Personal Giving

Your Support

What would our community be like without UMS? It’s hard to imagine because it has been here for longer than any of us—135 years. UMS contributes to the high quality of life we all enjoy in this area, gives us opportunities to experience the arts in ways that are possible only in large metropolitan cities, and plays a significant role in attracting faculty to the University of Michigan; students to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance; and businesses and the talent they need to our area. Without UMS, our community would be very different indeed.

Your support is critical to the future of UMS. Ticket sales cover less than half of the cost of presenting the very best in world-class music, theater, and dance, as well as a wide array of educational programs for audiences of all ages. Most of the remaining funds come from donors like you. Please support the outstanding performances and programs brought to you each year by UMS. Your gift will help to ensure that the arts remain a vital part of the University, the community, and the region of southeastern Michigan.

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  • Performance Sponsorship
  • UMS brings a broad range of the highest quality performing artists to Ann Arbor every year. From securing a spot on the tour of the world’s greatest orchestras to identifying and presenting outstanding emerging artists, UMS provides its audiences with a wealth of experiences that no other community of its size can offer.

    The cost of providing outstanding performances and dozens of free or low-cost educational events greatly exceeds ticket revenue, even when performances sell out. For this reason, UMS seeks gifts from individuals and corporations as well as grants from foundations, state and federal agencies to help cover the $7.6 million operating budget necessary to present these world-class programs in our community.

    For a gift of $10,000 or more, a donor may be listed as one of several sponsors for a performance of their choice. Donors of $50,000 or more may be listed as the sole sponsor of a performance. At the $100,000 to $500,000 level benefits include special experiences with artists. A gift of $1,000,000 can name the entire UMS season.

    For more information on how you may become a sponsor, please contact:

    Margaret McKinley:  734-647-1177 or

  • Renegade Ventures Fund

  • Photo: Maxine and Stuart Frankel.

    “As Daniel Pink said, “In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are specialties of the [brain’s] right hemisphere – artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.”

    Stuart and I believe the arts are fundamental in educating the leaders of tomorrow. We established the Renegade Ventures Fund to ensure that UMS, through programming, has the flexibility to consider the new, the different, the innovative, and the cutting-edge. Some performances are beautiful and awe-inspiring; others are challenging, provocative, or controversial. Yet all engage the mind and the imagination.

    The University of Michigan is the ideal incubator for nurturing and fostering creative thinking and collaboration.”

    —Maxine Frankel

    Supporting innovative and cutting-edge artistic work is a passion of Maxine and Stuart Frankel, who recognize that a national leader in the presentation of the performing arts must push the boundaries of knowledge forward by supporting new works, remounting important past works, and providing a venue and funding for artists to create.

    To encourage innovative and cutting edge work, the Frankels established the Renegade Ventures Fund with a multi-year challenge grant of $500,000. Over the past two years, the Fund has supported a variety of events: the remounting of Einstein on the Beach, a four-day American Mavericks Festival by the San Francisco Symphony, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and many other cutting-edge music, dance and theater productions.

    In Season 2013-2014 the following will make up the Renegade performances.

    Complicite & Setagaya Public Theatre: Shun-kin
    Ballet Preljocaj
    Steve Lehman Octet
    Kronos Quartet
    Kremerata Baltica and Shostakovich

    We invite you to engage in this exciting adventure by partnering with UMS to meet the Renegade Ventures Fund challenge. Please send your matching gift to:

    Renegade Ventures Fund
    University of Michigan
    Burton Memorial Tower
    881 North University Avenue
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011

    For more information, contact:

    Margaret McKinley: 734-647-1177 or

  • Education & Community Engagement Programs
  • Learning is core to UMS’s mission, and this includes providing creative learning experiences for our entire community.  Each season, we offer a spectrum of education and community engagement activities focusing on K-12 students and their teachers, university students, families, and adults, reaching across southeastern Michigan and into various cultural communities.  Many of these events are free and open to the public, yet all come at a cost to UMS.

    Funding for the Education and Community Engagement Programs is provided in part by two major UMS fundraising events:  On the Road, a lively and fun-filled auction held each fall, and the Ford Honors Program, a black-tie gala honoring an artist on UMS’s winter season.  All additional funding comes from individual and corporate gifts, and government, foundation and U-M grants.

    For information about these events, or to make a gift to support the Education & Community Engagement Program, contact:

    Rachelle Lesko: 734-764-8489 or

    Learn more about UMS Education & Community Engagement programs.

  • Planned Gifts & Bequests
  • A planned gift to UMS is a way to ensure that the artistic experiences that have enriched your life will stimulate and inspire audiences of all ages for generations to come. Whether an outright bequest, a charitable remainder trust, or an annuity, your gift can make a significant difference in the future of this organization.

    Securing UMS for the Future Through Planned Giving

    Because UMS has been in our community for 133 years, it can be easy to assume that it will be around for many years to come. The performing arts world, however, is a very different place today than it was 50, or even 25 years ago. UMS’s program structure has evolved from a presenter of primarily classical music to a true multi-disciplinary presenter, having added an international theater series, dance series, and jazz and global arts series. Also, as state funding for the arts in the schools has declined, UMS has stepped in to help fill this important gap, offering dozens of free or low-cost events to K-12 students, University students, and to the community at large. The funds required to present a single season of world-class performances and educational events—nearly $7.6 million—are raised annually through a combination of ticket sales, endowment interest and contributed income.

    To ensure that UMS continues for generations to come, we have made it our goal to secure the organization financially by growing our endowment with major and planned gifts that will ultimately provide a solid financial foundation for UMS in perpetuity. With interest from endowments supporting a more substantial part of our annual budget, we will be able to plan programs further in advance and take advantage of unique performance opportunities as they arise. It will allow us to develop more artist residency programs for deeper and more sustained creative work in our community. It will make it possible for faculty within LSA, the Business School, the Law and Medical schools and other academic units to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities UMS provides, integrating these experiences into the curriculum in ways never done before. It will allow us to develop more programs for K-12 students in southeastern Michigan and, eventually, throughout the state, and to increase our community outreach across the region. An endowment will help support our annual budget while allowing us to plan more effectively, focusing fundraising efforts on future programs. This is an important next step for UMS. We invite you to help us make it a reality.

    The Burton Tower Society

    UMS has established the Burton Tower Society to recognize individuals who have made provisions for future support through planned gifts. Planned gifts to UMS are also recognized in the U-M Monteith Legacy Society.

    To learn more about how you can include UMS in your estate plan, please contact:

    Margaret McKinley: 734-647-1177 or

  • Endowments
  • Establishing an endowment is one of the most powerful ways for you to support UMS in perpetuity. Your endowment gift is invested and a portion of the assets are made available each year to support UMS programs. The remaining assets and investment returns are retained in the endowment to provide for its growth over time. Endowments may be funded during your lifetime or through your estate plan.

    Any size gift may be added to the UMS endowment.  A minimum gift of $25,000 allows you to establish an endowment in your name or the name of someone you wish to honor or remember.

    For more information about endowments, please contact:

    Margaret McKinley: 734-647-1177 or