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Annual Report 2015

Image: UMS president Ken Fischer receives UMS National Medal of Arts from U-S President Barack Obama.

Dear UMS Family,

I am thrilled to share UMS’s 2014-2015 annual report with you, our generous community of donors, ticket buyers, and volunteers.

While this report reflects the results of your investment in UMS, there is perhaps no greater endorsement of the work that you have helped to make possible than UMS’s receipt of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the U.S. government. I was deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of UMS from President Obama at a White House ceremony on September 10th.

As a UMS supporter, you know that our mission is to inspire individuals and enrich communities by connecting audiences and artists in uncommon and engaging experiences. While it is wonderful to receive this honor as an affirmation of the work that we do, it also reflects the role of the innumerable audience members, donors, volunteers, and other supporters like you who make UMS both a globally respected and locally cherished organization.

I invite you to explore some of our 2014-2015 season highlights in the following pages. On behalf of the UMS Staff and Board of Directors, thank you for helping to make this extraordinary season possible.


Ken Fischer
UMS President

2014 Recipient

Celebrating UMS as the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts.

Infographic: UMS was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest government award for artists and art organizations, by President Obama at the White House. UMS is the first University Presenter to receive the Award.

In December 2014, UMS announced plans to launch a five-year orchestra residency program, to begin in the 2015-16 season. This commitment was made possible through the generous support of University of Michigan LSA alum Eugene Grant, whose $1 million gift will support the first year of the program with the New York Philharmonic. Through this unique partnership, students and community members will have access to one of the top orchestras in the world, not only through performances but through multiple educational and community activities.

Timeline: In 2014, LSA alumnus Eugene Grant made his $1 million gift for the first residency. October 2015: NY Philharmonic. Fall 2016: Berlin Philharmonic. 2017: NY Phil. 2018: Orchestra to be announced. Fall 2019: NY Philharmonic.

2014-15 Programs: By the numbers

Infographic: by the numbers. On left: 81 total performances (65 Mainstage, 9 HD Theater Broadcasts, 7 School-Day Performances). On right, attendance: 69, 393 Mainstage, 2,999 HD Broadcast, 5,034 School-Day Performances. Dollars spend in our community and regio: $5,636,501.


In addition to our customary venues on the University of Michigan campus, audience members were able to experience unique performances in unexpected community spaces such as Trinosophes, a gallery/club space in downtown Detroit, and Ann Arbor’s Skyline High School.

Images of venues. L to R Row 1: Rackham Auditorium, Power Center, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Hill Auditorium. L to R Row 2: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Michigan Theater, Trinosophes, Skyline Highschool.

2014-15 Artist: Countries of origin

Our audience members were able to experience performances by artists from 16 different countries, right in their own backyard.

Image: World map with artists' countries identified: Israel, Belgium, England, France, Japan, Russia, Ireland, China, Greece, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, Zimbabwe, USA.

“Much of the value of social media is its ability to help the organization learn and improve,
understand the attitudes and opinions of stakeholders, and ultimately, build relationships.”
Beth Kanter, The Networked Nonprofit

Image: 20% of unique visitors to interacted with video since January 2015. UMS received 75K views via YouTube and 49K views via Facebook.
Pie chart: 34% of visits to are to the audience feedback feature "People are Talking." Image: 50% growth in traffic to "People are Talking."
Image: Statistic related to social media engagement. Facebook (7,100 likes, +15%), Twitter (3750 followers, +15%), Instagram (500 followers, +30%).

2014-15 Programs: By the numbers

Image: Education program engagement statistics. 166+ Education and Community Engagement events, 11K+ adults and youth participants. 32 master classes and artist visits for university and high school students. 170 new U-M faculty members introduced to UMS programs through 2 new faculty receptions.

Image: University engagement information: Second year of offering Engaging Performances, a course co-taught by U-M faculty where UMS performances serve as the 'textbook'


Infographic: Of 53 students enrolled in Engaging Performance course, 33 had no prior engagement with UMS. Infographic: 20 major represented in Engaging Performances course, including 22 non-arts majors.

Text: 264 students benefited from 8 U-M courses offered in 2014-15 that integrated UMS performances.

Text: 14 faculty members were selcted from 26 applicants during the 2nd year of an institute co-led by UMS and U-M, for those who want to incorporate arts activities and hands-on learning experiences into their non-arts courses in LSA.
Infographic: 86% of the institue fellows were new partners to UMS (12 faculty members).

Infographic: 4 students selected as part of the inaugural cohort. Map illustrates locations of Summer 2014 internships: Paris (Theatre de la Ville), San Francisco (SF Symphony), New York City (Trisha Brown Dance Company, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion).
Text: Four students from U-M SMTD interned with artist ensembles who were presented by UMS over 2014-15; Interns spent 4-6 weeks with their ensembles over the summer and then created events and served as "ambassadors" when their ensemble came to campus.

Infographic: Icons representing content produced by 21st century interns (1 K-12 master class, 1 hosting of a class visit to a technical rehearsal, 1 video, 7 U-M in-class presentations, 11 Lobby posts, 3 community presentations, 2 artist Q&A sessions, 2 hosted events, 2 U-M master classes.

Infographic detailing community participation in events: Tune In (205 participants), Night School (58 participants), You Can Dance (160 participants), Saturday Morning Physics (500 participants). Infographic: Statistics related to K-12 community engagement: 7 School-Day Performances, 5K+ student attendees (1,120 outside washtenaw county, 230 from Detroit Public Schools). Over 100 teachers participated in UMS workshops and professional development opportunities; 2K transportation grants offered, 24 in-class workshops offered, 4 classrooms directly working with touring artists).

2014-15 Programs: A closer look
Infographic: 2,600 residency participants; 41 activities in addition to mainstage performance.

K-12 events included:

  • School Day Performance
  • 34 K-12 classrooms were impacted through in-class workshops to help tie the School-Day Performance to other core academic subjects
  • Classrooms that were impacted included one for at-risk teens and one for special-needs students
  • After-school master class for Detroit’s Renaissance High School
  • In-school lecture-demonstration at Ann Arbor’s Bach Elementary

Community-related events included:

  • Artist visit to UMS Night School session
  • ‘You Can Dance’ community movement workshop Ann Arbor Y
  • Post-show ‘Download’ brunch, open to community members interested in meeting the artists and discussing their performance experiences
  • K-12 book club meeting on a book that inspired Kyle Abraham’s choreography
  • Public interview of Kyle Abraham by visiting dance professor Stephanie Batiste
  • Two post-performance Q&A sessions with entire company

University-related events included:

  • Master class for U-M dance majors
  • Master class for U-M musical theatre students
  • Dance and Identity movement workshop in partnership with U-M Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs
  • In-class visit by Kyle Abraham to a U-M course on crime, race, and the law
  • Artist visit to a U-M support group for faculty and staff of color
  • Visit by Kyle Abraham and dancer
    Matthew Baker to Engaging Performance course
  • Visit to Engaging Performance by Sophia Deery, the UMS 21st Century Intern who interned with AIM
  • Backstage tour for U-M theatre design students, led by production manager
    Dan Stearns

NOTE: All figures are derived from actual revenues and expenses as listed in the FY15 financial statement.

Donut chart: Season expenses, actual: 70% presentation, 16% administration & development, 12% education, 2% creation. Donut chart: 2014-15 season revenues, actual: 34% ticket revenues, 9% endowment interest, 6% other income, 21% individuals, 11% foundations & government, 10% U-M partnership, 7% corporations, 2% events.

Complete audited financial statements [pdf]

A strong endowment ensures that UMS performances and educational activities will continue for generations.

Bar infographics. Top: Endowment (1.7M raised in 14-15, 6.2M total to date, 15M goal for campaign). Bottom: Bequest (3.7M raised in 14-15, 6.1M total to date, 15M goal for campaign).

Infographic: Fun Facts. On left, Compagnie Non Nova (44 bags used per performance, 704 over 16 performances, 800th show celebrated in Ann Arbor). On left, Awards (1 Grammy Nomination for Best Opera, 1 National Medal of Arts). On right, statistics and related icons (26 accordionists presented on 14-15 season, 432 ushers serving UMS, 234 performers on Hill Auditorium stage during Messiah, 2025 hotel room nights generated by UMS artists in Ann Arbor area, 2746 estimated cups of coffee served backstage, 642 pieces of fruit served backstage, 2 manicures and pedicures for lead performers in Kiss & Cry.