October 26, 2020 | 10-11:30 AM

This year’s summit provides a time and space for the campus community to come together to demonstrate a collective commitment to anti-racism that this moment in our history compels. During the fall term Democracy & Debate theme semester, the DEI Summit will focus on the arts as a vehicle for social change and provides an opportunity for curricular integration and connection. Both the theme semester and the Summit confirm our civic engagement values and demonstrate the power of each voice – both at the ballot box and through creative expression.

Envisioning an Anti-Racist World Design Challenge
Deadline extended to Friday, December 11

Moving toward an anti-racist future requires imagining it. This year the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Arts Initiative, the Center for Socially-Engaged Design and the XR Initiative at the Center for Academic Innovation are hosting a design challenge that invites students to create projects that imagine the anti-racist future we want to build at U-M through art and technology. Follow the Event link to register for the Info Session. Visit for more information.

Register to join the Creative Challenge, starting Winter 2021

Future of Art: Who is Art For?
Monday, November 16 | 4-5:10 pm

Event Information | Registration


Music For Our Times and a Time For Music
October 26, 2020 | 4pm

What’s on your playlist? How does music change us and the world around us? In the last five decades, popular music has played a prominent role in social change, protest, and the demand for equality for all. From Jimi Hendrix “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, Marvin Gaye’s seminal “What’s Going On,” Bruce Springstein’s “Born in the USA,” and Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” artists for years have used music to shine a light on disparities in our country. While these calls, at times misunderstood, have seeped into the national consciousness, the use of this music – from the homogenized industry itself and pop culture – has often not addressed the very social issues that drove its creation. Join us for a discussion about music and social justice with four extraordinary people who have dedicated their careers to the power of music to make a change. Ken Fischer, President Emeritus of the University Musical Society, will introduce Ismael Ahmed, founder of the Concert of Colors; Brandon Victor Dixon, Broadway performer whose roles include Aaron Burr; Mike Ellison, Detroit musician; and Louise Toppin, Professor of Voice in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre and vocal artist. Detroit’s notable and WDET music host, Ann Delisi will moderate the conversation, discussing music, playlists, and social change.

I Wish to Say Collection Events
September 15 – October 17, 2020
Every Tuesday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm and Sunday 1-3 pm 

Artist and Wayne State art department chair Sheryl Oring is slated to return to the University of Michigan for a month-long performance of “I Wish to Say” from September 15 – October 17, 2020 as part of the university’s Democracy & Debate Theme Semester. In this project, Oring invites the communities from both universities to dictate a message to the next president, typing the notes on vintage typewriters. These interactions will be staged as virtual performances via Zoom every Tuesday from 4.30 pm-6.30 pm and Sunday from 1 pm-3 pm during the project’s run.

Democracy and the Carceral State: a reading and discussion with poet Dwayne Betts
Thursday, October 8 | 4 PM

Dismantling the Polarization Industrial Complex: Philippa Hughes
Friday, October 16 | 8 PM

My Country is Burning Within Me/ An American Prayer: Nustrat Durrani
Friday, October 30 |  8 PM


8th Annual Conference (online) | Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Registration is open. Join us at a2ru’s annual meeting, Land & Equity, the art and politics of place, starting online October 15. Registration options range from single sessions to the entire conference. As a partner, U-M students will be eligible for a limited amount of grants toward registration. Contact a2ru for more information. Conference details


Virtual Exhibition Tour with Artist Heidi Kumao, Stamps School of Art & Design Professor
Thursday October 1, 2020, 12:15 – 1pm
In conjunction with the exhibition Real and Imagined: Fabric Works and Video Animations by Heidi Kumao on view at Stamps Gallery, join us for a virtual exhibition tour with artist Heidi Kumao as she discusses works in the show, her process and themes. Followed by a live Q&A. The exhibition is inspired, in part, by the courage, testimony, and experiences of women (like Christine Blasey Ford) who publicly report assault, harassment, or misconduct and the hostile backlash sent out against them. Real and Imagined: Fabric Works and Video Animations by Heidi Kumao is on view from September 15 – October 17, 2020.

Respond/ Resist/ Rethink: A Stamps Student Poster & Video Exhibition Panel Discussion
Moderated by Stamps Alum, Heriberto Palacio
Tuesday October 13, 2020, 12 – 1:30pm
Join Stamps for a virtual panel discussion with Stamps School of Art & Design students as they discuss their work in Respond/ Resist/ Rethink: A Student Poster & Video Exhibition at Stamps Gallery.  For the exhibition, Stamps students were invited to design posters and make videos to respond and contemplate what each of us can do to build a stronger community, one that is based on the values of racial equality, justice and belonging. Respond/ Resist/ Rethink: A Student Poster & Video Exhibition is on view at Stamps Gallery from September 15 – October 17, 2020.

Sheryl Oring: I Wish to Say: Artist Talk + Public Conversation with Students. Moderated by Srimoyee Mitra
October 27, 4.30-5.30 pm
Part of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, artist Sheryl Oring re-staged her iconic project Sheryl Oring: I Wish To Say via zoom with students from U-M & Wayne State. Oring will present an artist talk on the urgency of socially engaged art in our society. This will be followed by a dialogue with 15 student typists from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University who participated in the first virtual edition of I Wish To Say. 

AIGA Get out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote Exhibition Panel Discussion
Thursday, October 29
12 – 1:30pm
Join us for a virtual panel discussion with designers from the AIGA Get out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote Exhibition at Stamps Gallery. Hear about the ideas behind their poster designs, why they believe it is important to vote, and what the 19th amendment means to them.  Followed by a Q&A. At the event receive information about how to register to vote. Panelists will include Stamps School of Art & Design Professors Audrey Bennett and Hannah Smotrich, Michigan State University Professor Kelly Salchow Macarthur and more tba.

AIGA Get out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote is on view from September 15 – December 5, 2020.


Performing the Moment / Performing the Movement Virtual Series
September 15 – November 27, 2020
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Performers and scholars are invited to reflect on how performance is being used to respond to the political, social, health and environmental crises that we face in this moment. Each guest will give a 30-minute presentation, and then engage in 30 minutes of Q&A. More Information.


“Me, “The Other” Panel Discussion, Sponsored by Voices of the Staff”
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 7-8:30 pm

As part of the U-M DEI Summit celebrating Arts and Social Change, Voices of the Staff is hosting a virtual panel discussion. Me, The Other is a gripping documentary film about otherness and oneness featuring twelve diverse students living in Washtenaw County.

All members of the University of Michigan community can now access Me, The “Other” at their convenience- through, MiVideo, U-M’s cloud-based media streaming service.

The panel discussion will feature authentic conversation and Q&A to discuss social change through the beauty and innovation of art with the film’s Director and Co-Producer, Shidan Majidi. Shidan will be joined by several cast members, including Celia, Hussain, Kit, Taylor, Veronica and soundtrack composer, Levi Taylor.

For more information and to sign up for the panel discussion:
A printable flyer for the event can be found on the Happenings Event page.


In-Between the World and Dreams | By Ibrahim Mahama

In this 3-part installation, Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama explores global exchange, commerce, and the troubling histories of colonialism and slavery in the Western world.

At the U-M Museum of Art, massive, quilt-like panels cover 4,452 square feet of the exterior of the building, creating one of the spectacular architectural interventions Mahama is known for. A related installation at the U-M Institute for the Humanities Gallery can be viewed (and heard) from a sidewalk window. There will also be an installation inside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. All three installations are curated by Institute for the Humanities Curator Amanda Krugliak.

Mahama’s artistic practice illustrates, as he explains, how art education, art and cultural opportunities “allow for people to find new ways to acquire knowledge, not only of themselves, but their histories and the places and spaces in which they find themselves.”

Read more

UMMA in the News: U-M Museum of Art announces commitment to anti-racist action

October 1-23, 2020

Large-Scale Public Art Installation, U-M Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor

Sidewalk Gallery, Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer St., Ann Arbor (viewing from the gallery window only)

October 12 – December 5, 2020

Community Gallery Installation, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit