STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging: Awarded Jack M. Birchhill Award at 2015 UPAF campaign finale

Contact: Lauren Sieben

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STIR honored for advertising and marketing efforts, helping UPAF exceed goals

MILWAUKEE – On June 9, the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) awarded STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging with the Jack M. Birchhill Award for providing advertising and marketing efforts that have helped the organization exceed its fundraising goals. The 2015 fundraising campaign brought in more than $12 million – a 2.3 percent increase over last year – that will go back into supporting 15 premier performing arts organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin.

The Jack M. Birchhill Award, which is sponsored by A.O. Smith Corporation, is named after Jack Birchhill himself, a man who was passionate about the arts and enthusiastically volunteered much of his time to spreading the word on the importance of the performing arts to the community. UPAF presented the award to STIR on June 9 at the 2015 UPAF fundraising campaign finale, held at the Turner Hall Ballroom in downtown Milwaukee.

STIR has been a proud partner of UPAF for the past three years, developing innovative creative and insightful advertising and marketing campaigns for both the UPAF campaign and the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite. Over the past five years, the total dollars raised by the UPAF Campaign has increased by 27 percent, and STIR has helped the organization set new fundraising records each of the past three years.

“STIR has been instrumental in developing UPAF’s brand identity,” said Deanna Tillisch, president and CEO of UPAF. “Their campaign advertising has produced breakthrough creative that not only built awareness, but also contributed to the tremendous growth of the UPAF Campaign. We are extremely grateful for STIR’s partnership, hard work, creativity and dedication.”

STIR has proudly donated more than 100,000 in-kind dollars each of the past three years, and its creative developed for UPAF has been recognized by Graphis and the United Adworkers of Milwaukee at the Milwaukee 99 awards.

“At STIR, we believe that the community we live and work in overachieves on every level,” said Brian Bennett, president of STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging. “UPAF has much to do with that, as the world-class performing arts in Milwaukee are vital to our region. We are honored to have been able to partner with UPAF over the past three years and help them exceed their fundraising goals.”


STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging is a full-service advertising agency developing integrated marketing campaigns that create engagement with customers through creative messaging strategies, including advertising, public relations, social media, promotional marketing, web/digital marketing. To learn more about STIR, or to see some of the agency’s work, visit


United Performing Arts Fund’s mission is to secure community resources, promote the performing arts as a regional asset and improve the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. Our vision is to shape a diverse, vibrant and sustainable cultural life for all. In 2015 UPAF’s Annual Campaign raised more than $12 million dollars to support the area’s vibrant performing arts environment. UPAF proudly bears Charity Navigator’s highest distinction for nonprofits – a four-star rating – and is ranked No. 1 by Americans for the Arts for being the most cost effective united arts fund in the country.

As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 15 Member Groups and numerous Affiliates. More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.