" will be hosted at 88Nine Studios and "The Art of Art" will be held at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. The podcasts start at 6 p.m. and will be live streamed on the 88Nine and UPAF Facebook pages.


Although the member groups are what drove the creation of this campaign, UPAF also reached out to non-member groups to get involved.


“We were lucky enough to tap on some shoulders and people were willing to give us their time,” Joachim said. “We want this to be about expanding the horizons and talk with more people about the depth of the cultural environment here in Milwaukee."


Another exciting component includes Facebook Live streams during upcoming performances of The Rep’s Guys and Dolls, First Stage’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Under the Streetlamp and Milwaukee Ballet’s La Boheme. The live streams are meant to capture the magic behind going to a show for the first time.


“We hope the campaign can help people see that the performing arts are accessible,” Joachim said. “You don’t have to wear a monocle, you don’t have to get super dressed up, you can really just come as you are and see these performances."


Want to learn more? Visit the microsite UPAF created for the campaign,, to access all the content.



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