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Inspiring Artists Through Performance

UMS launched a new artists in residence program during our 2014-2015 season. Artists received complimentary tickets to our performances, a stiped, and more. We hoped to inspire creative work with performance. In this video, our first cohort share their experiences of the program.

The application for the 2015-2015 Artists in Residence program is open July 20-August 3, 2015. Apply now.

Apply: 2015-2016 UMS Artists in Residence Program

UMS has something to inspire everyone, from classical music, jazz, global, and indie music, to dance and theater. From left to right, artists on our 2015-2016 season: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, to perform works of dance pioneer William Forsythe; My Brightest Diamond, who opens our season with the Detroit Party Marching Band; theater and cabaret artist Taylor Mac; violinist Gil Shaham, whose performance of Bach’s violin partitas collides with the iconic film world of David Michalek, and Antigone by Sophokles, in a new translation by Ann Arbor’s Award-winning poet Anne Carson. Photos courtesy of artists.

UMS is pleased to announce the second installment of our artists in “residence” program. Why “residence” in quotes? Because instead of a traditional artist residence, during which artists quite literally live at the place where the artist residency is located, we’re asking area artists to take residence at our performances.

We’re looking for five residents to participate in this program. We welcome artists from across disciplines including visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age and should be based locally to be able to attend performances.

Residents will receive:

  • Complimentary UMS performance tickets to three to four 2015-2016 season UMS performances of their choosing (in addition to two “required” performances that all UMS artists in residence will attend together). Performances should support an artistic journey (more on that in the application guidelines section below). Some ticket restrictions may apply. The “required” performances to be attended by the cohort are My Brightest Diamond (September 11) and A Christmas Carol (early December).
  • Opportunities for special behind the scenes access to UMS and artists, provided artist availability and interest.
  • Access to gatherings with other residents and visiting artists throughout the course of the season and opportunities to share thoughts, experiences, and process.
  • $500 stipend

UMS will:

  • Interview artists prior to the program’s start and at the end of the program to document residents’ journeys. Interviews and other documentation of the residency experience will appear here on our blog,
  • Ask artists to submit two short posts for; the content of these posts is open-ended and will be determined by UMS and artists together.
  • Engage residents in limited education and community engagement activities with university and community.
  • Offer opportunities to showcase creative work in conjunction with UMS events when possible. Rights to the work remain wholly with the residents, UMS simply requests permission to share work in a manner agreed-upon with the residents.

2014-2015 Residents on what they loved about the program:

How can I apply?

Submit the following materials using the form below by August 3.

  • Statement of intent. In 250 words, tell us about 3-4 UMS performances you would like to attend and explain how experiencing these performances might support your creative work. What do you hope to produce as a result of the residency?
  • CV. 1-2 page CV highlighting your artistic work.
  • Portfolio. Samples of your work. If your portfolio is available online, please send a link (or links) to your portfolio. Writers should submit 5-10 pages of work. Visual artists should submit 3-4 photo representations of different works. Performing artists should submit 2-3 visual representations of different works (in the case of musicians, submit 3-4 musical selections). Interdisciplinary work welcome. If your portfolio is not accessible online, send your portfolio to us via email attachment or link to Dropbox to Please use subject line “Community AiR Application: [Your Name].

Questions? Ask them in the comments below or email This program is new to us! We welcome your feedback.

Thanks to all who applied! We’ve announced our 2015-2016 artists in residence.

UMS Artists in “Residence”: Spring 2015 Update!

In fall 2014, UMS launched a new Artist in “Residence” program. Five local artists were chosen to take “residence” at our performances. It’s been a pleasure getting to know this cohort throughout the year and exciting to see how UMS performances have helped inspire new works!

Curious what they’ve been up to? Check out the AiR update below, and come chat with the artists in residence in person at our 2015-2016 Season Launch Party on Friday, April 24, 2015 from 5-7:30 pm in Ann Arbor’s Rackham Graduate Building.

Our Artists in Residence have been busy. Have you heard the news?!

Emilio RodriguezEmilio Rodriguez

Playwright, actor, director, and teaching artist Emilio Rodriguez is co-producing the Metro Detroit Fringe Festival in late June. His play “Swimming While Drowning” will have a reading at the Activate Midwest festival at Western Michigan University in June and also by the Latino/a Theatre Commons in Chicago in July.



Robert James RussellRobert James Russell

Writer Robert James Russell just released his chapbook of short stories Don’t Ask Me to Spell It Out. His next book, a Western called Mesilla —is due out this fall.

Additionally, Russell will be joining the New Harmony Writers Workshop as a Fellow this June at the University of Southern Indiana. He is also honored to be leading two writing workshops in May and June at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters (GLCL) in Grand Rapids.


Nick GableNicholas Gable

Pianist Nicholas Gable is thrilled to announce a tentative chamber music performance list: (dates TBA)

César Franck’s Violin Sonata in A Major
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s G Minor Trio (Elégiaque)

Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata in G Minor



Carolyn BarrettCarolyn Reed Barritt

Painter, drawer, and sculpturist Carolyn Reed Barritt’s artwork was chosen to be reproduced on vinyl and installed on a traffic box downtown Ann Arbor as part of Ann Arbor’s Power Art! public art exhibition. Additionally, three paintings from her Lost Empire series were purchased by Ruth’s Chris Steak House for display in their new Ann Arbor restaurant. Barritt is currently working on a new series of sculptures which she’s very excited about.



Many thanks to our Artists for a wonderful inaugural AiR program. Catch them at the UMS 2015-2016 Season Launch party on Friday, April 24th!

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