Michigan Arts Touring Program Pilot

Each year University of Michigan students, staff, and faculty create literally thousands of arts events and exhibits for campus audiences. These range from symphony and chamber music concerts to exhibits and films. We already welcome the public to these events, the vast majority of which are free of any cost to attend, yet these performances remain inaccessible to those who do not live near U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. We propose to share the wealth of talent and achievement of campus artists with the people of the state of Michigan by taking their work off campus and sharing it with Michigan communities. 

The University of Michigan Arts Initiative would like to organize tours and exhibits of work by faculty and student artists in community venues across the state of Michigan. This would include:

  • performances by student and faculty in music, dance, and theater, 
  • having faculty and student authors give readings and talks, and 
  • featuring films and visual arts at cinemas and art museums.

A core partner in this state engagement work is Michigan Humanities (MH), a state council funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Michigan Humanities has already developed a state-wide network of venues and community partners through its “Touring Grants,” “Great Michigan Read,” and “Poetry Out Loud” programs. They are a willing and enthusiastic partner and have already responded positively to our request to collaborate. 

With Love, From the Inside

We plan to pilot a Michigan Arts Touring Program in May 2024 by sponsoring the tour of a student produced play titled With Love, From the Inside. This theater work was written by U-M Theater students working as the Dropped Keys Theater Company. They have been supervised by Theatre and Drama professor Ashley Lucas. They are available for a 7–10 day tour of 8–12 performances that will begin May 5, 2024

If successful, we hope that the Michigan Arts Touring Program would attract significant donor support. The Arts Initiative would provide up to $100K in annual funding to launch the initial three years of the program.

Learn more here.