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Guide to the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities Records, 1983-2005 MSS 124

Guide to the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities Records, 1983-2005

MSS 124

Summary Information

The United Fund for the Arts and Humanities (UFAH), formerly the United Fund for the Arts (UFA), was formed in March 1983 as a sub-committee of the Western Wisconsin Regional Arts Board, Ltd. (WWRA), an organization devoted to providing funding and support to arts organizations in the Coulee Region. The UFA was established to coordinate the WWRA’s solicitation of funding from area businesses. The UFA separated from the WWRA 1985, was renamed the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities (UFAH), and expanded its activities beyond its annual solicitation of funds in support for the arts in the Coulee Region. The UFAH collection is primarily composed of meeting minutes of the Board of Directors (1983-1999) and the Executive Committee (1985-1992; 1995-1999), financial audits, and lists of UFAH donors.
Collection Title
United Fund for the Arts and Humanities (UFAH) Records
Date of Materials
Call Number
MSS 124
1.0 cubic foot
Physical Description
3 archives boxes
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], United Fund for the Arts and Humanities (UFAH) Records, MSS 124, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Biographical/Historical Note

The Governor’s Council for the Arts was founded in Wisconsin in 1963 in response to a decline in the national government’s funding for arts through the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities (NEAH). In 1973, the Governor’s Council for the Arts was reorganized to form the Wisconsin Arts Board. The fifteen-member board was responsible for assisting state artistic and cultural activities, assisting communities in the development of their own arts programs, and planning and implementing funding programs for groups and individuals engaged in the arts (“Arts Board,” State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2003-2004, pp. 499-500).

In 1975, the Wisconsin Arts Board encouraged arts groups in the Coulee region of western Wisconsin to organize a regional arts alliance. That autumn, the Western Wisconsin Regional Arts Board, Ltd. (WWRA) was formed. The alliance included the seven counties of Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon (Richland County was added later). The headquarters for the alliance was the city of La Crosse. The WWRA was established to coordinate and promote regional arts projects, evaluate and assist in the formation of proposals for grant applications, and serve as a general advisory board on Arts, Civic, and Environmental projects.

The United Fund for the Arts (UFA) was formed at the WWRA’s March 1983 annual meeting as a sub-committee devoted to providing fundraising leadership and services to member organizations supporting the arts in the La Crosse Community. Prior to the committee’s formation, organizations solicited businesses individually for funds to support operations. Organizations wishing to participate in the UFA program were asked to submit an application that included information regarding their programs, organizational structure, by-laws, directors and terms of office, membership, and sources of revenue.

The UFA’s annual fund drives were generally launched in May of each year and concluded by late summer. By mid September of each year, the UFA Allocations Committee began the distribution of monies to the member organizations.

By 1985, the UFA had expanded its range of activities beyond its annual pledge solicitation, calling for its eventual separation from the WWRA in May 1985. Soon thereafter, the Board of the United Fund for the Arts voted unanimously at the November 8th, 1985 meeting to change the name to the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities (UFAH), in order to better reflect the composition of its membership. As its mission, the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities “enhances the cultural life of this area by encouraging and providing opportunities for businesses to invest in the programs of local arts and humanities organizations in an efficient and effective way.”

Within thirteen years after its inception in 1983, the United Fund for the Arts grew from its original six members (Great Rivers Festival of Arts, La Crosse Community Theatre, La Crosse County Historical Society, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, La Crosse Youth Symphony, Western Wisconsin Regional Arts, Ltd./Pump House) to ten organizations (Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center-1985, La Crosse Boy Choir-1988, Coulee Chordsmen-1993, and La Crosse Chamber Chorale-1996). In the twenty-five year period from 1983 to 2008, a total of $3,113,619 was raised with 93% of the amount allocated to the UFAH member organizations in support of arts programs.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of United Fund for the Arts and Humanities Board of Directors’ minutes from 1983-1999. The collection also contains Executive Committee minutes from 1985-1999. Member applications from 1999 document the application process by which organizations became members of the UFAH. Also included are financial auditors’ reports, statistical reports of fundraising campaigns, donor lists, and newsletters documenting the organization’s development and decision-making processes from 1983 to 2005.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 2010 September

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession no. 2010.013) Donated by Kathryn J. Moen, Executive Director of UFAH, via Charles E. Haas, 2010 February

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Taylor Doering and Sloan Komissarov, 2010 September

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Collection Inventory

Board of Directors 

Box Folder

Minutes, 1983-1994 

1 1-5

Minutes, 1995-1999 

2 1-5

Allocation committee, 1985 

2 6

Allocation committee, 1995-1996 

2 7-8
Box Folder

Executive Committee Minutes 

2 9
Box Folder


2 9


3 1-2

Financial Materials 

3 1-2
Box Folder

Audits, 1985-1999 

3 3-4

Donor lists, 1984-2005 

3 5

United Arts Funds 

Box Folder


3 6


3 7

Membership Applications, 1999 

3 8


Box Folder

Human Arts, 1988-1989 

3 9

Artifacts, 1992 

3 10