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Applications Closed: 2017-18 Artists in Residence

2017-18 UMS Artists in Residence Program

UMS is pleased to announce the fourth installment of our Artists in Residence program. As part of the program, we’re asking area artists to take “residence” at our performances. The goal of the residency is to inspire area artists through UMS performances, using these experiences as a resource to support the creation of new work or to fuel an artistic journey.

Four artists will be selected. Visual, literary, and performing artists can apply. The deadline to apply has passed.

Who should apply

We’re looking for four residents to participate in this program. We welcome artists from across disciplines including visual, literary, and performing arts. Applicants should be at least 22 years old and must be based regionally to be able to attend performances.

Residents will receive

Complimentary UMS performance tickets to:

  • Two Renegade performances of their choosing.
  • Two performance from our “No Safety Net” theater events, which the artists will attend together (January and early February dates to be determined).
  • One additional performance of the resident artist’s choosing from the second half of the UMS season.
  • Performances should support an artistic journey (more on that in the application guidelines section below). Some ticket restrictions may apply.
  • Opportunities for special behind-the-scenes access to UMS and artists, based on 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, payable in January 2018

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 on our blog.
  • Ask artists to submit two short posts over the course of the semester for our blog; the content of these posts is flexible and will be determined by UMS and artists together.
  • Ask artists to participate in a week-long takeover on our Instagram account; the content of these posts is flexible, too.
  • 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.

How to apply

Submit the following materials via Google Form below by Friday, October 13.

  • Statement of intent. In 500 words, tell us about the three performances you would choose to attend (in addition to the two required No Safety Net theater performances). 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 “UMS Artist in Residence Application: [Your Name].

Questions? Ask them in the comments below or email We welcome your feedback.

Find out about our growing cohort of UMS Artist in Residence alumni.

In this video, 2014-15 residents chat about what they loved about and learned through the program.

Members of the media interested in more information about the program should contact Anna Prushinskaya, manager of digital media, at

Announcing 2016-17 UMS Artists in Residence

We are proud to announce the 2016-17 UMS Artists in Residence!

Multimedia: Simon Alexander-Adams
Visual Arts: Ash Arder
Music: Nicole Patrick
Literature: Qiana Towns
Photography: Barbara Tozier

The UMS Artists in Residence program is a public engagement project whereby applications were solicited from regional artists wanting to take “residence” at UMS performances. The program launched during the 2014-15 UMS season.

Five artists (including visual, literary, and performing artists) have been selected to use UMS performance experiences as a resource to support the creation of new work or to fuel an artistic journey. Residents will receive complimentary tickets to select UMS performances; a $500 stipend; gatherings with fellow residents; and behind-the-scenes access to UMS staff and artists, when available. In return, UMS asks that artists share their artistic journeys via residency entrance and exit interviews and on UMS’s blog; participate in select UMS Education & Community Engagement events; and share artistic work generated during the residency when possible.

“While UMS brings incredible performing artists from around the globe to Ann Arbor, we’re also deeply committed to the creative community right here in Michigan,” said Kenneth C. Fischer, UMS President. “UMS Artists in ‘Residence’ ensures that artists creating work right here in our own backyard have access to everything they need to inspire, fuel, and inform their projects. Artists play a vital role in our communities — they inspire us, they challenge us, they provide alternate perspectives. We want to ensure that Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan continues to be a place where artists are supported and can happily call home.”

Follow these artists’s journey through the season on this blog.

Meet the 2016-17 UMS Artists in Residence

Simon Alexander-Adams – Multimedia
simon-alexander-adamsSimon Alexander-Adams is a Detroit-based multimedia artist, musician, and designer working within the intersection of art and technology. He has directed multimedia performances that enable connections between sonic, visual, and kinetic forms; designed new interfaces for musical expression; and produced interactive installation art. Simon has composed music for a number of short films, animations, and theatrical and dance performances. His compositions have been performed at international festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Cinetopia. He also performs frequently on keyboard and electronics with the glitch-electronic free-jazz punk band Saajtak. Simon earned his MA in Media Arts in 2015 from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Ash Arder – Visual Arts
ash arderAsh Arder is a Detroit-based artist who creates installations and sculptural objects using a combination of found and self-made materials. Through both process and output, this work investigates the relationship between people, objects, and place in order to understand use patterns and value attribution at macro and micro scales. Ash’s work is primarily rooted in urban culture.

Nicole Patrick – Music
nicole patrickPercussionist Nicole Patrick was born and raised in Miami, FL. She has sought a diverse musical training with the intention of exploring a limitless life through the arts. As a member of the Michigan Percussion Quartet she performed and organized an outreach tour throughout South Africa. In 2014, Nicole was a recipient of the International Institute Individual Fellowship grant, which allowed her to travel to Berlin to work alongside Tanz Tangente Dance Company. She continues to compose original music for their works.

Nicole also performs regularly with her band, Rooms, and other indie, improvisation, and performance art groups around southeastern Michigan. She has collaborated and recorded on five albums with Ann Arbor-based independent record label Stereo Parrot. For two years, she has curated a concert series in an intimate house venue in Ann Arbor and is most excited to be co-director and founder of the new Threads All Arts Festival in Ann Arbor. Nicole is an alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy and graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Percussion Performance (BM) and Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation (BFA) in 2016.

Qiana Towns – Literature
qiana townsQiana Towns is author of the chapbook This is Not the Exit (Aquarius Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Harvard Review Online, Crab Orchard Review, and Reverie. A Cave Canem graduate, Towns received the 2014 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. She is a resident of Flint, where she serves as Community Outreach Coordinator for Bottles for the Babies, a grassroots organization created to support and educate the residents of Flint during the water crisis.

Barbara Tozier – Photography

Born in Ohio, Barbara Tozier works in photography — dibarbara tolziegital, analog, and hybrid — with forays into video and multimedia. She settled in Michigan in 1997, after an engineering career that took her to Pennsylvania and the Netherlands. Barbara reconnected with photography in 2009 — she studied with Nicholas Hlobeczy in college — and in 2012 started taking photo classes at Washtenaw Community College, where she went on to earn an Associate’s Degree in May of 2016.

She has exhibited at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original and in group shows at 22 North Gallery, Washtenaw Community College, and Kerrytown Concert House. She lives and works in Ann Arbor.

About UMS

A recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, 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. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, 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.

Media Inquiries:
Mallory Shea