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University of Michigan Credit Union Endows New Arts Adventures Program

University of Michigan Credit Union Endows New Arts Adventures Program with $1.5 Million Gift to University Musical Society and University of Michigan Museum of Art

UMCU PROVIDES largest corporate gift to the arts in the Victors for Michigan Campaign

Photo: At a UMS School Day performance. By Peter Smith.

Ann Arbor, MI (September 27, 2016) — The University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU) has invested $1.5 million to create the University of Michigan Credit Union Arts Adventures Program at the University Musical Society (UMS) and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). The gift ensures that UMS and UMMA will provide thousands of Southeast Michigan community members and U-M students and faculty with extraordinary access to a diverse array of arts offerings including performances by world-renowned artists, hands-on art making workshops, and engaging events each year.

The donation is the largest corporate gift to the arts in the Victors for Michigan Campaign to date and will deeply impact both the community and campus—enabling compelling encounters with the arts for students and providing grants that extend the availability of arts programs to underserved communities. The UMCU Arts Adventures Program provides funding for these programs in perpetuity, while allowing the organizations to enhance and expand upon programs as needs evolve.


Joe Rosa, Tiffany Ford, and Ken Fischer. Photo by Jesse Meria.

UMCU CEO and President Tiffany Ford stated, “The University of Michigan Credit Union is proud to establish the first corporate endowment for UMS and UMMA, helping to ensure access to extraordinary arts experiences and exceptional learning opportunities for students and families for years to come. We know that involvement in the arts helps to develop important life skills such as creative thinking and the ability to work collaboratively, and we’re thrilled that we can help to foster these skills in young people by creating the UMCU Arts Adventures Program. ”

UMMA was recently recognized as the number one public university art museum in the country by Best College Reviews, and UMS was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest public arts honor. The UMCU Arts Adventures Program will solidify the University of Michigan’s standing as a world-class destination for the cultural and performing arts.

UMS President Kenneth C. Fischer noted, “We are thrilled and honored to have the University of Michigan Credit Union’s support as we work to enrich the lives of students, educators, and our community by connecting them with world-class artists in profound and engaging ways. Because of their support, UMS and UMMA can continue to contribute to the outstanding artistic and cultural tradition upheld by the University and our great city of Ann Arbor. ”

UMMA Director Joseph Rosa added, “The University of Michigan Credit Union’s Arts Adventures Program is a game-changer for UMMA. With this first corporate endowed gift to the Museum and UMS, UMCU distinguishes itself as a philanthropic leader committed to the power of arts experiences for students and families. We look forward to celebrating UMCU’s legacy in the arts long into the future.”

More about UMS/UMMA Programs supported by UMCU Arts Adventures

Photo: U-M Students at UMMA’s Artscapade! event. By Leisa Thompson Photography.

“I love the student tickets from UMS! Instead of paying to see one show per semester that I know I’ll like, the student tickets are so inexpensive that I can afford to see multiple diverse presentations. It’s really changed how I think about performance.” — Jocelyn Aptowitz, English and Performance Arts Management, Class of 2018

“As a student, UMS’s lower priced tickets are an opportunity for me to enjoy outstanding performances regularly. The Performances are a great way to take a break from the stressful environment of classes, and the lower prices make them super accessible.” — Hyelin Yang, Economics, Class of 2018

“Transportation and the cost of getting our students out [to Ann Arbor] to experience these wonderful performances at UMS can present a big issue. I’ve been coming for years myself, but to be able to get the kids here to Ann Arbor for some UMS performances is fantastic.” — Deanna Burrows, Cass Technical High School Orchestra Teacher

“UMMA’s Family Art Studio is a top notch experience. The leaders are engaging & knowledgeable. The art project is directed at all ages, the instructions are simple. So much room for open-ended creativity. For my kids, the bridge between looking at art in the museum and making their own is priceless.”
— Community member, Family Art Studio participant

“Student Late Night is a blast. It impresses U-M students who are already museum lovers and makes converts out of those who are skeptics. It exposes how UMMA can be a fun and relevant museum on campus.”    — Rachel Bissonnette, History of Art, Class of 2016

About the organizations

About University of Michigan Credit Union

The University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU) is a member owned, not-for-profit cooperative. Our purpose is to aMAIZE our members, community, and team by working together for our shared success.

UMCU is the only credit union headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When established in 1954, we were 12 members and $9.00 in assets. Today, UMCU has over 75,900 members and $700 million in assets and we continue to grow! With seven offices in Ann Arbor, a branch in Ypsilanti, a branch in Dearborn and three branches in Flint, UMCU is able to serve the financial needs of the University of Michigan and its surrounding communities.

About UMMA

Located at the heart of one of the world’s finest public research universities and housing a venerable, encyclopedic art collection of more than 21,000 objects, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) seeks to transform individual and civic life by promoting the discovery, contemplation, and enjoyment of the art of our world. UMMA engages more than 245,000 visitors on site annually and a similar size global audience via exhibition tours, publications, and online tools. The Museum is always free and is fully accessible, fostering a climate of inclusion and participation. Recently ranked the number one public university art museum in the country by Best College Reviews, UMMA enables compelling encounters with art that ignite creativity and forge connections across diverse disciplines, geographies, and cultures.

About UMS

One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. An integral part of the Ann Arbor community, UMS is an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, presenting over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is part of the University of Michigan’s “Victors for Michigan” campaign, reinforcing its commitment to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. UMS was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Arts by President Obama.

Media Contacts and Photos

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Mallory Shea, UMS Marketing & Media Relations Coordinator
734.647.4020 /

David Lawrence, UMMA Communications Manager
734.647.0524 /

Harriet Hughes, Community Relations Manager
734.662.8200 /