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 is a yearlong creative production project for students and alumni to actively engage in meaningful connections to U-M's 200-year history via "making." Students and alumni will be encouraged to create 200+ new works of all kinds - creative writing, spoken word, essays, visual arts, music, choreography, design, and technology - as celebrate contemporary student art making on campus as well. These new works will be inspired by a newly created archive of prompts from an historic or culturally significant work of art, design or architecture held by, or otherwise connected to U-M

Student and alumni-generated response pieces will be collected and exhibited online through the University Library system throughout the Bicentennial period as well as 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 U-M Bicentennial, Winter 2018.

To view the archive, click here.

To submit your project or work to UpstART 200, click here.

The Prompt Archive

With the help of the UM community and our student and alumni makers we are identifying up to 200 examples from our art, design and architecture collections, holdings and history here at the University of Michigan. This identification is 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.

UpstART 200 Student Maker Grants

Announcing the UpstART 200 Student Maker Grant Program! These grant funds may be applied to any student generated project or work directly connected with and submitted to UpstART 200: A U-M Bicentennial Project of Student and Alumni Reflection and Making.

Learn more about the grants here.

The UpstART 200 Partners List

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.

Lead Partners:

  • ArtsEngine, supported by the North Campus Schools and Colleges (A&D, Architecture, Engineering, SMTD)
  • University Library
Contributing Partners:
  • Alumni Association, The
  • Arts at Michigan
  • Detroit Center, The
  • U-M Office of Communications / Arts & Culture
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
  • University Musical Society (UMS)
  • U-M North Camput Schools and Colleges (Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and the College of Engineering)

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