2013 UPAF Campaign Exceeds Record-Setting Goal of $11 Million

News Date: 
June 2, 2013 - 2:45pm


Finale Held in Conjunction with Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite

Milwaukee, WI (June 2, 2013) – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) announced today that the 2013 UPAF Campaign raised a record-setting $11,005,419 for the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin, exceeding its $11 million goal set this past March and marking the most funds raised by any of the organization’s annual campaigns. The 2013 goal exceeded last year’s by 10%. Actual dollars raised  surpasses the 2012 total by nearly 9%. UPAF made today’s announcement in front of cyclists and arts enthusiasts at the 2013 UPAF Campaign Finale, held at the Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard stage at the Summerfest Grounds. The celebration was in conjunction with the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite. This year’s campaign was chaired by Charles Harvey, corporate vice president of Diversity and Public Affairs at Johnson Controls, Gail Lione, Community Volunteer, and Gary (Skip) Poliner, president of Northwestern Mutual.

“It has been truly inspirational to see firsthand the commitment residents of this community have to the United Performing Arts Fund, its Member Groups and Affiliates,” Charles Harvey said. “We are extremely grateful for the thousands of individuals, companies and foundations that contributed to UPAF this year. Today we are all witnesses to the value this community places on the performing arts.”

“We set this very aggressive goal because we all believed it is the level of support our community needs to sustain an incredible asset,” said Skip Poliner. “This increase in dollars translates to an increase in funding for all UPAF Member Groups. And for the more than one million people who experience the arts each year, this means continued entertainment excellence and exceptional arts education programming.”

“Each of us is a vital part of the performance,” said Gail Lione. “Every generous donor, volunteer solicitor, Cabinet member, Board member and Ride volunteer has made a difference by ensuring that the performing arts will thrive in Southeastern Wisconsin. That is what we are celebrating today.”

“UPAF is greatly appreciative of Chuck, Gail and Skip for their tireless energy,” said Deanna Tillisch, UPAF president and CEO.  “These three individuals provided the type of forward thinking that UPAF relies on to stretch itself.  It was their determination that instilled the confidence needed to believe we could reach an aggressive goal.  It was under their leadership that we assumed the risk and then did what was needed to achieve success.  And, it is the humility and selflessness of all three that got us to where we are today.”


2013 UPAF Campaign Highlights

♦Northwestern Mutual received the newly-created UPAF Epic Award at the 2013 Campaign Finale in recognition for the cumulative effect of their support over the years and of their incredible efforts this year, including:

  • Setting the record for the single highest corporate donation at $786,000
  • Raising  $810,000 though their Workplace Giving Campaign
  • Donating a combined gift over the $1.5 million mark for total giving for the first time by any organization
  • Having an increase in Next Generation UPAF members going from 75 last year to 220 in 2013
  • Tripling their number of UPAF Notable Women members
  • Recruiting 767 riders on the company team  for the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite
  • Recruiting 70 volunteers to “own the Hoan” for the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite
  • Having the largest number of leadership level donors
  • Having the highest number of volunteers for the UPAF Cabinet

♦Johnson Controls surpassed the $1 million amount for the first time in UPAF history. Johnson Controls generously matched their employees’ Workplace Giving contributions in addition to its corporate gift.  The company also contributed a variety of donor incentive prizes that included trips to Disney and Napa Valley, a $1,000 gift card and other prizes.

♦We Energies contributed more than $500,000 and served for the second year in a row as the exclusive sponsor of Next Generation UPAF. 

♦Rockwell Automation, BMO Harris Bank, Robert W. Baird and U.S. Bank each contributed more than $250,000.

♦This year’s Baird Award For Outstanding Achievement in Workplace Giving went to Associated Bank for the organization’s extraordinary effort and true commitment to the arts. Associated Bank’s total giving increased an impressive 46% to $140,000 in 2013. Associated Bank held the first ever UPAF golf outing, a leadership event at MYAC, raffles and a bake sale. They also promoted UPAF with the Associated Bank Women’s Network and with leadership outside of greater Milwaukee. Additionally, Associated Bank partnered with UPAF as the sponsor of the UPAF SMART CARD.

♦More than 200 companies hosted a Workplace Giving Campaign this year, including 36 new campaigns.

  • Zilber Ltd increased their overall giving by more than 78% due in large part to the generous 3 to 1 match from the Zilber Family foundation, serving as an excellent example of how a company can increase employee participation through the involvement of corporate leadership.
  • Baird continued their leadership within the UPAF campaign as not only one of the top donors, but also a leader in Workplace Giving participation, with levels of over 94% for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, Baird’s team for the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite, nearly doubled from 49 riders in 2012 to 88 riders this year.  
  • BMO Harris Bank continued to build on past success by once again sponsoring the 5-mile route for the Ride; increasing its Notable Women sponsorship, including a $20,000 challenge grant; and sponsoring the Golden Circle Party. Workplace Giving and participation also increased, with dollars raised increasing nearly 10%.  

♦Next Generation UPAF, sponsored by Wisconsin Energy Foundation, builds awareness, engagement and philanthropy in UPAF and the performing arts by the next generation of community leaders and encourages leadership level giving of $500 or more by individuals 45 years old or younger. Next Generation UPAF welcomed 164 new members in 2013, for a total of 641 (30% increase).  The membership accounts for more than $450,000 raised (28% increase over 2012). Northwestern Mutual continues to illustrate their strong support for Next Generation UPAF with 220 new members – an increase of 146 from 2012.  

♦UPAF Notable Women, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, was established in 2011 to address the growing need for ongoing arts education programming in our community.  This year, Notable Women has welcomed 95 new members, for a total of 145. $150,000 has been raised to date to support UPAF Member Groups’ arts education and outreach efforts.

♦UPAF added three new giving levels to its playbill of donor benefits this year, which include the Capstone Society for donors of $20,000 and higher, the Maestro level for $7,500 and the Concertmaster level for $5,000.   

♦Harley-Davidson Motor Company once again donated a motorcycle, which was awarded through a sweepstakes. All contributors of a new or increased gift of $50 or more were entered. The winner of the 2013 Harley-Davidson Motor Company Softail Slim™ Vivid Black motorcycle was Clark Peplinski from Rockwell Automation.  

♦Johnson Controls donated a trip for four to Disney World and a $1,000 gift card, which were also given away through a prize drawing. All contributors of a new or increased gift of $50 or more were entered. Diane Voss won the trip to Disney, and Fredrick Rosser won the gift card.

♦The 2013 Mrs. Walter H. Stiemke Award was presented to Carlene Ziegler, managing director, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership. Carlene was the Chair of the Fundraising Committee for the Milwaukee Youth Art Center (MYAC) and was a 2012 UPAF Campaign Co-Chair. Additionally, Carlene founded the UPAF Artist Society for donors at the $10,000 plus level, which has grown from two members to more than 58. Carlene currently chairs UPAF Notable Women , is a current UPAF Board member, and is a member of both UPAF’s Finance Committee and Executive Committee.

  • More than 7,000 individuals participated in the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite.  The Team of the Year Award, which encourages increased team ridership went to Johnson Controls Sustainable Pedalers, with an 41% increase in participation.

About UPAF
United Performing Arts Fund’s mission is to secure community resources, promote the performing arts as a regional asset and improve the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. Our vision is to shape a diverse, vibrant and sustainable cultural life for all.

As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 15 Member Groups and 17 Affiliates.  More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.

UPAF Member Groups are:  Bel Canto Chorus, Danceworks, Inc., First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Next Act Theatre, Present Music, Renaissance Theaterworks and Skylight Music Theatre.



United Performing Arts Fund

301 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 600, Milwaukee, WI  53203

Phone 414-273-UPAF (8723) Fax 414-273-0826