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K-12 Programs

At UMS, we believe the performing arts should be a part of nurturing every young mind. We believe that the arts build creativity and expose students to new ways of looking at their world. We work with educators to arrange exceptional opportunities for young students. Through field trips, teaching guides, and workshops, we complement curriculum and inspire young minds and educators.


Since 1997, UMS has proudly partnered with Ann Arbor Public Schools through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program. Washtenaw Intermediate School District joined the partnership in 2012, and together our three organizations collaborate regularly on the development of accessible and high-quality arts education programs for our area’s students and teachers.


K-12 School Day Performances

From theater to modern dance, UMS School Day Performances feature some of the world’s best performing artists and use the arts to ignite student imagination and support student growth and development.

Performances serve kindergarten through high school students, and teachers receive UMS learning guides to facilitate meaningful connections between the performance and classroom curriculum.

School Day Performances

Field Trip: Isango Ensemble

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip:
Isango Ensemble
The Magic Flute

Thursday, October 17 - Friday, October 18
Field Trip: The Believers Are But Brothers

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip:
The Believers Are But Brothers

Thursday, January 23
Field Trip: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip:
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

Thursday, February 13
Field Trip: Dorrance Dance

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip:
Dorrance Dance

Friday, February 21
Field Trip: Chineke! Orchestra

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip:
Chineke! Orchestra

Thursday, April 23
Policies and Procedures

UMS policies and procedures are designed to ensure fair and equitable ticketing and registration processes. Tickets may be requested at any time. Requests should be submitted online.

Making Changes to Your Order

School-Day Performance tickets are $7 per student, teacher, or chaperone, unless otherwise noted. Please allow at least one chaperone for every 15 students. There is a 10-ticket minimum per performance. Before requesting tickets, be sure to check school calendars for conflicts and transportation availability.

Ticket demand often exceeds availability. To accommodate demand, UMS reserves the right to cap the number of tickets requested by any given school for each performance. All performances are subject to change and cancellation.

Ticketing Timeline

Ticket requests will be honored as long as the performance still has available seats. Once tickets are sold out, UMS will add your order to a waitlist.

Deposit and Final Payment Deadlines

50% Non-Refundable Deposits must be received by the deadline to secure your reservation. Full payment for tickets to attend any UMS School-Day Performance must be received 14 days prior to the performance, or your reservation may be canceled. Payments can be made by check (payable to “UMS”), money order, credit card, or purchase order.

Performance Isango Ensemble:
The Magic Flute
The Believers Are But Brothers Mariachi Vargas Dorrance Dance Chineke! Orchestra
Performance Date Thu Oct 17 &
Fri Oct 18
Thu Jan 23 Thu Feb 13 Fri Feb 21 Thu Apr 23
50% Non-Refundable Deposit Due Fri Sep 20 Fri Dec 6 Fri Dec 6 Fri Dec 6 Fri Dec 6
Final Payment & Confirmation of Ticket No. Due Thu Oct 3 Thu Jan 9 Thu Jan 30 Fri Feb 7 Thu Apr 9


50% deposits are not refundable. Refunds will be issued only if school is cancelled due to inclement weather or if the event itself is cancelled. UMS will not issue refunds if tickets are purchased for a day when school is not in session or if transportation is unavailable. Please check your calendars carefully when booking events.


UMS assigns seats to accommodate students with special needs and to ensure school group cohesiveness, stage visibility, and efficient auditorium entry and exit. Seating assignments do not correlate to when the ticket request is received.

Ticket Discounts

Schools with half or more of their students qualifying for Free or Reduced Lunch are eligible to receive a $1 per ticket discount on their group’s total ticket order for a UMS School-Day Performance. To be eligible for this discount, please send official documentation of this percentage to UMS with your ticket request. UMS will apply the discount to your invoice. This discount represents one way in which UMS is attempting to achieve equity of access to our programs for schools across the region.

Participation agreement

I understand that my students’ participation in the Program is voluntary and that as a condition of my students’ participation, I agree to comply with all Program requirements including, but not limited to: (a) accurately completing all registration forms in a timely manner, (b) ensuring that students are aware of the Program’s standards of conduct; (c) and immediately notifying the Program Administrator of any concerns related to the health, safety security of my students, other participants, or Program staff.

Download and review full participation agreement [pdf]


Workshops for K-12 Students

For select School-Day Performances, a UMS teaching artist will visit your classroom and facilitate a 30- to 50-minute arts-integrated experience that is directly connected to school curricula and the performance. After the performance, the UMS teaching artist returns to your classroom to lead students in reflection and discussion.

These workshops are designed to actively explore the art form and themes that students will encounter during the performance, and, best of all, come at no additional charge to your school. Your students will deepen their experience as audience members and critical thinkers, while collaborating and connecting with each other, growing artistically and academically, and practicing their creative skills in the classroom.

2018-19 UMS Teaching Artists

brendan asanteBrendan Asante is a Ghanaian vocalist, educator, conceptual producer, and musician born and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He is the co-founder of Video7, an audio/visual collective based in Detroit containing multiple singers, MCs, jazz instrumentalists, and producers. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s jazz studies program, Asante sings in phrases that appear to contain and conceal words. In an effort to deduce meaning from Asante’s lyrics, listeners can assign an individualistic connection to the music. He also uses this as a method of songwriting, combining this with his melodic reading technique to unlock new musical ideas when teaching to students.

Libby DeCampLibby DeCamp has spent an adolescence in close companionship with bodies of music and literature, among hinterlands of horses and history in the quiet orchards of Romeo, Michigan (a small town 40 miles north of Detroit). Driven by a will to connect on a raw, human level, Libby makes folk and roots-steeped music with a lyrical edge, and delivers with a honeyed vocal closeness that reaches listeners of all kinds. Born from fervent ties to both the American condition and tradition, DeCamp’s writing carries an unflinching intention to reflect the times with a poetic lens- from the seismic social and political turns, down to the resulting close-to-heart emotional nuance.

Allen Dennard is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader and educator who was born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Allen attended the University of Michigan -Ann Arbor and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies. He now plays around Detroit and the Metro Detroit area with his group at venues such as Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Bert’s Marketplace, Music Hall Jazz Cafe and Cliff Bells. Allen also works as a jazz mentor at the Max Fisher Music Center for their Civic Youth Jazz program.

Elton Monroy Duran is a Detroit-based visual artist born on December 22, 1978 in Ciudad Sahagun in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico. Duran acquired a BFA from the School of Fine Arts at the University of the State of Querétaro (1998-2003). He describes himself as a humanist artist with scientific and sociological approaches, which he seeks to convey through his work. He is developing a pictorial work under the name ¨CORPUS,” which reflects the concern for the welfare of the body and the human soul. He started the mural and art company Corpus Art Inc. in Detroit in 2016.

Teagan Faran, a native of Buffalo, NY, is a multidisciplinary musician focused on enacting social change through the arts. She has recorded with the Buffalo Tango Orkestra, had compositions featured at the NYSSMA Conference and the Persis Vehar Competition for Excellence, and works closely with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI. Faran has recently served as concertmaster of the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Camerata (AAC).

Karilú Alarcón Forshee was born and raised in Juarez, Mexico, Karilu earned her degree in Theatre Arts at the University of Texas. She has been involved in the arts for the last 20 years as a singer, dancer, actor, and director. Her work is influenced by the entire Latin American diaspora. She strongly believes that the world is full of possibilities, and we are here to be effective creators. That is what encourages her passion to use the arts as a tool to transform the lives of children. She has been working with children and youth for the last ten years in both, Mexico and the US. She has been living in Michigan for the last five years where she has worked as a Teaching Artist for Matrix Theatre Company, Compas, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and Living Arts. She is a member of the Theater Company A Host of People.

Tariq Gardner is an eclectic drummer and educator from Detroit who has his roots in Detroit’s rich and storied jazz tradition. He was brought up in the music by his mother and preeminent bassist, Marion Hayden, who immensely impacted his intuitive musical knowledge and instinct. Gardner attended the world renowned Detroit School of Arts. It was there where he began to hone his compositional skills, and also traveled with the Wind Symphony and Orchestra to perform at the historic Carnegie Hall. A soon to be graduate of the University of Michigan’s esteemed Jazz Studies program, Tariq has served as the drummer for the John Douglas Quartet since the beginning of 2017, is the host of his own Wednesday night jam session at Bert’s Marketplace, and continues to work as a drummer, composer, and bandleader for major events around Detroit. “Life is a song so you better sing” – Tariq

Cara Graninger is a dancer and arts educator specializing in dance improvisation and arts integration. She grew up in Liberia, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, and Costa Rica, as well as the United States, learning Spanish and French along the way, and has made Detroit home since 1993. Passionate about contact improvisation, which she has studied and taught avidly for seventeen years, Cara also practices authentic movement and enjoys many other forms of movement and music too. Cara is a certified DanceAbility instructor, trained to facilitate dance improvisation classes, workshops and performances including disAbled movers. In addition to her work as a teaching artist, Cara helps coordinate UMS K-12 programs as Teaching Artist Coordinator.

Miryam Johnson, a Detroit based Dance Artist, is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, with degrees in Dance Performance and African American Studies. Originally from Akron, Ohio, she received multi-genre dance training with the University of Akron’s Dance Institute, while attending performing arts public schools, from Alvin’s Ailey’s “The Ailey Extension,” and from Urban Bush Women’s “Summer Leadership Program.” Miryam’s performed as a guest artist with The Sphinx Organization, Detroit Dance Collective, People Dancing, and Kristi Faulkner Dance, traveling nationally. She’s a fourth year company member of Harge Dance Stories and was one of the featured dancers in John Sobczak’s book “Portraits in Motion.” A committed educator and community member, Miryam believes in using her body and her art as protest.

Alex KoiAlex Koi is a vocalist, composer, and arts educator. Her compositions are influenced by rock, jazz, opera, electronic music, and performance art as is the work she creates with her long-term collaborative project saajtak. She has performed original work at the DSO Cube, the Detroit Institute of Arts, AS2F, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, MOCAD, Trinosophes, and along the East Coast. Believing that the arts are vital in a young person’s education, she has taught music privately, to groups, and has conducted various college masterclasses for the past five years. Originally from Pittsburgh, she moved to Detroit after graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Musical Arts in Jazz Voice in 2015.

Events coming soon.


Educator Workshops

K-12 Educator Workshops are professional development opportunities for teachers to explore arts-based classroom strategies that nurture student learning and support student achievement goals across various areas of the curriculum.

Workshop Registration

All teachers must register and pay for workshops in advance. Workshop registrants will be charged regardless of whether or not they actually attend. Refunds are available if cancellations are received at least 10 business days before the workshop.

Payments are due 72 hours prior to the workshop in order to guarantee that your spot is reserved. If this date falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the following Monday. A $10 workshop registration discount is available to teachers bringing students to a corresponding School-Day Performance and to students enrolled in a university teacher education program.

Workshop Reimbursement

For Ann Arbor Public School Teachers, AAPS will reimburse teachers’ workshop fees, up to $30 per workshop, subject to availability. For Washtenaw Intermediate School District Teachers, WISD will reimburse the workshop fees of the first five teachers to register. Teachers who miss the workshop may not apply for reimbursement.

Please contact umsyouth@umich.edu or call 734-647-4010 with questions.

Events coming soon.

Professional Learning Community

Exploring Arts-Based Strategies for Early Literacy

UMS is currently recruiting teachers to join a yearlong professional learning community (PLC) focusing on arts integration strategies that support early (K-5) literacy. If you’re looking for an opportunity to learn innovative teaching strategies and bring creative energy into your classroom, you will find that our PLC will expand your portfolio of instructional tools and support your approach to whole-child development and learning. With the guidance and support of UMS staff, visiting teaching artists, and other arts integration experts, teachers will design and implement an arts integrated project at their school in the 18-19 school year. Educators will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues in order to share knowledge, skills, and resources.

PLC Participants receive preferred access to demonstration lessons and classroom consultations with visiting Kennedy Center teaching artists. The PLC provides a creative and supportive forum for educators who are curious about arts integration and want to experiment with these techniques in the context of a rich learning community. For more information contact Terri Park at tepark@umich.edu.

U-M Credit Union Arts Adventures program

Thanks to the U-M Credit Union Arts Adventures program, UMS continues to be able to provide a limited number of grants to defray the cost of a UMS field trip. Funds can be used for transportation or to reduce the cost of School Day Performance tickets.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Applicants must be from an accredited Michigan K-12 public or private school.
  • A certified teacher must be the primary contact.
  • Priority will be given to schools where one or more of the following apply: (1) At least 50% of students qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch (2) The school does not have a full time arts/music teacher (3) The classroom primarily serves students with disabilities or special needs (4) Priority will be given to schools who are attending a UMS School Day Performance for the first time.
  • Funding must be used to attend a UMS 2018-19 School Day Performance (cannot be transferred to next season).
  • Teachers must complete the reservation form for the School Day Performance they wish to attend, otherwise the application will be incomplete.
  • Teachers may only apply for one grant per school year (though you may request funds for multiple classrooms for one performance).
  • A classroom may only receive one grant per season, regardless who applies for the funds.
  • Teachers may request a maximum of $250 per classroom (a classroom is defined as 30 students).
  • Teachers must submit a bus invoice for transportation reimbursement.

UMS reserves the right to limit the number of grant awards to any one school. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application deadline is Friday, October 5, 2018 for fall School Day Performances and Friday, January 11, 2019 for winter School Day Performances.

Presenting Sponsor

umcu arts adventures logo

Other Possible Funding Sources

We recommend exploring the following funding opportunities for field trips. Have a suggested addition to this list? Email us at umsyouth@umich.edu.

Arts and Culture Trek Grants (transportation)
MCACA Arts in Education Residency Program
Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation
Field Trip Grants from Target
The Meemic Foundation

Public School Foundations

Ann Arbor | Birmingham | Canton | Chelsea | Dearborn | Detroit | Dexter | Farmington/Farmington Hills | Monroe | Plymouth | Saline | Troy


DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year

Each season, UMS asks the southeastern Michigan community to help us choose the UMS DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. The award honors educators who value the importance of arts education, who create a culture for the arts to flourish in their school communities, and/or use the arts to inspire, energize, and challenge the limits of their classrooms. It’s not only arts instructors who qualify, but any educator who encourages and supports an appreciation for the arts in their school.

Nominations are now closed.

Award Benefits

  • Awardees receive complimentary tickets to one UMS School-Day Performance in the 2019-20 season for the winning educator’s classroom and reimbursement for transportation (up to 30 students).
  • A visiting artist on the UMS season will visit the winning educator’s classroom or meet with them after the performance. The type of artist interaction will depend on artist and availability; examples include a student assembly, workshop, or meet-and-greet after the performance.
  • Public recognition of awardee in local media outlets, social media platforms, their school community, to their school board, and district administration.
  • Awardees receive up to 4 complimentary tickets to a UMS performance selected from the 2019-2020 season, some restrictions may apply.
  • Awardees receive a $200 award honorarium.


  • An “Educator” nominated for the Educator of the year (EOY) award may be any individual who works in K-12 education with or on behalf of students or young learners.
  • Nominations must address the following criteria:
    • How the educator actively creates a culture of the arts at their school.
    • How the educator facilitates arts experiences within their school community.
    • How the educator creates opportunities for students to engage with arts experiences in the community beyond school.
    • The ability of the educator to overcome obstacles and be successful.
    • How the educator’s work impacts students and/or the school community.
    • How the award will impact the educator and the school community.
  • Previous participation in UMS programs is NOT a requirement for this award.
  • Educators are only eligible to receive the award once.
  • Nominations are valid for two years.

Nomination and Selection Procedure:


  • The Educator of the Year (EOY) must be nominated for the award; self-nominations are not allowed.
  • Anyone in the community can nominate an educator for the award, including administration, teachers, school staff, parents, or students (13 yrs. or older with the help of an adult).
  • Each nominator must complete an online application; incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Each application must include two (2) brief references from members of the (school) community.


  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of UMS staff and community members affiliated with the education and/or arts communities.
  • The award committee will choose three (3) finalists.
  • Each finalist will be interviewed by the committee (either in person or by phone).
  • Finalists will be asked to submit a short biography that outlines some of their career highlights.
  • Finalists can submit any additional documents to support their nomination.
  • All finalists and school administration will be notified of the final outcome by email.

View Assessment Rubric (PDF)

Learning Guides

UMS Learning Guides help teachers extend the impact of our School Day Performances beyond the walls of the theater into the classroom. By providing educator-specific information about the performance, artist, genre, as well as resources and lesson plans, UMS strives to make meaningful connections between the performance and curriculum. The content and design of the guides are informed by the State of Michigan Education Standards and by our UMS Education Coordinator.



Love great music, theater, and dance?

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