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 and Washtenaw Intermediate School District through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program. Our three organizations collaborate regularly on the development of accessible and high-quality arts education programs for our area’s students and teachers.

Photo credit: Jesse Meria

K-12 School Day Performances

From theater to modern dance, from Brazil to China, 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 Urban Bush Women

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip
Hair & Other Stories
Urban Bush Women

Friday, January 12, 11 am - 12 pm
Field Trip Us/Them

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip

Thursday, January 25 - Friday, January 26
Sphinx Junior Division Honors Concert Field Trip

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip
Sphinx Junior Division Honors Concert

Friday, February 2
Field Trip Piedmont Blues

Field Trip - K-12 Programs

Field Trip
Piedmont Blues:
A Search for Salvation

Wednesday, March 14, 11 am - 12:15 pm


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. Check back soon for the ticketing timeline for the 2016-17 season.

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 Ragamala Dance Sphinx Virtuosi Chanticleer Urban Bush Women Piedmont Blues
Performance Date Fri, Oct 20 Mon, Oct 30 Fri, Nov 10 Fri, Jan 12 Wed, Mar 14
50% Non-Refundable Deposit Due Fri, Sep 29 Fri, Sep 29 Fri, Sep 29 Fri, Dec 1 Fri, Dec 1
Final Payment & Confirmation of Ticket No. Due Fri, Oct 6 Mon, Oct 16 Fri, Oct 27 Wed, Dec 20 Wed, Feb 28


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]

Photo credit: Jesse Meria

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.

Field Trip Urban Bush Women

Classroom Workshop - K-12 Programs

Field Trip
Hair & Other Stories
Urban Bush Women

Friday, January 12, 11 am - 12 pm
Field Trip Us/Them

Classroom Workshop - K-12 Programs

Field Trip

Thursday, January 25 - Friday, January 26
Field Trip Piedmont Blues

Classroom Workshop - K-12 Programs

Field Trip
Piedmont Blues:
A Search for Salvation

Wednesday, March 14, 11 am - 12:15 pm

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 2017-18 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 6, 2017 for fall School Day Performances and Friday, January 5, 2018 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

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

Public School Foundations

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

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.



Educator Workshops

(1192KB PDF)

PDF Download

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 or call 734-647-4010 with questions.

Educator Workshop: Creative Collage and The Art of Pop-up Books
Immersion: Exploring African-American History in Ypsilanti

Educator Workshop - K-12 Programs

Immersion: Exploring African- American History in Ypsilanti

Saturday, March 3, 8 am - 6 pm
Educator Workshop: Imagination, Set, GO!

Educator Workshop - K-12 Programs

Educator Workshop:
Imagination, Set, GO!
Playwriting with Young Authors

Monday, March 19, 4:30 - 7:30 pm


Do you know a teacher or school that values the importance of Arts Education? Educators that use arts-integrated approaches to teaching in order to inspire, energize, and challenge the limits of what is possible? Join us in helping to give these exceptional educators and schools the recognition and support they deserve.

Each year, UMS asks the Southeast Michigan community to help us choose the DTE Energy Foundation Educator and School of the Year. The award recognizes educators and learning communities advocating for arts in education and doing outstanding work integrating the arts throughout the K-12 curriculum. Anyone can nominate an educator or school using the online form.

Nomination deadline is Friday, January 19, 2017.

Award Benefits

Awardees receive complimentary tickets to one UMS School-Day Performance in the following season for the winning educator’s classroom and for up to four classrooms (including transportation) at the winning school.

An artist on our season season will also visit the winning educator’s classroom or school. The type of artist interaction will depend on artist and availability; examples include a student assembly or workshop. Recipients will also receive an invitation to the Ovation, the new UMS Spring Gala that supports our Education program.

Eligibility and Procedure

  • The Educator of the Year (EOY) and School of the Year (SOY) must be nominated for the award, either through self-nomination or through the nomination of others.
  • An “Educator” nominated for the EOY award may be any individual who works in K-12 education with or on behalf of students or young learners.
  • A “School” nominated for the SOY award may be any public, private, charter, independent, or home school serving K-12 students OR a group of educators within a school (e.g. the English Department at City High School or the 7th grade teachers at City Middle School);
  • Anyone in the community can nominate schools and educators for the awards.
  • Nominees must satisfy ONE or more of the following three criteria: excellence in arts programs, exceptional use of an arts-integrated curriculum, and/or creative use of UMS-provided tools.
  • Previous participation in UMS programs is NOT a requirement for this award.
  • The winning EOY and SOY can only receive the award once every five years. Receiving one award does not exclude one from eligibility for the other.
  • Nominations are valid for two years.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of UMS staff and community members affiliated with the education and/or arts communities.