"The Ballad of Emmett Till" was possible at Renaissance thanks to UPAF funding.
"The Ballad of Emmett Till" was possible at Renaissance thanks to UPAF funding. (Photo: Ross E. Zentner)

UPAF support crucial to Renaissance's mission to increase work for women

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...
cttqyzdzrbyc
The Four Tops sang with the kids in the Milwaukee Children's Choir at The Pabst.
The Four Tops sang with the kids in the Milwaukee Children's Choir at The Pabst. (Photo: Milwaukee Children's Choir)

UPAF 50th fund drive: A look at the Milwaukee Children's Choir

The United Performing Arts Fund launched its 50th year of raising funds for performing arts groups in Milwaukee, leading the way for the city's vibrant arts scene. 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 per week during the 15-week campaign drive. This week: The Milwaukee Children's Choir.

So you gather a bunch of kids from all over Milwaukee, put them on a venerable and beautiful Downtown stage and, in front of those kids, you bring out ... The Four Tops!

Really? Those Four Tops?

Yes, those Four Tops, one of the greatest and most hallowed of groups from the legendary Motown music factory in Detroit.

And those kids were from the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, the premier youth choir in the state.

Since 1994, Milwaukee Children’s Choir has been delighting audiences and providing children, ages 5-18, with exceptional choral music education and performance experiences that foster creativity, personal expression and social growth.

As an audition-based, advanced children’s choral music program, Milwaukee Children’s Choir maintains six levels of choral education for children from first through 12th grades. The choir offers rehearsal locations throughout the whole of Southeastern Wisconsin.  

The choir also serves children during the school day at five Milwaukee Public Schools, providing music education through its grant-funded Harmony Program and through partnership with MPS. Through each of these mediums, the choir has an impact on the lives of over 1,000 children each week throughout the academic year.

"The Milwaukee Children's Choir would not exist without UPAF," said Darcie K.G. Warren, executive director of the choir. "We have affected the lives of thousands of kids in the Milwaukee area over the past twenty years. It helps us provide children quality music education – more tha…

Read more...
Tony Winner Anthony Crivello will bring his "McGuire" back to The Rep this summer.
Tony Winner Anthony Crivello will bring his "McGuire" back to The Rep this summer. (Photo: Michael Brosilow)

The Rep meets incredible demand with summer run of "McGuire"

If you are one of the hundreds of fans who couldn’t get a ticket to see "McGuire" at The Rep, reach for your wallets because the show is coming back in June for a limited run.

After an eight-week sold-out run, the play – written by Dick Enberg and starring Milwaukee native Anthony Crivello – has proven so popular that The Rep will stage a rare summer run from June 1-18 in the Stackner Cabaret.

Enberg was a broadcast partner of the former Marquette coach and wrote the one-man play with the help of Milwaukeeans Cotter Smith and his wife, Heidi Mueller Smith. Cotter Smith was the first actor to play the part and performed it around the country. Heidi was the director of that production.

Crivello teamed with director Brent Hazelton to create a performance that sold out every performance. Broadway star Crivello, one of the best actors in the country, is positively eerie in his portrayal of the legendary McGuire years as a broadcasting team, thus creating a memorable friendship.    

Crivello was courtside with McGuire during the 1974-75 basketball season as captain of the Marquette cheerleading squad. He later went on to be an Honored Member of Marquette University’s Century of Scholarship and the recipient of the Marquette University’s College of Speech & Communications distinguished 2003 Communicator of the Year Award. Just this past year, he was inducted into the Marquette University/The Diedrich College of Communications "Hall Of Fame" and honored with a plaque on permanent display in Johnston Hall.

The current production opened Jan. 24 and will end March 19. You can read the review here.

Tickets for the special limited engagement of "McGuire" can be purchased online at MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at (414) 224-9490 or in person at the ticket office, 108 E. Wells St.

Performance are Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. The Stackner will open one hour prior to showtime and will featu…

Read more...
cttqyzdzrbyc
Madison's Jerry Kelly is the subject of an interesting story on the PGA Tour website.
Madison's Jerry Kelly is the subject of an interesting story on the PGA Tour website. (Photo: pgatour.com)

Great PGA Tour website story focuses on Madison golfer Jerry Kelly

Jerry Kelly, one of the most successful professional golfers ever to come out of Wisconsin, is the subject of a long, interesting story on the PGA Tour website.

The 50-year-old Kelly, who has spent 21 seasons on the Tour, was a winner three times but described himself as a "successful journeyman" during his career.

Born in Madison, Kelly played hockey at the University of Hartford before turning pro as a golfer in 1989, and he didn't make it onto the PGA Tour until 1996. Kelly and Madison's Steve Stricker have teamed to attract a Senior PGA Tour event, the American Family Insurance Open, to Madison.

You can read the whole story here.