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Up with People

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Title: Up with People  
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Up with People

Up with People
Founded 1965
Type Educational, cultural, civic, political
Headquarters Denver, Colorado, United States
Website .orgupwithpeople

Up with People (UWP) is an education organization whose stated mission is to bridge cultural barriers and create global understanding through service and a musical show. The UWP headquarters is in Denver, Colorado, United States, with satellite offices in Belgium and Mexico.


  • History 1
  • UWP semester 2
  • Criticism: Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The roots of Up with People can be found in the Sing Out shows of Moral Re-Armament (MRA) in the mid-1960s. Previously, throughout its existence, MRA had staged dramatic performances with music to put forth its message which consisted of its four tenets of "love, honesty, purity and unselfishness." With the Sing Out shows, the dramatic elements were removed. Later, Up with People was separated from MRA under the leadership of J. Blanton Belk in 1968.

In 1976, Up with People began to make frequent appearances at the popular musicians for future halftime shows.[1]

Among notable alumni of Up With People cast is actress Glenn Close, who was a featured vocalist during the 1960s, singing lead and appearing on the picture sleeve of the Up With People single "The World is Your Hometown."[2]

UWP semester

Each group, called a cast, after training in Denver, travels to nearly 20 communities across two or three continents, per semester, spending about one week in each community. Each week, they live with a local host family, participate in service projects, learn about different cultures through educational workshops, and perform in Up with People’s musical stage production. Programs begin in January or July of each year.

Criticism: Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story

The directed by Lee Storey who is married to early alumnus William Storey.

The film documents the troupe's history from its origins in the late 1950s within Moral Re-Armament and the Sing-Out groups, through its successful years of the 1980s and subsequent decline.

The film states that the troupe, funded by corporate entities including Halliburton, General Motors, Exxon, and Searle, was intended to counter the hippie subculture. The film also claims that the musical group emphasized extreme right wing politics, and alleges that troupe rules included aspects of a religious cult, including arranged marriages.[5]

Reviews have noted that, while a critique of the organization, the film has also shown respect for those who were involved and demonstrated their good intentions.[6]

The film had also been at issue in an IRS court case over whether an unprofitable independent film is a business venture versus a hobby. Ultimately, it was determined to be a business venture.[7]


  1. ^ Williams, Doug. "When Up With People dominated halftime". Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  2. ^ " profile of Glenn Glose". Bio (A&E Television Networks). Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Storey, Lee. Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story. Storey Vision Productions, 2009.
  4. ^ "Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story". Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  5. ^ "Smile 'Til It Hurts - Home". Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  6. ^ Ernest Hardy (2009-07-28). DocuWeeks" Allows Screentime for—Gasp—Complex Women - Page 1 - Movies - New York""". Village Voice. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Documentary filmmaking is not a hobby". Variety. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Up with People on Facebook
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