Andre De Shields

André De Shields Performing Arts Fund

Award-winning Broadway actor André De Shields ’70 eloquently describes the creative process as “Dream — epiphany — action.” 

This “order of operation” serves as the guiding spirit of the newly created André De Shields Performing Arts Fund: from the spark of an artistic dream to the epiphany of how it can come to life to the action it may inspire. 

Founded in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the indomitable UW–Madison alumnus and Broadway star, the De Shields fund offers an opportunity that André was not provided as a student: to bring a performance to center stage.  

The fund honors De Shields’s 50-plus-year career as a poet, activist, and actor and offers grants to historically underrepresented students with unique perspectives and extraordinary ideas. These grants will allow students to develop, design, produce, and perform artistic works alongside mentors, teachers, and professionals, with the opportunity to present their work as part of the annual performing arts season at the Wisconsin Union Theater.  

Your support for this fund will enable students to bring their vision to life, supporting De Shields philosophy: “You must imagine it to manifest it.”   

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