Arts & Resistance logo

Visible all around us, and deeply embedded in our day-to-day lives, the arts play a central role in shaping cultural and political narratives, as well as challenging and criticizing dominant regimes. Some recent examples include the worldwide reproduction of George Floyd’s likeness on city walls to underpin BLM protests; the toppling of public monuments and the invention of new statues; the reactivation of Barbara Kruger in a post-Roe v. Wade era; the boycott of Russian performers in the West after the invasion of Ukraine. Creative processes have been used time and again to reveal under-told stories and to resist simple narratives. Regardless of one's personal politics, a collective consideration of the art's potential to change hearts and minds seems both urgent and necessary.

In a cross-campus partnership between the U-M Museum of Art, the U-M Arts Initiative, and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, this campus theme semester reflects on how creativity and making can arise out of oppression and destruction. All schools and colleges are participating in this campus-wide engagement. Even when people are stripped of their agency and humanity, they turn to creativity as a way to reclaim some of this agency and resist dehumanization. “Arts & Resistance” includes: public performances, courses, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, and mini-grants for students, creating an immersive experience that engages the U-M community and broader public in the power of the arts to shape society. More information can be found on UMMA's website.

Get Involved

Connect an existing course or event to the Theme Semester and receive marketing and communications support across campus and throughout the region. Or, apply for funding to support the development of new opportunities, fund an idea you’ve always had, or expand an existing course or event.



Programs are hosted and implemented by units, individuals, students, or student groups. The theme semester planning group provides marketing and promotional support. We expect a diverse array of programming such as performances, exhibitions, service projects, art making experiences, publications, panels, symposiums, screenings, lectures, and artist visits.

If you would like your project or program to be listed and promoted as part of the "Arts & Resistance" theme semester (Fall 2023), please complete the appropriate form below.

U-M Department, Staff, or Faculty Program Submissions: Submit Here

U-M Student or Student Group Program Submissions: Submit Here

Steering Committee

  • Jim Leija

    Co-Chair; Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning, UMMA

  • Chris Audain

    Co-Chair; Managing Director, Arts Initiative

  • Laura De Becker

    Co-Chair; Chief Curator, UMMA

  • Mark Clague

    Associate Dean For Collaborations And Partnerships; Director, U-M Gershwin Initiative; Co-Editor-In-Chief, Musa; Professor Of Musicology And Entrepreneurship & Leadership, SMTD

  • Jason Young

    Associate Professor of History

  • Kelly Maxwell

    Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, LSA

  • Kelly Maxwell

    Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, LSA

  • Amanda Krugliak

    Arts Curator & Assistant Director Creative Programming, Institute for the Humanities

  • Srimoyee Mitra

    Director, Stamps Gallery

  • Julie Herrada

    Curator of the Labadie Collection, UM Libraries

  • Katie Richards-Schuster

    Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work (CASC - Community Action and Social Change)

  • Mike Gould

    Director, Center for World Performance Studies

  • Debby Covington

    Director of Strategic Partnerships and Equity Initiatives, Office of Student Affairs, Michigan Engineering; Washtenaw County African American Cultural and Historical Museum representative

  • Makeda Easter

    Knight-Wallace fellow and visiting fellow at Center for Racial Justice, Ford School

  • Andrew Herscher

    Professor of Architecture, Taubman College

  • Ethriam Brammer

    Assistant Dean Rackham Graduate School

  • Jessica Jenks

    Arts Communications Strategist, Arts Initiative

  • Nora Krinitisky

    Prison Creative Arts Project, Residential College (LSA)

  • Aunrika Tucker-Shabazz

    Doctoral Candidate, Sociology

  • Sasha Crasnow

    Lecturer, LSA Residential College

  • Bethany Hughes

    Assistant Professor American Culture

  • David Choberka

    Mellon Foundation Curator for University Learning and Programs, UMMA

  • Kathryn Grabowski-Khairullah

    Program Curator, Arts Initiative