They’re 100 strong, multinational and coming to Modesto to entertain, empower and even benefit a local youth program.
They are Up With People, currently on a world tour that will stop by the Gallo Center for the Arts on Friday, March 22.
The 100-member cast represents 15 countries and has toured more than 70 nations during the past 54 years. The Modesto stop this month is one of only two in California for the group’s 2019 World Tour, according to a press release.
The show will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus County, an after school and summer youth nonprofit that provides educational, leadership and character building programs for local children ages 6-18. All proceeds will go the club, thanks to show sponsor Fuzio Universal Bistro, according to the release.
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The entourage from Up With People will be in Modesto from March 18-25, and will spend time participating in service projects with the Boys and Girls Club as well as at local schools and other groups. The members will live with host families during their stay.
According to Chelsey Panchot, director of sales in the U.S. for Up With People, 50 cast members will be in town in the days before the show, spread out through the city at various places to do community outreach projects. Among those are leadership and cultural workshops at the Boys and Girls Club as well as programs in leadership, diversity, a dance workshop and offering live entertainment at Beyer High and Sylvan, Fairview and Shackleford elementary schools.
The group is in the process of confirming four more locations for outreach. Members of the community can sign up to volunteer with the cast to help with clean up and beautification projects that are being planned, Panchot said. To sign up, contact Linda Leivo at.
Local residents also can get involved by purchasing “Caring Community” ticket packages, a block of 10 tickets for $150 that they can then donate to a local youth organization, including the Boys and Girls Club, so those children and their families can attend the show, Panchot said.
She said the Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus County was chosen as the financial beneficiary by Fuzio Universal Bistro’s management team in Modesto.
Another 50 cast members will be doing similar outreach in Sacramento before rejoining the Modesto group for the Gallo Center show that will feature all 100 performers.
Based in Denver, Up With People is known for its high-energy, family friendly entertainment. “Our newest production, ‘Live On Tour,’ is designed to share our vision of a more hopeful, trusting and peaceful world,” Up with People Senior Vice President Eric Lentz said in the release. “The show features entertaining pop medleys, international dances and original UWP songs that will inspire people to make a positive difference in their communities and present them with the opportunity to think about the issues our world is currently facing.”
Host families are still needed for about 16 cast members. Anyone interested in housing a cast member can also contact Leivo,. Host families provide a place to sleep, breakfast, dinner, transportation in the morning and evening. They also receive two tickets to the performance.
In addition to the “Caring Community” ticket packages, people, businesses or organizations can help the Boys and Girls Club by purchasing VIP packages that range from $250 to $2,500.
Up with People has been around for more than five decades, a global education organization that “empowers young people to be positive agents of change in their communities and the world,” according to the press release. The group performed during the halftime show at the Super Bowl four times from 1976-1986.
“Through our unique blend of music, social action, and international travel, we impact communities for the better while providing youth the knowledge and experience they need for today’s complex global environment,” the release said. “For more than 50 years Up with People has been breaking down cultural barriers and enhancing understanding to help create a more hopeful, trusting and peaceful world.”
Up With People
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, March 22
WHERE: Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto