Supporter Spotlight: Les Paul Foundation

First Stage is incredibly grateful for the generosity of our supporters who have helped us and continue to help us navigate this challenging season. We have been particularly heartened by those who have made gifts above and beyond in order to ensure that First Stage survived 2020 with resilience and creativity for generations yet to come. Among those supporters is the Les Paul Foundation


For the past six years, the Les Paul Foundation has supported First Stage’s “Les Paul, Wizard of Waukesha” Arts-Integrated Workshops.

Suited for upper elementary and middle school students, these workshops examine the life of Les Paul and discover the local legend’s many attributes which have forever influenced music—and the world. By engaging in the dramatic process, students actively explore Les Paul’s inventions, his influence on the music industry and culture, his extraordinary sense of creativity, and ability to overcome life’s challenges with perseverance and innovation. Through the workshop lessons, students make connections between Les’ story and their own lives, while developing an understanding of his remarkable impact.


Not only did the Les Paul Foundation make it possible for First Stage to provide the “Les Paul, Wizard of Waukesha” Workshops free of charge to five schools last season, but they also selected First Stage to be a recipient of additional grant funding to help us through the pandemic.


The Les Paul Foundation carries on Les Paul’s legacy by demonstrating empathy to those in need, encouraging innovation in music production and/or performance, engineering and medical research, as well as in STEM and STEAM programs for students and others in challenging situations.


Les’ legacy of innovation emboldened First Stage this past year as we found new ways to deliver our mission and continue serving young people and families throughout southeastern Wisconsin.


“Every setback might be the very thing that makes you carry on and fight all the harder and become better.” – Les Paul


His words certainly rang true for First Stage this season and we are incredibly grateful to the Les Paul Foundation for their belief in our mission and walking alongside us through this difficult time.


Here’s to looking ahead to the future with even greater determination to transform lives through theater!


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