U-M Museum of Art Has An Important Message for You This Year - Voting Is Sexy

More than 41 percent of the University of Michigan student population voted in the 2018 midterm elections in the United States — a huge increase from 14.3 percent who voted in the 2014 midterms — thanks to the Ginsberg Center's Big 10 Voter Challenge, UMMA's Vote!2018 initiative, and the work of other campus organizations.

Well, in the lead up to the 2020 general election in November, we’re doing it again! 

This winter, spring, and summer, we’re hosting more than 25 (and counting) public programs, exhibitions, and events in partnership with the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service, the Residential College, and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Kicking it off this January is the opening of Cullen Washington, Jr.: The Public Square, a new installation at UMMA from artist Cullen Washington, Jr featuring large-scale collages and sound recordings that celebrate the idea of a public square as a city’s artistic, spiritual, and political heart.

Read more about the The Public Square

Cullen Washington, Jr. Uses Soaring Scale, Vivid Color to Remind Us We're All In This Together

In a time of global tension in politics, immigration and social polarization, Washington says he chooses the forum of the public square as a site for democracy, humanity and freedom of speech.


Witness Lab, a courtroom installation and performance art space from Courtney McClellen will continue the investigation into American civic life and explore what it means to be a “witness” in today’s society. 

Other upcoming programs include a dialogue about democracy with WeListen, weekly voter registration throughout the Museum with the Ginsberg Center, and a dance party the night of the Michigan primary elections.

Selected Event Highlights

Monday, February 17

Artist Talk With Courtney McClellan: Observer V. Witness, Presented By The Penny Stamps Speaker Series And Umma

Courtney McClellan is an artist and writer from Greensboro, N.C., and the current Roman Witt Artist in Residence at the Stamps School of Art & Design. Her work addresses public ritual, institutional space, and objects that invite or demand speech. Her exhibition Witness Lab opens at UMMA on February 15

5:30–7 p.m.
Helmut Stern Auditorium

Saturday, February 22

Radio Campfire: Town Square--stories That Unfold In Public Places

Set to the backdrop of artist Cullen Washington, Jr.’s large scale abstract Agoras paintings, this Radio Campfire event will feature a series of creative audio stories, soundscapes, and sonic postcards that, like Washington’s paintings, tell us stories about the places where civic life ensues. 

7–8 p.m.
Taubman Gallery I

Tuesday, March 10

Register To Vote. Get Out To Vote. Dance For Democracy.

On the evening of the Michigan primaries, UMMA offers up a late night student event with live music, food, and election updates in partnership with the Center for World Performance Studies and the Ginsberg Center’s Big Ten Voter Challenge.

9 p.m.–12 a.m.
Lizzie And Jonathan Tisch Apse

View the full schedule of 20+ programs and events >>

UMMA Vote 2020 Events

Events, exhibitions, and programs to celebrate democracy and get you ready to vote in November!