UMMA & Chill

You need to relax.
We can help with that.

A series of interactive events and social experiences that will help you reconnect with the arts and provide a (temporary) cure to the winter blues.

Select an event you might be interested in

All Upcoming Events

Group Chat
Art Tours With a Mixologist

Want to shake up your quarantine routine? Reserve an exclusive, fun-filled virtual evening for you and your friends with an UMMA Curator and a custom beverage inspired by the theme of your tour. Learn how to mix up your specialty cocktail / mocktail and then sit back to enjoy one of five themed tours of UMMA’s collection with an UMMA curator.

New dates now available! Explore tour themes and register by clicking below.

View Menu of Tours

UMMA Jukebox
Collaborative, Art-Inspired Music Playlists

Something about Sophie/Elsie hits different while listening to "Like a Girl" by Lizzo.

Dig into these UMMA's two newest works on display, Sophie/Elsie and Behind the Walls, with accompanying music selected by UMMA staff and the greater U-M community. Connect your headphones and listen to these collaborative Spotify playlists to help you reflect on the works of art and perhaps view them from a different perspective. Or, contribute your own suggestions for the playlists - the more the merrier!

Listen or Submit

To/From: UMMA Love Poems

During the week of Feb 14, if you write UMMA a love poem and send it to our Instagram DM's, we'll respond with a custom love poem about you. Whether it's a haiku, a sonnet, or a piece of freeverse prose that bucks the rules of language, write whatever your heart desires and feel that love in return when our curators and staff draft a poem inspired by you! 

Submit a poem

Tour our latest acquisitions - Outside!

Meet UMMA’s newest faces! Jaume Plensa’s Behind the Walls and Mary Sibande’s Sophie / Elsie provide a visible public presence at a time when in-person engagement with the arts and indoor events are limited. Explore these sculptures with museum guides, who will be standing outside the Frankel Family Wing (weather permitting) to answer questions and provide context for these riveting and intriguing works.

This is a free, outdoor activity and all are welcome! Please wear a mask and follow COVID safety protocols.

See all outdoor tour dates

Mary Sibande, Sophie/Elsie, 2009, lifesize fiberglass mannequin and cotton textile. Museum purchase made possible by Joseph and Annette Allen. Image: Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography

Stump UMMA: Live!

We're taking UMMA's TikTok series "Stump UMMA" live onto Zoom. Art can be about anything and Isabel Engel (University Learning and Programs Specialist) and Dave Choberka (Andrew W. Mellon Curator for University Learning and Programs) will try to prove that -- live! And you're a crucial part of the show, too. Pose a prompt, discuss the art, and cheer on your favorite contestant in this interactive exploration of creativity and lateral thinking. Can you Stump UMMA? 

February 25
6 pm

ZooMoon Luminary Making Workshop

Feb 27 — 1pm

Mark Tucker, Founder and Creative Director of FestiFools and FoolMoon, is unleashing a new online art making workshop just for YOU!! Learn to make a ZooMoon Luminary Sculpture. These cool illuminated sculptures will light up your world! Come join us on Zoom and meet new friends, get creative, laugh, and let your inner artist beast roam free!

Click below to register:

The list of supplies is as follows: 17-20 gauge steel wire; Wire cutters; Elmer’s White Glue; 1-2” wide brush; Tissue paper (white or colored); ½” wide fiberglass tape; 2” wide clear packing; tape LED lights (puck or string lights); Batteries; Pencil/paper (for drawing out design).

This event is generously supported by the University of Michigan Credit Union Arts Adventures Program, UMMA's Lead Sponsor for Student and Family Engagement.

Photos from Myra Klarman

Mindfulness in the Museum
Feb. 24 — 11 a.m.

In this online meditative experience, we will explore a more contemplative approach to looking at art with a variety of guided mindfulness practices. As we rest our attention on our breath, the body and heart relax while the mind quiets. We can experience what’s before with more spaciousness and also learn to trust our own experience. Led by meditation teacher and UMMA docent Laura Seligman. Beginner and experienced meditators welcome.

Learn more and register

Joel Meyerowitz, Bay Sky, 1989, chromogenic print on paper, Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80, 2012/2.118

Cold Weather, Hot Takes

Light and fun, 30-minute social conversations with cultural commentators.

Cooking Through the Pandemic

with David Tamarkin, Digital Director of Epicurious and author of "Cook90: The 30-Day Plan for Faster, Healthier, Happier Meals"

Tamarkin will reflect on how food media has responded to the pandemic, share tips on how to keep home cooking fun and fresh as we soldier on, explore the intersection of home cooking and sustainability, and dish on all the hot (and not-so-hot) pandemic food trends. Hosted by Jim Leija, UMMA Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning.

Feb 17 — 12:30pm

Register for this Session

We Heard Ann Arbor Used to Be Cooler

Jacob Gorski from the Ann Arbor District Library and Sean Kramer from UMMA chat about their discoveries while digging into Ann Arbor’s queer history for their respective projects, the AADL podcast, The Gayest Generation, and the UMMA exhibition, Oh, honey… A queer reading of the collection. 

Feb 22 — 12:30pm 

Learn more and register

The Faculty of Laughter

UMMA’s collection includes a silkscreen by Paul Rand titled Joseph Addison Poser-Laughter. Let’s use a line from Addison—“Man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter”—as a runway, of sorts, for some poetic flights. Our description of the Rand silkscreen compares its central figure to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat. Let’s write and share a few poems in the tradition of Lewis Carroll. Led by Cody Walker, director of the U-M English Department’s Undergraduate Creative Writing Program. Walker is the author of three poetry collections, including The Self-Styled No-Child (Waywiser Press, 2016). His work appears in The New York Times MagazineSlate, and The Best American Poetry

Feb. 25 — 1pm

Learn more and Register

The Adjacent Possible
A live, interactive theater experience

The Adjacent Possible mixes music performance, storytelling, and technology that converts the audience into an orchestra. The project culminates in the recording of an original orchestral piece - the first and last ever to be performed. No musical experience required. We don’t use your video or audio so there is no need to get dressed up for us. 

Two Performances, click to register:

UMMA performances of The Adjacent Possible are in conjunction with the current exclusive series being presented by CSUF Grand Central Art Center.

Film Screening

A screening of the documentary, "Jaume Plensa: Can You Hear Me" will be followed by a conversation between the artist, Christina Olsen, Director of UMMA, and U-M students. Presented by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series and UMMA.