University of Michigan Museum of Art Receives $35,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

University of Michigan Museum of Art Receives $35,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Doug Fogelson, Headwaters No. 10, from the Chemical Alterations series, 2018, archival inkjet print. Courtesy the artist. © Doug Fogelson

The University of Michigan Museum of Art has been approved for a $35,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the upcoming exhibition Watershed. The exhibition, which will open June 4, 2022, is among 1,125 projects across America that received a total of more than $26.6 million.

Watershed will feature the work of 15 contemporary artists whose work showcases the impact of water scarcity, pollution, and economic and cultural displacement on the communities of the Great Lakes region, past and present, while also highlighting how those same challenges affect people across the country. 

“The subject of Watershed—the Great Lakes—is incredibly personal to me and one that I have wanted to address in an exhibition for some time as someone who grew up in this region. The Great Lakes are a way of life, and the communities here feel passionately about their social, economic, and cultural importance,” said Jennifer Friess, UMMA’s Associate Curator of Photography, who curated the show. “The incredible artists featured in Watershed examine the power of water and the ramifications of corporate and political wrongdoing, while fostering critical dialogues about our environmental and cultural futures.” 

The exhibition will feature the work of international and regional artists, including new commissions by Khaled Al-Saa’i, Michael Belmore, Andrea Carlson & Rozalinda Borcila, Bonnie Devine, Kate Levy, and Meghann Riepenhoff, as well as new and recent installations and works by Dawoud Bey, Matthew Brandt, LaToya Ruby Fraizer, Doug Fogelson, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shanna Merola, Pope.L, and Senghor Reid.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

Lead support for Watershed is provided by the U-M Office of the Provost, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, Susan and Richard Gutow, and the U-M Institute for the Humanities. Additional generous support is provided by the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, Graham Sustainability Institute, and the Department of English Language and Literature. Special thanks to Margaret Noodin and Michael Zimmerman, Jr. for translating the gallery texts into Anishinaabemowin. 


Watershed brings recent work from fifteen contemporary artists to UMMA for an exhibition that immerses visitors in the interconnected histories, present lives, and imagined futures of the Great Lakes region.

June 4 — October 23, 2022

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Kate Levy, selection from the series "The Roar on the Other Side of Silence (Along Line 5)", 2022, digital image. Courtesy the artist © Kate Levy