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August 10, 2022

New Tools to Discover Events on

Eric Woodhams
By Eric Woodhams

UMS website on laptop

UMS presents A LOT of different events across Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. In addition to 30+ mainstage music, theater, and dance performances, a given UMS season includes countless learning and engagement activities for U-M students, K-12 school day performances, free public workshops, digital-exclusive offerings, and film screenings…just to name a few!

I often think of UMS as a “Netflix” for live performing arts — there’s an eclectic selection of genres and programs we offer, and there’s truly something for everyone. But also, like Netflix, navigating through such a vast array of options can be an overwhelming experience.

Over the summer, we’ve incorporated several tools on our website to help you discover and learn about UMS’s upcoming events more easily. Here’s a preview of four handy new features (and the inspiration behind them):

Event Filters

UMS’s upcoming events page is our site’s most visited destination and a one-stop shop to browse everything we offer. You can now filter upcoming events in three different ways:

  • By Genre (such as Dance, Jazz, Orchestra, Theater, etc.)
  • By Event Type, including Performance, Free Event, Public Workshop, Digital Event, and more
  • By Venue/Location, including our most frequent Ann Arbor venues (Hill Auditorium, Power Center, and Rackham Auditorium) and Southeast Michigan cities

Use a combination of filters to narrow down what’s right for you.


Descriptive “Pill Tags”

Complementing our Event Type filter are new visual indicators that appear alongside event photos and titles. These “pill tags” help identify important event features, like “Family Friendly,” “Free,” or “Pre-Performance Talk.”

We were inspired by similar descriptive tags and treatments used across all sorts of websites and apps — from AirBnb to New York Times Cooking to Tinder!


Quick Look

First popularized by retail sites like J.Crew, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue, our new “Quick Look” feature gives you an at-a-glance peek into an event’s important program details without flipping back and forth between web pages. And when available, Quick Look even incorporates audio and video previews.


Pop-Up “Meet the Artist” Bios

Event pages now incorporate pop-up bios and photos to learn more about the artists we present. We’re excited to debut this new functionality, which should be familiar to arts patrons across Southeast Michigan. It’s a design treatment shared by our friends at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Opera (check out their sites, too!).

Special thanks to our developer team at Phire Group for their work on incorporating these new features. Let us know what you think as you browse the 2022/23 season!

Explore Upcoming Events


Eric Woodhams is the Director of Digital Media at UMS. Before joining UMS in 2018, he led transformative digital projects for other prestigious arts organizations including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall. Eric holds degrees in music performance and arts administration from Indiana University, where he studied French horn with Myron Bloom and Jeff Nelsen.