UMS Kids Club: Bringing Music, Art, and Theater to Ann Arbor Families

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This entry is part [part not set] of 21 in the series Ann Arbor Family Newsletter

If you are looking for a fun and memorable experience to share with your family, the University Musical Society (UMS) at the University of Michigan offers rich, exciting opportunities for people of all ages to immerse themselves in the arts.

In order to help the arts reach young children, UMS offers the Kids’ Club Ticket program to children in grades 3-12 for most performances during the UMS season.

What is UMS? 

Established in 1879, the University Music Society is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the United States.

According to their mission statement, UMS seeks to “inspire individuals and enrich communities by connecting audiences and artists in uncommon and engaging experiences.” To accomplish this goal, UMS provides the Ann Arbor area with performances of both well-known and up-and-coming artists.

In fact, over 60 different performances are offered by UMS each season. In addition, UMS provides over 100 free educational activities to the community each year. 

UMS performances often take place on the University of Michigan’s campus, meaning that performances are typically local. They are also award-winning. UMS has become nationally renowned for their contributions. In 2014, UMS received the National Medal of Arts. This award is considered the nation’s highest public artistic honor, and is presented at the White House each year by the president of the United States.

The 144th Season of the University Musical Society 

The 2022/2023 season is underway and has already featured a variety of acts including a performance from the Emerson String Quartet, experimental theater, dance, and live music by Tunde Olaniran, a piano concert by Sir András Schiff, and even a talk given by comedian and television personality Trevor Noah

The season continues through April with acts that feature orchestras, jazz musicians, step dancers, singers, symphonies, art installments, and more. The rich and diverse variety of options guarantee that there is likely something to capture the different interests of each of your family members. 

The UMS Kid’s Club

If you are interested in attending UMS performances with young children, the Kids’ Club Tickets are a great option. The purpose of this program is to make the arts accessible to families, and especially children.

These tickets make the events more affordable for the whole family, as they allow the purchase of up to two kids’ tickets for $10 each with the purchase of at least one adult ticket at $20. A family of six, for example, could potentially attend a performance for $80 dollars through this program. 

There are a few provisions to be aware of. Specifically, there is a limit of two kids per adult. In addition, quantities may be limited. Be sure to check the UMS website for any performances that might not participate with the Kids’ Club Tickets Program.  

According to the UMS program, they “exist to create a spark in each person, young and old alike, exposing them to things they haven’t before seen, and leaving them with an ongoing and lifelong passion for creativity and the performing arts.” By making the arts more accessible to children and families through the Kids’ Club program, UMS continues to work toward this goal.

Please visit the UMS website for more information about performances. To purchase Kids’ Club Tickets, please visit the UMS Family & Kids page or call the ticket office at 734-764-2538.

Author: Dr. Alyssa Whitford is a former K-12 teacher and current professor of education at Hope College in Holland, MI. She is passionate about literacy, social studies, and all things education. She is also a proud parent to two children of her own.

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