Your Cart UMS

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.

Corporate Spotlight: All Seasons Senior Living, Jerry Beznos

Jerry Beznos

The arts are a signature part of the All Seasons Senior Living experience. Corridors feel more like galleries with specially-curated displays of photography, mixed media, and more. An art studio complete with its own kiln is found just around the bend from a versatile auditorium with a beautiful Bösendorfer piano. We sat down with UMS 2021/22 Season Preview sponsor and Beztak partner, Maurice “Jerry” Beznos, to learn more about All Seasons’ philosophy.


Tell us a little bit about All Seasons.

All Seasons is an upscale, active lifestyle senior living community that has been thoughtfully designed to delight every one of the senses – every day. Each of our locations (there are four in Michigan: Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Rochester Hills, and West Bloomfield) offers residents luxury amenities to stay active, engaged, and connected, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor-outdoor heated swimming pool, an art studio that offers pottery classes in-house, a purposely curated library and a 70-seat auditorium for continuing education, live musical performances and theater programming, to name a few. Our newest property, located in Ann Arbor, is nestled into the tree line of Parker Mill Park at the corner of Geddes and Dixboro on Ann Arbor’s northeast side.

All Seasons, Ann Arbor

All Seasons Ann Arbor

 

Why was All Seasons inspired to support UMS?

The answer to this question is derived from the very core of our individual and corporate belief that the support and the experience of the arts, in all of its manifestations, give expression, provide animation and inspiration to the spirit within us. More – and here we think of George Eliot who said it best – “art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot.” What could be more important than that?

All Seasons, as we like to say, is “For the Joys of Senior Living.” To us, the arts are integral to who we are as individuals and what we do. Even more, in one way or another, the founding partners of All Seasons have been lifetime theater and concert-goers and avid museum visitors. Indeed, one has been studying and playing the classical piano repertoire for 50 years, another has accumulated a distinguished collection of modern art, another has led one of the nation’s most prestigious chamber music concert series for over 20 years. Our support of the arts is personal, deep, and long abiding.

All of us at All Seasons passionately believe that presenting diverse social, educational, and cultural enrichment programs constitutes one of the fundamental components of our mission: as important as providing the finest dining opportunities, the most beautifully designed and appointed environments in the industry. We are all about “the best.” It is for these reasons that our communities even feature Bösendorfer concert grand instruments on which artists (and our residents) are invited to perform.

 

Do you have a favorite performance memory you’d like to share?

With heartfelt enthusiasm I cherish our art experiences of the past while always looking forward to the next experience, which is a renewal of sorts; it is a kind of desire that increases as it is gratified and as it is ever inspired anew. I am happy to declare, “too many to mention!”

Unmasking the Arts Episode 5: Yuval Sharon, Artistic Director of Michigan Opera Theatre

Our partners at Princeton University Concerts have created a new six-part series, Unmasking the Arts, with host Helga Davis and special guests in conversation about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the middle of lockdown, Yuval Sharon, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and newly appointed Artistic Director of Michigan Opera Theatre, staged a drive-through experience of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung in a Detroit parking garage for his production Twighlight: Gods.

As the founder and Co-Artistic Director of The Industry, an LA-based experimental opera company that develops immersive musical experiences, Twilight: Gods was nothing out-of-the-ordinary for Sharon. He had already directed operas staged in moving vehicles, at a railway station, and at other untraditional venues. Yet during the pandemic, this creative approach to presenting music became all the more crucial. Sharon discusses this and more with Unmasking the Arts host Helga Davis.

“What we really need to cultivate in our lives more than anything is a sense of solidarity with each other…and I really do think that’s where the arts are going to be crucial when we come back: trying to rebuild that sense of solidarity.” – Yuval Sharon

Shared with kind permission of Princeton University Concerts.

Princeton University Concerts

On Saturday, September 25, Michigan Opera Theatre will present BLISS, Sharon’s recreation of Ragnar Kjartansson’s performance piece. The performance replays three sublime minutes of The Marriage of Figaro with the same cast and the same orchestra, without pause, for 12 hours. Get tickets and learn more about the performance.

Yuval Sharon – Unmasking the Arts: Playlist

For Princeton University Concerts’ Collective Listening Project, Yuval Sharon shared some of the tracks that resonated with him in the last year – ”as I weighed how my work and how art, in general, is required to drastically shift to accommodate new demands for social change, the wisdom of this music reminds me where a polemicist approach fails and true art begins…” Read more about Sharon’s selections.

About the Artists

Yuval SharonYuval Sharon

Yuval Sharon has amassed an unconventional body of work that expands the operatic form. He is founder and Artistic Director of The Industry in Los Angeles and the newly appointed Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director of Detroit’s Michigan Opera Theatre.

With The Industry, Sharon has directed and produced new operas in moving vehicles, operating train stations, Hollywood sound stages, and various “non-spaces” such as warehouses, parking lots, and escalator corridors. From 2016-2019, Sharon was the first Artist-Collaborator at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, creating nine projects that included newly commissioned works, site-specific installations, and performances outside the hall. His residency culminated in a major revival of Meredith Monk’s opera ATLAS, making him the first director Monk entrusted with a new production of her work.

In 2017, Sharon was honored with a MacArthur Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant for theater.

Helga DavisHelga Davis

Helga Davis first appeared on UMS stages in our 2012 presentation of Philip Glass’s opera, Einstein on the Beach. We look forward to welcoming her back in the 2021/22 season as a featured performer in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

Davis is a vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in the realities and concerns of her local community whose work draws out insights that illuminate how artistic leaps for an individual can offer connection among audiences.

Listen to the new season of her podcast series, Helga: The Armory Conversations, co-produced by WNYC Studios and Park Avenue Armory.

Forward Fund Spotlight: Stephen & Faith Brown

Faith and Stephen Brown

Faith and Stephen Brown

Stephen Brown is an alumnus of the University of Michigan (B.A., English, ’66; J.D. ’69), and practiced labor and employment law in Washington, DC and Chicago for 30 years. He and his wife, Faith (B.A. English, ‘69), retired to the San Francisco area in 2001. We spoke with Stephen about his UMS memories, his chance meeting with UMS president emeritus Ken Fischer, and what inspired their gifts to the Forward Fund this past year.


 

Tell us your fun story of first meeting Ken Fischer, UMS president emeritus.

I was walking down the street in San Gemingano, in Tuscany, and spotted a guy wearing a familiar ‘block M’ cap. I was wearing a similar cap. Naturally, this led to a discussion of our mutual interests. The guy was Ken Fischer, former president of the UMS. It was one of many great encounters I’ve experienced all over the world as a result of wearing a Michigan cap. People have greeted me with “Go Blue” everywhere — from Sydney to Buenos Aires!

Stephen Brown in Tuscany, 2019

Stephen Brown in Tuscany, 2019

When did you start attending UMS events?

I began attending UMS events as a Michigan undergraduate in the ‘60s. It was amazing to have world-class artists so accessible and such a short walk away. I was just discovering classical music back then and the opportunity to attend live UMS concerts really broadened my appreciation and knowledge.

Do you have a favorite or most memorable UMS moment?

May Festival PersephoneI remember paying $1 for a standing room ticket to hear Igor Stravinsky conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in Persephone at the annual May Festival. I also recall other amazing May Festival concerts, such as hearing E. Power Biggs with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform the Saint-Saëns organ symphony at Hill Auditorium and artists such as Joan Sutherland and Rudolf Serkin. And I always looked forward to Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra in “The Victors” at the last May Festival concert of the season.

What inspired your gifts to the Forward Fund?

This was our first donation to UMS, and an opportunity to give back after all our wonderful concert experiences. The Bank of Ann Arbor offered a one-for-one match, which was a nice incentive for us. We wanted to help UMS take full advantage of the match!

Why are the arts so important to our Ann Arbor community?

Ann Arbor may be a relatively small city but it has cultural resources that rival or exceed many major cities. Ann Arbor is often selected as the best college town in the country and one of the best places to live. I believe the arts play an important role in many ways, including attracting top students and faculty and in the ranking and reputation of the University. We hope to play a small part in keeping Michigan on top.

Why should more UM alumni give back to the arts on our campus?

It’s important for Michigan to remain a vibrant and premier University. When I meet other Michigan alumni, the mention of the University and Ann Arbor generally brings a smile and leads to reminiscences about all the great experiences they enjoyed as students. UMS concerts are often a big part of those experiences.

UMS Forward Fund

Make a gift to the Forward Fund and support UMS as we safely return to live events. Contributions made before the end of 2021 will help offset projected operational deficits for the next two years that are a direct result of the pandemic.

All 2021/22 Season Events On Sale Now!

New Health & Safety Measures for Fall 2021 Events

UMS Staff Playlist: Back to School

UMS Staff Playlist: Back to School

UMS staff members contributed tracks for a playlist of their favorite music for the beginning of the fall semester.

Listen on your preferred streaming service, and read about the inspiration behind some of our picks below:

Apple Music logo Spotify logo


“Pregame” by The Michigan Marching Band

Submitted by Anne Grove, Artist Services Manager

Nothing celebrates fall and heading back to school than hearing and watching a marching band show.


“September” by Earth Wind and Fire

Submitted by Sam Williams, Marketing and Media Relations Manager

When I was little and my mom would drive me to school. We would sit in the parking lot and sing to this song every day before she dropped me off. This is the perfect fall song and an immediate mood booster!


“How Sweet It Is” by Karen Dalton

Submitted by Jake Gibson, Digital Marketing Coordinator

I often find myself returning to Karen Dalton’s music around this time of year. One of my favorite tracks of hers is this cover of Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” The song is best known for its later cover by James Taylor, but Karen’s version feels particularly warm and earthy – which pairs well with the late August weather.


“Gloria” by Laura Branigan

Submitted by Michael Kondziolka, VP, Programming and Production

Ah…”Gloria”…it’s part end-of-summer dance party anthem and, on a personal note, a nostalgic favorite — I played her incessantly in my first dorm room as a freshman in college in the Fall of 1982. Happy back to school all!


“Making a Fire” by Foo Fighters

Submitted by Victoria Spain, Front of House Assistant Manager

I picked this song because it’s a glimpse into better times ahead and poses the question, what are you going to do when this pandemic is over? It challenges you to live freely again when that time comes and make sure to take advantage of it. Be bold and make your mark on this world. Do the things that truly inspire you, and don’t let anything kill your fire!


“Magical” by Laura Mvula

Submitted by Mark Jacobson, Senior Programming Manager

Summertime is still a magical and hopeful time of year for me…


“childhood bedroom” by Ben Platt

Submitted by Eric Woodhams, Director of Digital Media

Actor/Singer/Songwriter Ben Platt’s new album, ‘Reveries,’ is full of heartwarming tracks that evoke nostalgic memories of growing up. As summer fades and we say farewell to family and home with the start of the school year, I thought “childhood bedroom” was a perfect track to share. It’s a great reminder to stop, pause, and take a deep breath whenever worry sets in.


“Autumn in New York” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Submitted by Terri Park, Associate Director of Education & Community Engagement

I love Ella Fitzgerald! This song reminds me of strolling through Central Park on a cool, crisp autumn day gazing at the beautiful fall colors of the leaves.


“Carolyn’s Fingers” by Cocteau Twins

Submitted by Christina Bellows, Director, Patron Services

Fall makes me nostalgic so I like to go back to the music that I had on repeat in my 20s. This one I discovered from the hours of watching MTV’s 120 Minutes I did in my teens (back when MTV was still about music) and it has stuck. The sound is rich enough for a road trip or dinner party. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the lyrics, no one does and that’s part of the charm.


Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police

Submitted by Marnie Reid, Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts and Planned Giving

I was 12 when this song came out. An age of angst and uncertainty, feeling grown-up, but far from it. It feels like this song suits the times. And it made me laugh when I thought about the song in relation to the current pandemic and how many times I felt like say asking people to not stand so close to me in the grocery store, etc.

Unmasking the Arts Episode 4: Critics Jason Farago, Maya Chung, and Anne Midgette

Our partners at Princeton University Concerts have created a new six-part series, Unmasking the Arts, with host Helga Davis and special guests in conversation about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of January 2021, Jason Farago, critic at large for The New York Times wrote an influential article titled “The Arts Are in Crisis. Here’s How Biden Can Help.” In the widely circulated op-ed, he described the state and effects of a cultural depression exacerbated by the pandemic, considering its social, economic, and political ramifications. He joins Unmasking the Arts host Helga Davis and fellow arts thinkers, associate editor Maya Chung of The New York Review of Books and former Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette to discuss these ideas further in a wonderfully extensive and inspiring conversation that considers the arts within the context of all of these societal impacts.

“Art, music, drama—here is a point worth recalling in a pandemic—are instruments of psychic and social health.” —Jason Farago

Shared with kind permission of Princeton University Concerts.

Princeton University Concerts

Jason Farago, Maya Chung, and Anne Midgette – Unmasking the Arts: Playlist

For Princeton University Concerts’ Collective Listening Project, Maya Chung, Jason Farago, and Anne Midgette shared some of the tracks that have formed their pandemic listening. Read more about each critics’ selections.

About the Participants

Helga DavisHelga Davis

Helga Davis first appeared on UMS stages in our 2012 presentation of Philip Glass’s opera, Einstein on the Beach. We look forward to welcoming her back in the 2021/22 season as a featured performer in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

Davis is a vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in the realities and concerns of her local community whose work draws out insights that illuminate how artistic leaps for an individual can offer connection among audiences.

Listen to the new season of her podcast series, Helga: The Armory Conversations, co-produced by WNYC Studios and Park Avenue Armory.


Jason FaragoJason Farago

Jason Farago, critic at large for The New York Times, writes about art and culture in the U.S. and abroad. In 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Rabkin Prize for art criticism.

Mr. Farago began writing about art for The Times in 2015, and since then he has reviewed exhibitions, conducted interviews, and reported features across the United States and in a dozen foreign countries. In 2020 he helped develop Close Read, a digital initiative that elaborates the meaning of a single work of art, detail by detail.

He previously wrote for the Guardian, serving as its first U.S. art critic and as an online opinion columnist. He has also been a regular contributor to the New Yorker, the BBC, NPR, the New York Review of Books, and Artforum.


Anne MidgetteAnne Midgette

Anne Midgette was the classical music critic of The Washington Post for 11 years, from 2008 to 2019. Before that, she was for seven years a regular contributor of classical music and theater reviews to The New York Times.

She has also written about music, the visual arts, dance, theater, and film for The Wall Street Journal, Opera News, The Los Angeles Times, Town & Country, and many other publications, reviewing and interviewing everyone from Spike Lee to Twyla Tharp, Marina Abramovic to Luciano Pavarotti.

At the Post, she oversaw every aspect of classical music coverage, offset her music writing with occasional visual art reviews, expanded the reach of the beat on social media as The Classical Beat, and ultimately became known for her work on the #MeToo problem in classical music.


Maya ChungMaya Chung

Maya Chung is the associate editor of The New York Review of Books.

Forward Fund Spotlight: Christina Kim

Christina Kim is a financial advisor with Edward Jones, as well as a UMS board member and alumna of the University of Michigan. Discover how UMS and the arts shaped her life growing up in Ann Arbor, and what inspires her family to support the UMS Forward Fund.

UMS Forward Fund

Make a gift to the Forward Fund and support UMS as we safely return to live events. Contributions made before the end of 2021 will help offset projected operational deficits for the next two years that are a direct result of the pandemic.

Unmasking the Arts Episode 3: Wu Han, pianist

Our partners at Princeton University Concerts have created a new six-part series, Unmasking the Arts, with host Helga Davis and special guests in conversation about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, pianist Wu Han joined The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where she serves as co-artistic director, for a surreal concert tour in Taiwan under strict quarantine conditions. A few months later, she no longer felt safe walking down the street in NYC after the recent wave of anti-Asian violence. Recorded during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, she sits with host Helga Davis as part of Unmasking the Arts in a personal discussion about Wu Han’s relationship to music throughout this eventful year as together they look to the future.

“As artists, even in good times, we should always have a certain sense of emergency because our job is to push limits…” —Wu Han, piano

Shared with kind permission of Princeton University Concerts.

Princeton University Concerts

Wu Han – Unmasking the Arts: Playlist

During the conversation, pianist Wu Han noted that for her, “Schubert is the most perfect pandemic listening.” For Princeton University Concerts’ Collective Listening Project, Wu Han shared beloved tracks that have served as a bedrock throughout her long and celebrated career as the Co-Artistic Director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Listen on Spotify.

Schubert – String Quintet in C Major, D. 956, Op. 163
Mstislav Rostropovich, cello, and the Emerson String Quartet

The Schubert cello quintet is one of the greatest “desert island” pieces for any musician. Artistically, this recording is the highest achievement of this piece. And not to mention, I was at the recording session—witnessing this miracle happen in front of me.

Horowitz in Moscow
Vladimir Horowitz, piano

I love Vladimir Horowitz. He is the greatest pianist in the world. On this occasion when he returned to Moscow, there was so much emotion in his piano playing. This particular recording is just astonishing.

Brahms – Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87
Isaac Stern, violin, Eugene Istomin, piano, and Leonard Rose, cello

I worked right next to Mr. Stern for many years at his Chamber Music Encounters program. The integrity of this playing has completely set the industry standard for any piano trio.

Schubert – Winterreise, D. 911, Op. 89
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone

Any lieder recordings by Fischer-Dieskau are worth gold. Every time I listen to this great singer perform Winterreise, Dichterliebe, or any of the song cycles, I will always be brought to tears.

About the Artists

Helga Davis

Helga Davis first appeared on UMS stages in our 2012 presentation of Philip Glass’s opera, Einstein on the Beach. We look forward to welcoming her back in the 2021/22 season as a featured performer in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

Davis is a vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in the realities and concerns of her local community whose work draws out insights that illuminate how artistic leaps for an individual can offer connection among audiences.

Listen to the new season of her podcast series, Helga: The Armory Conversations, co-produced by WNYC Studios and Park Avenue Armory.

Wu Han Wu Han

Named Musical America’s Musician of the Year, pianist Wu Han ranks among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. Leading an unusually multifaceted artistic career, she has risen to international prominence as a concert performer, artistic director, recording artist, educator, and cultural entrepreneur. Wu Han appears annually at the world’s most prestigious concert series and venues, as both soloist and chamber musician.

Together with David Finckel, Wu Han serves as Co-Artistic Director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS). Under her artistic leadership, CMS recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as the leading global chamber music institution She is the founding Co-Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier summer chamber music festival and institute. The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts appointed Wu Han to serve as artistic advisor for its Chamber Music at The Barns series. In the Far East, Wu Han serves as founding Co-Artistic Director of Chamber Music Today, a festival in Seoul, South Korea.

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Surely your inbox has room for one more email... Sign up for notifications on new digital and live performances, plus season updates.

Thanks! We'll keep you updated.