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UMS at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse

UMS returns to the Freighthouse this April!

UMS will launch a new season of events the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, with four weeks of programming for all ages from Apr 4-28!  Explore events

Our two-year partnership results in arts programming for Ypsilanti residents, families, and schoolchildren. A community-informed programming process is the catalyst for these dynamic residencies, activating the unique and historic civic space for performances, arts learning and participation, and creative exploration.

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Upcoming Events

Priority access will be available to Ypsilanti residents starting Tue Mar 5. General public tickets and registrations will open on Tue Mar 12.

Swing Dance Party
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Ypsi Freighthouse

Ypsi Freighthouse Residency

Swing Dance Party

Thursday, April 4

Join Riverside Swings and Swing Ann Arbor for a night of swing dance at the Freighthouse! Learn the basics, then dance the night away to the sounds of special guest band The Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club.

Hub New Music: 10th Anniversary Show
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

Ypsi Freighthouse Residency

Hub New Music:
10th Anniversary Show

Friday, April 5

Grab a drink and raise your glass – we’re celebrating this Michigan-based ensemble’s 10th birthday with an intimate night of chamber music at the Freighthouse. 

Y2Gay: Drag Show at the Freighthouse
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

Ypsi Freighthouse Residency

Y2Gay: Drag Show at the Freighthouse

Saturday, April 6 - Saturday, April 6

Back by popular demand: Drag Night is back in millennium glitching fashion! Dust off your favorite low-rise jeans, velour tracksuits, and platform sandals, because we are throwing it back with this 1990s and 2000s themed night. 

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Featuring Little Bang Theory, in collaboration with iFFY
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

UMS is thrilled to collaborate with the Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti (iFFY) to present The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, a 1927 British silent thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock about the hunt for a serial killer in London. Michigan’s Little Bang Theory, a trio founded by Detroit avant-garde music legend Frank Pahl, performs an original score on toy instruments to bring life to the timeless art of silent cinema.

For Families // Dancing Through México with El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil
Family Friendly
Free
Participatory Experience
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse
Open Mic at the Freighthouse
Free
Ypsi Freighthouse

Open Mic Night is back! From soulful music to gripping poetry, this is a platform where raw passion meets an appreciative audience and celebrates the incredible talent that exists in our own community.

For Families // Joe Reilly Earth Day Performance + Family Activity
Family Friendly
Free
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

Joe Reilly is a singer/songwriter, social worker, and Michigan educator who writes songs from his heart. The Italian, Irish, and Native American (Cherokee) singer draws from his three children’s albums of environmental and community songs in this Earth Day-themed concert for families. After the performance, families are invited to stay for a hands-on Earth Day activity. 

Shigeto Live Ensemble
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

Ypsi Freighthouse Residency

Shigeto Live Ensemble

Friday, April 26

Michigan electronic musician Shigeto joins artists Marcus Elliot (saxophone), Ian Fink (keyboards), and special guests for this late-night show.

Regenerate! Orchestra
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

Ypsi Freighthouse Residency

Regenerate! Orchestra

Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28

Part symphony, part jam session, part group meditation, the Regenerate! Orchestra invites audiences to participate at whatever level is comfortable: performing with the group, or sitting back and enjoying the results of a bespoke performance from musicians in our community.

Freighthouse FAQ

What is the Ypsilanti Freighthouse?
Located next to Frog Island Park on the north side of Depot Town, the Ypsilanti Freighthouse was built in 1878 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Sites. The Freighthouse originally served as a distribution center for rail-bound goods, and is now owned and operated by the City of Ypsilanti as a gathering space for many community and private events.
Why is UMS doing a residency at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse?
UMS has been active in Ypsilanti for several years, collaborating with a range of organizations to offer learning and engagement programs and presenting performances and other events periodically at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. This residency is a natural extension of those activities, offering a more visible and sustainable commitment to the community through recurring residencies.

By serving as Resident Arts Partner for the Ypsilanti Freighthouse and in partnership with the City, UMS seeks to share its programming, producing, and educational resources with the broader Ypsilanti community, and to use our platform to spotlight Ypsilanti’s vibrant and creative cultural scene.

Can anyone attend these events, or do you have to be an Ypsilanti resident?
A top priority of this residency is to create arts programming accessible to Ypsilanti residents. As such, Ypsilanti residents (both city and township) will have first dibs for all events at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, whether that is through an early registration period for free events or priority access to ticketed events. After the priority period, anyone can register or purchase a ticket. All are welcome.
Why do Ypsilanti residents get first access?
We want to prioritize access for residents of Ypsilanti for these events to ensure that the programming that is being curated with and for the community is actually available to be enjoyed by those in the community.
How can I get tickets to events at the Freighthouse?
There are three different types of events:

  • Free: just show up! (Open Mic Night)
  • Free Family events: register to hold your spot, no tickets required (slapslap and Moving to the Beat workshops)
  • Pay-What-You-Wish events: you can decide how much you wish to pay for tickets to these events

What is a Pay What You Wish (PWYW) ticket?
With Pay What You Wish (PWYW), we're trying to remove barriers between you and great art, and to make it as easy as possible to attend something that may be a new experience. We don't want to let ticket prices shut anyone out of great performances and want to welcome everyone to the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. With PWYW, you get to decide what you wish to pay.
Why is UMS offering PWYW tickets to certain events?
The PWYW model is about making tickets more accessible to more audiences. Some places call it Pay What You Can or Pay What You Decide. Ultimately, we hope that those who can afford to pay a little more will do so, to help make it more affordable for someone else. The artist receives the same fee regardless of how much money is collected from ticket revenues. As a nonprofit organization, UMS is investing significant resources into this residency and is not making a profit from tickets.
Where can I dine or grab a coffee or a drink around the Freighthouse?
Ypsilanti has a ton to offer, and we encourage you to visit ypsireal.com for options.

 

Thank You to Our Residency Supporters

The Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency is supported by Menakka and Essel Bailey and Matt and Nicole Lester.

Additional residency support from WEMU 89.1 FM.

Funded in Part by

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Love great music, theater, and dance?

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