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November 21, 2023

November Lookback: Activating the Arts Across Campus and in the Community


UMS’s mission is to connect audiences with artists in uncommon and engaging experiences, and we take pride in programming unique interactive opportunities for students and community members alike. This past month has been an exceptionally rewarding period with multiple on- and off-campus events with our visiting artists.

From two Arts & Resistance theme semester performances to guest lectures and school visits, discover how UMS has activated the performing arts across the University of Michigan campus and our Southeast Michigan community.



DakhaBrakha Rocks Hill Auditorium

DakhaBrakha in Hill AuditoriumUkrainian “ethno-chaos” band DakhaBrakha opened our November lineup with a thrilling return to Hill Auditorium. This performance was presented in association with the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES), and was one of two UMS programs this month that tie in with the University of Michigan’s Fall 2023 Arts & Resistance theme semester.

Now Entering the M-Zone

Students in Hill AuditoriumA new pilot program this year, M-Zone seats make it easier for students to get the absolute best front-and-center seats in Hill Auditorium for just $20 per ticket. We celebrated the kick off of the M-Zone at the DakhaBrakha performance with pre-show pizza and free UMS swag. Learn more about M-Zone and all our student ticket opportunities.

Student Meet and Greets

U-M CREES students with DakhaBrakhaImmediately after their performance, the musicians of DakhaBrakha were introduced to CREES students backstage for an intimate meet-and-greet. The following morning, DakhaBrakha joined CREES students and professors for brunch and a tour of the Center’s special exhibition, Guardian Passage: The Power of Ukrainian Cultural Memory in the Face of War, on display now through November 29.


Akropolis Reed Quintet

Back to School(s)

Akropolis Reed Quintet at Scarlett Middle School

The Akropolis Reed Quintet with students at Scarlett Middle School

The Akropolis Reed Quintet’s residency was particularly meaningful, as we welcomed back these five Michigan alums for their first-ever UMS performance. Their residency included a class visit to second-grade students at Estabrook Elementary in Ypsilanti, a concert and Q&A at Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor, and a short performance and woodwind coaching session to students of Ann Arbor’s Scarlett Middle School.

A Welcome Homecoming

Akropolis also returned home to their alma mater, leading a chamber music master class for students at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

A Musical Dream

Akropolis Reed Quintet with Pascal Le Boeuf and Christian HumanThe Akropolis Reed Quintet performed a virtuosic UMS debut in Rackham Auditorium, with an innovative, genre-defying program that included an arrangement of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, followed by jazz pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman in the spectacular Are We Dreaming The Same Dream?.

Sign up for Akropolis’ newsletter to follow along their musical adventures and get a reminder when the full album of Are We Dreaming releases in Spring 2024.


The Javaad Alipoor Company

Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Neda Ulaby, Javaad Alipoor, and King Raam in Penny Stamps lecture

Neda Ulaby, Javaad Alipoor, and King Raam in Penny Stamps lecture. Photo by A.J. Saulsberry

In advance of their UMS performances of Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, theater maker Javaad Alipoor and musician/activist King Raam began their Ann Arbor residency with a Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series lecture at the Michigan Theater hosted by NPR’s Neda Ulaby.

The full lecture is available to stream on demand:

Class Visits and a School Day Performance

The day after the Penny Stamps lecture, Javaad Alipoor visited Pioneer High School’s World Literature classes to discuss and preview his work. The students then took a field trip to experience a School Day Performance of Things Hidden the following week.

Engaging Arts & Resistance Across Campus

Javaad Alipoor leading a workshop at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & DanceThings Hidden Since the Foundation of the World was supported by the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and represented UMS’s final program as part of the U-M Arts & Resistance Theme Semester. Javaad Alipoor’s residency had multidisciplinary student engagements across the U-M campus, which included a visit to the Arts & Resistance history course, On Revolutionary Iran, as well as a performance practice workshop at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Six Culminating Performances

UMS presented five public performances and a School Day Performance of The Javaad Alipoor Company’s Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World at the Arthur Miller Theatre. This new work represented a full-circle moment for UMS, as it concludes a trilogy of Alipoor’s works that explores the relationship between contemporary technology and contemporary politics. UMS presented the first, The Believers Are But Brothers, as part of its No Safety Net 2.0 Festival in early 2000.

Sign up for The Javaad Alipoor Company’s newsletter to follow along with new creative opportunities.


Thank You

Thank you to all our audience members and sponsors of these programs, for making November a profoundly impactful month for UMS, the University of Michigan, our communities, and our audiences.

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