Arts Initiative Student Creative Fellowship Final Showcase
Friday, December 8 | 4:00-6:00 pm
Riverside Arts Center 76 N. Huron St. Ypsilanti

Get to Riverside Arts Center by taking Bus #4 or #5
from campus to the Ypsilanti Transit Center -- free with UM ID

What You Don’t See When You Read About War

“What You Don’t See When You Read About War” is an exploratory song cycle of the often-overlooked aspects of conflict. In a world saturated with statistics and casualty figures, each musical chapter in this series delves into the deeply personal and human experiences obscured by the broader narrative of war. From the joy of a wedding to the anticipation of childbirth to a group of children playing in a local playground, each lyrical chapter presents a unique perspective. Drawing inspiration from real-life events, the narrative challenges readers to view these numbers and statistics as individuals. It prompts reflection on societal acceptance of genocide, the manipulation of media, and the long-lasting impact of conflicts on future generations.

The focus for this Arts and Resistance cohort is on Chapter 1: The Wedding. The Wedding is a work in progress demo, accessible for listening (the complete song will need more time). Further chapters from the album will be displayed, four with completed lyrics.  Incomplete chapters will be open to written submissions by the audience.

Project Contributors:  Radiation Cat

Project team home units: Nuclear Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Stencils & Stereotypes

Stencils and Stereotypes examines the intersection of street art and social commentary, drawing inspiration from the artist Banksy. It explores how urban landscapes transform into canvases that confront and challenge our inherent prejudices and collective biases, with the hope of shaping social consciousness.

Project Contributors: V

Project team home units: Graduate Student at Ross School of Business

The Biological Examination of Multifaceted Hybrid Organisms

If we follow the timeline back, no matter your beliefs, we are all from the same place. With the increased intelligence of our heritage, we have separated from nature in good and bad ways. This would lead to our subconscious creation of labels. We are all much more than the sum of our labels, where more than one statement can be true about ourselves. This leads to a unique identity for each individual, the likes the world has never seen before.

Project Contributors: Anthony Balderas, Sahithi Aekka

Project team home units: Mechanical Engineer, Computer Science Engineer

Canción Sin Miedo USA

This is a music video cover of the song “Canción Sin Miedo” by Vivir Quintana that was written to raise awareness of the issue of Femicides in Latin America and empower victims around the world. Several different countries began to create their own cover versions of this piece, so we too created a version that comments on the urgency of this issue in the United States through a collaboration of various U-M students.

Project Contributors: Annabella, Max, Tanite ChahwanFTVM

Project team home units: Annabella Paolucci: Performing Arts Technology, Violin Performance, Film, Max Newman: LSA Residential College Drama and Film, Television, and media

Red Brick Dust on Your Hands: The Settler Colonial Desire to Play Indian at the University

The archive is a contested space where ancestors, mobilized through words, haunt our present through colonial omission and inclusion. The University of Michigan’s archive is where we can see the seemingly contradictory investments of empire and education walk hand in hand 1,2.

Our project is two-fold: firstly, we leverage the time and encouragement offered us by the Arts and Resistance fellowship and staff to seek training on ethnically engaging the university’s archive through one-on-one meetings with campus archivists at the Clements and Bentley. Secondly, we re-read and re-cast our learning by turning found documents into poetry 3. In this transformation, what is erased from the archive becomes visible through our guerilla erasure poetry project. After finding texts in the archive that clarify the collision of empire and education at UM, we tenderly re-read these texts from our unique vantage point and location, making visible the settler colonial investments and white supremacist desires that too often replaces learning with education 4,5. In doing so, we invite our readers and community to step into the space created by these erasures/absences and embrace the radical potential of learning here. Now.


1 eve tuck and k. wayne yang, decolonization is a not a metaphor

2 la paperson, a third university is possible

3 audre lorde, poetry is not a luxury

4 bell hooks, “choosing the margin as a space for radical openness”

5 sandy grande, red pedagogy

Project Contributors: Anna Almore, Jared Ruffing

Project team home units: Anna Almore: Doctoral Candidate in English and Education , Jared Ruffing: Anthropology and Museum Studies


Can You Say –

This project aims to make the Arabic language more familiar and accessible to a broader audience through a series of short films set on campus, starring University of Michigan students and affiliated members. It intervenes in hegemonic Western representations of the Arabic language as violent, exotic, and other.

Project Contributors: Tanite Chahwan, Max Newman, Annabella Paolucci, Krista Sheneman MFA Stamps

Project team home units: Tanite Chahwan: FTVM, Max Newman: LSA Residential College Drama and Film, Television, and Media, Krista Sheneman: MFA Stamps, Annabella Paolucc: Performing Arts Technology, Violin Performance, Film


Liberated spaces

Liberated spaces is an art auction in support of the Stop Cop City movement in Atlanta, GA. We are hosting three events, always open to all, to educate and offer artistic skills. These can be leveraged to resist militarization, surveillance, and deforestation of public natural spaces. We have already hosted two events: Our Stamp-Making workshop united community members in joyful artistic expression. The event included a presentation highlighting the Stop Cop City Movement, refreshments, and a stamp carving station. The other was a Potluck on a Highway Median, which brought community members together for an educational meal while subverting the use of normally overlooked greenspace.

Project Contributors: Aine Beale, Hava Liebowitz, Oscar Nollette-Patulski

Project team home units: Aine Beale: LSA Residential College, Arts and Ideas
Hava Liebowitz: Stamps Art and Design Major, Community Action and Social Change minor, Oscar Nollette-Patulski: LSA Residential College, Creative Writing & Literature; School of Music Theatre & Dance, Music BA

Mapping Campus Voices

A digital map that plots students’ voices at times and places they felt resistant to speak up or found the courage to speak out. Our project hopes to get a variety of student responses marking the many forms resistance can take and the many reasons to speak up, such as defending rights, relationships, ideas, and personality reasons. We aim to create a space that shows how no one is alone, and at the same time each experience is unique.

Project Contributors: Naomi Zheng, Yuchen Wu, Vicky, Suha, and Dura, Vicky Lin, Suha Asadulla, Durrah Azdi

Project team home units: Naomi: Communication major & Digital Studies minor; Yuchen: Art and Design major and Women and Gender Studies minor; Vicky: SEAS; Dura: Electrical Engineering

It Carries On

We plan to inform and engage the campus community through an educational, testimonial video describing intergenerational trauma and its effects on people today. We will focus not only on family makeup and relationships, but also on the psychological components of trauma being passed down. Ultimately, it will explore how we resist the trauma passed down to us as well as if it is built into the human condition.

Project Contributors: Avery Adaeze Uzoije, Elizabeth Sommerfeld

Project team home units: Neuroscience undergraduate student, Business graduate student

AI Chronicles

AI is like a knife, you can use it to cook dinner, just like you can use it to hurt someone, even yourself. We invite the public to think about how they use AI and how their use reflects their identity.

Project Contributors: Joan Nwatu, Sahithi Aekka, Utal Antor

Project team home units: PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, Masters in Computer Science, Graduate student at Ross School of Business

The Opportunity Project

This project will provide BIPOC students on campus with access to opportunities that will support their entry into the workforce. Many BIPOC students lack the familial ties to internships that other communities may have. I want to bridge this gap.

Project Contributors: Amira Martin

Project team home units: Stamps, UX Design

Recipes as Resistance

is a cookbook challenging preconceptions about where regional cuisines belong. Through donated recipes from hunters, spouses, bookshops employees, pantry visitors, and bartenders, this collection weaves small narratives around each dish. Embedded in these recipes is a powerful message: Existence is not easy, yet the very fact that these recipes persist is an act of resistance.

Project Contributors: Krista Sheneman, Lita Ray

Project team home units: Lita Ray is an undergraduate LSA student in Film, Television and Media. Krista is an MFA student at Stamps where she is an interdisciplinary artist.