Welcome to umsLOBBY.org!
By Sara BillmannTweet
In June 2009, UMS was one of four organizations awarded an “Innovation Lab” grant by EMCArts, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The grants were awarded to allow organizations to develop an idea that could have a profound impact on how they do business.
During the summer, a team of UMS staff members and volunteers researched new ideas related to social media. A week-long intensive retreat in October resulted in further development of this project. We’re now prototyping the UMS Lobby project with this new website and blog, and with several live events that will happen during the next three months as we wrap up the 09/10 season.
The UMS Lobby will expand and redefine what we mean by “the UMS experience.” By combining online and live components in everything UMS does, we’ll enable a greater amount of people to engage more continuously and deeply with each other, with the extraordinary history of UMS, with the artists we now present, and with the life of UMS in Ann Arbor and throughout the region.
The UMS Lobby is a place where people meet, exchange ideas, and build relationships — a bridge between daily life and the special places we devote to artistic experiences. UMS has many “lobbies,” and we’ll use these physical spaces in new ways to welcome our audiences and invite them to learn from us and from each other. And, of course, the learning goes both ways — we at UMS always find that we learn so much from you, our audiences, whenever we have the opportunity to meet up socially.
At the same time, the UMS Lobby is a virtual space, accessible year-round, where we will offer multiple streams of activity to engage anyone interested in art and ideas, or in UMS specifically. Among the virtual offerings — some of which are already active, and some of which are still in development:
- A multimedia blog with text, video, audio, photos, and links (that’s what you’re reading now!)
- Conversation areas that include feeds from our facebook, twitter, and other networks, but that also provide a place to listen and to be heard
- A digitized historical archive that includes access to UMS’s extraordinary 131-year history, including the opportunity to submit your own comments, memories, and observations about events that you’ve attended. We’re working closely with the Ann Arbor District Library to bring this project to fruition.
- Stories from patrons and others about the impact of UMS —in essence, a “living archive” that will grow with time and supplement the historical archive
So what does this mean for the regular UMS website? You can continue to visit www.ums.org for all of the information you need about UMS and upcoming events — sound clips, video clips, program notes, and information about purchasing tickets. Think of ums.org as a site filled with information, and umsLOBBY.org as a site filled with conversation.
So what do you think? What do you want to read more about? Let us know — we want to hear from you!
See you in the “Lobby”!