The United Performing Arts Fund has launched its 50th year of raising funds for performing arts groups in Milwaukee, leading the way for the vibrant arts scene in Milwaukee. UPAF is one of the most successful arts funding groups in the country and plays a crucial role in the development of attractions in the city. As part of the drive, OnMilwaukee will feature each of the 15 member groups every week during the 15-week campaign drive. Today we look at Renaissance Theaterworks.
For more than two decades, Renaissance Theaterworks has produced some of the most memorable shows I’ve seen in Milwaukee. And the health of the group has been made possible, in large part, by support from the United Performing Arts Fund.
Founded 24 years ago by five women who wanted to provide more opportunities, both onstage and off, for women, Renaissance Theaterworks has created some amazing work. It has also been successful in carrying out its mission and opening doors not only at RTW, but also throughout Milwaukee, for female artists.
The company was established in 1993 by Suzan Fete, Marie Kohler, Raeleen McMillion, Jennifer Rupp and Michele Traband. They recognized a gender imbalance within professional theater and sought to correct it by producing excellent theatrical work, while actively promoting the careers of other women in professional theater. In 2001, Renaissance hired Julie Swenson as producing director.
The key to its mission is not just to give opportunities to women, but to produce excellent theatrical work. It is among the leading companies in the city.
"Milwaukee has a strong and vibrant performing arts community, and I believe this is the direct result of the financial support from UPAF," said Swenson. "Because the monies from UPAF are unrestricted, they can be used for any need. Capacity building, creating a new employment opportunity, producing a show with a bigger cast or higher technical budgets are all ways that UPAF support is used and valued. It allows t…Read more...