Arts Initiative

“Our strengths and opportunities are clear—U-M is a leader in arts research, creation, education and presentation. As this initiative matures in the years ahead, we will have the opportunity to create new dimensions of U-M excellence through the arts—ones that are perhaps unknown to us today.”

President Mark S. Schlissel

On Oct. 3, 2019, President Schlissel launched the startup phase of a comprehensive arts initiative at the University of Michigan.

With funding from the Office of the President, a group of leaders from the university community will collaborate with all parts of the university in creating the initiative.

The initial two-year startup phase will produce a roadmap for the initiative through creative and inclusive engagement with our community, especially with our students. The startup phase will also include experimenting with new projects and ideas that exploring questions such as:

  • How can we incorporate art and art making into the Michigan experience of all our students?
  • How can the arts bring us together around solving problems and profound questions?
  • How can the arts catalyze discovery and innovation in faculty research and through other types of collaborations?

The working group guiding the start-up phase of the arts initiative includes:

  • Tom Baird, Vice President for Development
  • Liz Barry, Special Counsel to the President
  • Anne Curzan, Dean of the U-M  College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Maryrose Flanigan, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru)
  • David Gier, Dean of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance
  • Jonathan Massey, Dean of the U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Gunalan Nadarajan, Dean of the U-M Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
  • Christina Olsen, Director of the U-M Museum of Art (UMMA)
  • Matthew VanBesien, President of the University Musical Society (UMS)