UPAF Ride for the Arts

Everything You Need to Know About the UPAF Ride for the Arts

Put the pedal to the metal on Sunday, June 4, for the 2017 UPAF Ride for the Arts.

Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a recent transplant, you’ve probably been to at least one performing arts program in the city. Organizations like Bel Canto, the Florentine Opera and Skylight Music Theatre have enriched the lives of many in Milwaukee over the years. And now the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) is calling on Cream City residents to give back to the Milwaukee creative community.

On Sunday, June 4, the non-profit hosts the UPAF Ride for the Arts, the nation’s largest one-day recreational bike ride to support the performing arts.

2016 Ride for the Arts, UPAF, bike race
2016 Ride for the Arts participants biking through downtown Milwaukee; photo courtesy of UPAF

Riders interested in registering can opt to participate in one of five routes, ranging in length from five to 70 miles. Fees also vary – from $35 to $75 – depending on your age and signup time.

The registration costs will be used to fund performing arts programming. And anyone who registers for the event will be entered to win free tickets from Southwest Airlines and will have an opportunity to rub elbows with three Milwaukee Bucks representatives co-chairing the ride: Peter Feigin, Bucks president; Craig Robinson, vice president of player and organizational development and Desmond Mason, former player.

Arts aficionados who’d like to show their support for the event but aren’t interested in biking can sign up to volunteer. And everyone who attends is invited to an after-party on the Summerfest Grounds, complete with:

  • A costume contest
  • Free samples of Miller Lite’s brews, for those over 21
  • Free hot dogs, courtesy of Usingers
  • Live performances
  • Vendor booths
  • A Kohl’s color wheel
2016 UPAF Ride for the Arts
Bikers showed their support for the 2016 UPAF Ride for the Arts; photo courtesy of UPAF

The Johnson Financial Group has also promised to match pledges that participants raise up to $25,000. And Bublr is offering to loan a bike, free of charge, to anyone who’d like to ride but doesn’t own one of their own.

Interested in participating? You can learn more on the UPAF Ride for the Arts event page.



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.