UPAF hosts annual "Ride for the Arts," exceeds fundraising goal

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Hoan Bridge and other roads in Milwaukee were closed to traffic on Sunday morning -- as bicyclists hit the road for the UPAF's annual "Ride for the Arts."

"We know from research that arts education programming does have a profound impact on a child’s life," Deanna Tillisch said.

Tillisch is the President and CEO of UPAF. This year, the organization hoped to raise $11 million to support 32 performing arts groups and affiliates in southeastern Wisconsin.

"One of the aspects of raising these dollars is for arts education programming. Our 15 member groups reach 400,000 kids a year by reaching out -- into the schools and after-school programming, and through scholarships," Tillisch said.

Among those taking part in this year's "Ride for the Arts" were the Schwister siblings.

"I always love coming down here and exercising, and we always have a lot of fun, and I love knowing that I’m supporting the arts when I do this," William Schwister said.

"I just really like biking and it’s great to be able to support the arts by doing something that I really love—which is cycling," Katharine Schwister said.

The support provided via the money raised in this ride helps Deborah Farris and those at Milwaukee's Danceworks Incorporated to make their moves.

"Developing new artists, developing new audiences, as well as developing new works is key to having a vibrant arts community," Farris said.

UPAF managed to exceed its goal this year -- raising over $11 million over the past three months of fundraising.

CLICK HERE for additional information on the UPAF "Ride for the Arts."