For the Media

Sydney-Hawkins headshot

The U-M Arts & Culture site is curated by Sydney Hawkins, who currently manages communications, branding, and digital marketing strategy connected to the University of Michigan’s arts and culture initiative. She spent eight years as a radio broadcaster in Michigan before working in marketing communications leadership roles at University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and the Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Ann Arbor). Hawkins now serves as the arts and culture communications manager at Michigan News under the Office of the Vice President for Global Communications. She is passionate about arts education, policy, advocacy, access, and creative community place-making.

Focus areas at U-M include, but are not limited to: Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Architecture and Urban Planning, Art History, Classical Studies, The Institute for Humanities, University Libraries, Museums, the Stamps School of Art & Design, The School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Screen Arts & Cultures.

For media inquiries, faculty expert requests, feedback, or story ideas, contact her by phone at (734) 615-8765 or by e-mail at

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Alana Valko works as a social media and marketing assistant for the U-M Arts and Culture initiative. She helps to manage the #UMichArts hashtag and accounts, including daily posts on Twitter and Instagram, and works directly with students to ensure voices of campus are heard. Valko is an undergraduate Communication Studies and History of Art student passionate about communication in creative fields, digital communication, and the intersection of art and fashion. She is also the Print Fashion Editor of the campus fashion, arts & cultures magazine, SHEI.

Contact her by e-mail at