Connecting the Dots between the Arts and Everything Else!

UpstART 200:
A UM Bicentennial Project of Student and Alumni Reflection and Making

About The Project

UpstART 200 will be a yearlong creative production project for students to actively engage in meaningful connections to UM’s 200-year history via “making.” UpstART 200 will commission students and alumni to create 200+ new works of all kinds – creative writing, spoken word, essays, visual arts, music, choreography, design, and technology – as well as celebrate contemporary student art making on campus. New works will be inspired by a newly created archive of prompts from an historic or culturally significant work of art, design or architecture created from 1817-2017 held by, or otherwise connected to UM.

Student and alumni-generated response pieces will be collected and exhibited throughout the Bicentennial period on websites, at events and in exhibition spaces, with the best juried pieces curated permanently in a final print and digital publication, Student and Alumni Reflections from the UM Bicentennial, Winter 2018.

The Prompt Archive

With the help of the UM community and out UpstART 200 Planning Committee we will need to identify up to 200 examples from our art, design and architecture collections, holdings and history here at the University of Michigan to create an archive that our students and alumni will use for inspiration for making their own creative projects – connecting them more personally to our knowledge community.  This archive will be the foundation on which UpstART 200: A UM Bicentennial Project of Student Reflection and Making will be based, and will serve as a permanent archive along with the connected student and alumni works long after the end of the UM Bicentennial celebration.

To learn how you can nominate an archival artifact, please click here.

Connecting to Courses

With the goal of connecting students to creative making (both inside and outside the classroom) and to develop as many high quality connections and responses to the extensive holdings within our UM knowledge community as possible , the UpstART 200 Planning Committee would like professors and instructors across the University to consider creating an assignment in their courses that would link to this Bicentennial project.  We think this effort could be integrated easily into some syllabi, while not matching well with other course structures and offerings.  But as the range of creative projects that might be made is so broad, and the inspirational archive of artifacts so extensive, we hope that at least some classes will be able to incorporate the project into their classwork.  If you , as an instructor already have an artifact you would use in your class that fits the archive criteria, you may nominate it for inclusion in the project here (add link to nomination page).

The Project Partners

Our current partners have been instrumental in the development and support of the project, as well as planning at least one student "maker" event during the Winter/Fall 2017 Bicentennial timeframe.

  • ArtsEngine, supported by the North Campus Schools and Colleges (A&D, Architecture, Engineering, SMTD)
  • University Library
  • Alumni Association of the University of Michigan
  • Arts at Michigan
  • The Detroit Center
  • Office of Communications / Arts & Culture
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
  • University Musical Society (UMS)

If you would like to become a sponsoring project partner, contact Deb Mexicotte, Associate Director, ArtsEngine -

The Timeline

Fall 2017

  • Archival Preparation/Completion
  • Marketing and Awareness Campaign
  • Development of Classroom Prompts
  • Jury Process and Selection
  • Event Scheduling / Calendar
  • Website Launch

Winter 2017

  • Archive Launch
  • Advertise Calendar of Maker Events / Archive Viewing
  • Begin Student / Alumni Submission Collection / Online Exhibition
  • Begin Jurying / Selection Process
  • Marketing / Scheduling Student Expo Pop-up Participation

Fall 2018

  • Continuing Student / Alumni Work Submissions / Calendar of Events
  • Final Jurying / Selection for Final Publication
  • Student Expo Pop-up Performances
  • Bicentennial Expo Participation

Winter 2018

  • Production of Print / Web Publication of Student / Alumni Work