Milwaukee-based nonprofit Future Urban Leaders (FUL) is engaging their own community while tapping into Northeast Wisconsin connections with the debut of FUL Fest, a virtual fundraiser on Thursday, May 21 from 5 to 10 p.m.
Presented by The Boldt Company, ‘FUL Fest’ is a free, benefit concert and dinner event created to support underserved Milwaukee students, Wisconsin restaurants, artists and musicians who are being negatively impacted by COVID-19. Produced by ClearView Productions, the statewide event can be streamed for free via YouTube, Facebook Live and Twitch.tv.
“Our hope is to fill people’s ears with music, their eyes with art, their bellies with delicious food, their hearts with gratitude they can pay forward, and their spirits with hope for a brighter future,” FUL co-founder and development director Ross Romenesko said in a statement.
The live music lineup of statewide artists includes Fox Cities favorites like Pat MacDonald (Timbuk3/Purgatory Hill), Dan Rodriguez, Walt Hamburger, Auralai, Hillary Reynolds and Christopher Gold. Participating restaurant partners include eateries from Milwaukee, Madison, Central Wisconsin and the Fox Cities Region.
Viewers will be linked with curbside pickup food or delivery from the participating restaurants. Performing music artists are compensated via event sponsors and can be tipped online. An art gallery link will be accessible during streaming with 50 percent of artwork purchases benefiting FUL. Tax-deductible PayPal donations to FUL will support their mission to build leaders who will be positive change agents in their communities and beyond.
FUL has traditionally been the nonprofit recipient of Appleton’s “Babapalooza” outdoor benefit concert which cannot happen in its 8th year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the event’s past contributors are stepping up to the plate for this new fundraising concept in lieu of an outdoor summer event. FUL staff and volunteers see this as a fun challenge to get creative while raising awareness and fostering connections.
“This is an opportunity for people throughout Wisconsin to come together in support of Future Urban Leaders while lifting up musicians, restaurants and their workers, many of whom are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19,” Romenesko said in a statement. “We’re all in this together.”
Future Urban Leaders is a 10-year youth development organization that focuses on increasing the life outcomes for children in Milwaukee’s underserved neighborhoods through risk-reduction and increased accessibility to community resources. FUL provides students and families with year-round programming in arts and humanities, health and wellness, leadership and civic development, and college and career readiness.