Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UPAF allocates $8.4 million for 14 performing arts groups

Jim Higgins | September 29, 2020

The United Performing Arts Fund has announced allocations totaling more than $8.4 million to its 14 member groups for their 2020-'21 seasons, a 2% decrease from the total allocated for 2019-'20.

That's in line with the results of UPAF's recently concluded fundraising campaign, which finished 1.9% under the prior year's total.

UPAF, which raises operating funds for local performing arts groups, extended this year's campaign through Aug. 31. Dollars received from UPAF have been the only consistent source of contributed revenue some groups have received since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live performances in March.

While the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will receive the largest allocation of $1,877,448, that's a 20% decrease from last season's allocation of $2,360,843. UPAF attributed the decrease to a combination of factors, including a change in the continuing support formula, and the fact that no companies designated specific gifts to UPAF cornerstone groups this year. 

The other new allocations include First Stage, $930,577; Florentine Opera, $772,925;  Milwaukee Ballet, $1,240,972; Milwaukee Repertory Theater, $1,761,099; Skylight Music Theatre, $587,570; Bel Canto Chorus, $46,010; Black Arts MKE, $69,050; Danceworks, $196,861; Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, $163,623; Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, $376,666; Next Act Theatre, $146,332; and Renaissance Theaterworks, $119,140.

In addition to these allocations, smaller performing arts groups will receive grants through the UPAF Affiliate Program.

Wisconsin Policy Forum report published in August said the arts and culture sector in Wisconsin is facing an "existential threat" from the COVID-19 pandemic. It estimates that 33.9% of people employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector in this state filed initial claims for unemployment between March 15 and July 5.

Original article can be viewed HERE.