Congrats to UMCU on its National Arts + Business Partnership Award!
UMS extends our heartfelt congratulations to the University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU), which was honored with an Arts + Business Partnership Award on October 15!
Presented annually by Americans for the Arts, an organization dedicated to advancing the arts nationally, the Arts + Business Partnership Awards recognize businesses of all sizes from around the country for exceptional mutually beneficial, innovative, and sustained collaborations with the arts. Recipients are nominated through an open national call issued each January. Other past UMS corporate partner recipients include the Ford Motor Company Fund, Masco, and PNC Foundation.
The UMCU was nominated for the award because of its generous spirit of collaboration and bold vision for community impact, which included the creation of the UMCU Arts Adventures Program at both UMS and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) through a $1.5 million gift in 2016. This commitment, made during the University of Michigan’s Victors for Michigan campaign, was the largest corporate campaign gift to the arts and the first corporate endowment supporting programming at the University of Michigan. It allows UMS and UMMA to provide thousands of K-12 and U-M students with extraordinary, affordable access to a diverse array of arts offerings for generations to come.
At UMS, the UMCU Arts Adventures program has already improved access to the arts by eliminating some key barriers to participation. Within three years, attendance at UMS School Day Performances by students from under-resourced schools grew from 35% to more than 65%, thanks to ticket and transportation grants offered through the UMCU endowment. Likewise, student attendance at our mainstage performances grew from 16% to 23% of total attendance over the same time period, due in part to the ticket subsidy from the endowment and the outreach efforts of the UMS student committee.
During the pandemic, when in-person performing arts experiences were suspended both for students and the community, UMCU continued to grow and strengthen the impact of Arts Adventures through new gifts supporting UMS’s free digital offerings, or Digital Arts Adventures, in both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.
UMS is proud of our ongoing relationship with the University of Michigan Credit Union and applauds its national recognition as an exemplary business partner for the arts.