Student MicroGrant Projects

The ArtsEngine Student MicroGrant program has funded 44 student-led interdisciplinary projects, where art has been a central theme of tenet. Below are brief descriptions and links to media of our funded projects and successful grantees – congratulations to all for their outstanding work!

2018-2019 Grantees

2017-2018 Grantees

2016-2017 Grantees

2015-2016 Grantees

2018-2019 Grantees

School of Music, Theatre & Dance Grantees

Sarah Adams
Stranger Things Haunted House
Sure to be upside-down-right frightening! Journey through various scenes based on the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, on the search for the town’s missing boy. Explore the Byers’ home, Hawkins National Laboratory, and more!

Emelyn Bashour
Red Shoe Company presents “If We Listen”
RSC present their debut in New York City at Spectrum, Brooklyn, with a show calling on the strength of the contemporary woman. The 75-minute show will feature music by Joan Tower, Steve Reich, Augusta Read Thomas, and Julia Wolfe, as well as original arrangements from music by Thea Musgrave, Maurice Ravel, Eve Beglarian, and the Beatles. All of these pieces reflect on the influence a woman has on the world around her – as well as the way the world influences her. UM Stamps alumna Abby Clemens will be producing several animated shorts to accompany the music and tell a growing story throughout the night.

Allison Burns
She Kills Monsters
She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen is a refreshingly comic play that warmly looks at sisterhood; full of joyous spectacle and a celebration of the diverse ways we grieve, pretend, and play. Agnes Evans, a recent college grad still reeling from a car crash that killed her entire family, finds her sister Tilly’s old Dungeons and Dragons campaign with her belongings. Agnes decides to play through the campaign with a local nerd, and soon discovers a sister much different from the one she knew – the legendary (among geeks) Tillius the Paladin. Meeting a full cast of monsters and heroes, Agnes goes on a high-octane quest slaying dragons, being seduced by succubi, and meeting a “Friends” obsessed lord of the underworld. Agnes learns about sword fighting, dragon slaying, and the secret nerdy and queer life Tilly lived, as well as the joy, strength, and community this one game brought to her sister.

Ezra Gans
Waving at Babies
Waving at Babies is a new theater piece for improvisors, in which we shall explore the everyday relationships we have with our surroundings and the degree to which we are apathetic towards them. Using sets! costumes! large graphic scores! and a can-do attitude! we hope to invite our audiences to WAVE! AT! BABIES!!

Elizabeth Kunert
Virago is an all new, all female Chamber Ensemble that will give their debut performance in MacIntosh Theatre, featuring video design by Camille Johnson and live video by Fee Christoph. They will perform their commissioned live version of “in the manner of her operations” by Detroit native composer Adam Cuthbert, as well as works by Philip Glass, Pauline Oliveros, and Bill Ryan.

Amanda Kuo and Sam Dubin
When you – were you
When you – were you is a devised dance theatre piece directed and choreographed by Amanda Kuo. Kuo is inspired by her own journey with depression and anxiety as an actor at the University and is drawing from this to create theatre.

Thomas Laub
FOR THE RECORD is an original work written by Broadway performer and University of Michigan faculty member Geoff Packard. This production will be the piece’s world premiere. Taking place in the Duderstadt Video Studio, FOR THE RECORD is a collaborative exploration of the world of a young man trying to escape the history of his family, haunted by the genetic disposition of Huntington’s disease. He learns no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape what’s written in your DNA.

Thomas Laub
Merrily We Roll Along

The iconic 1981 musical by legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is being boldly brought to life through a staged concert production in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Merrily We Roll Along moves backwards in time, exploring the life of three friends from their disenchanted adulthood to the bright-eyed optimism of their youth, exploring all the choices they made along the way. The production will feature a full 15-piece orchestra sharing the stage with the actors.

Martin McGuire
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Hailed by The Washington Post as “the breakthrough play that the world has been waiting for,” A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 examines gender roles and how we communicate with those who disagree with us. Part drama and part comedy, this is the Michigan premiere of the 2017 Tony Award Nominee for Best Play. Running Time: 90 Minutes. Free Admission.

Colter Schoenfish
The Pride
The Pride is a passionate and subversive play that examines queer identities in 1958 and 2008 in order to highlight the changing social constructions around sexuality. In the friction between eras, the play ignites questions about our constructed public persona and the true self we are trying to hide. This production will be presented on April 12 and 13 in the Newman Studio, Walgreen Drama Center.

Karalyn Schubring
Six Ways to Dance
Six Ways to Dance is a 16-minute long work for soprano saxophone and piano written by Karalyn Schubring (BM Composition ’20) for Jeff Siegfried (DMA Saxophone ’19). Drawing inspiration from the centuries-old Dance Suite and the composer’s own ineptitude at moving gracefully in social dance settings, the 6-movement, virtuosic work draws on several dance styles, including samba, tango, and jazz. This project turns a significant chamber work into a narrative music video that will be shot in Detroit with choreography by U-M alum Chelsea Hamm. The story follows two characters who feel alone and out of place in a crowd of experienced dancers, but eventually find and empower one another to dance uniquely and expressively.

Amy Wensley
Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts students in Dance present a joint concert of their choreography at the conclusion of their studies in the Dance program. Alyssa Gorman, Annelise Senkowski, Kandis Terry, and Amy Wensley each perform a solo and present a group work, centered around ideas based on unity.

Jung Yoon Wie
Han: Otherness & Syncretism
A multimedia work for string quartet, dance, and digital video that addresses the complex and shifting dynamics of identity, otherness, and women’s marginalized experience, taking a syncretic approach to mapping female identity across the axes of the traditional, technological, contemporary, Korean, American, European, art and folk expressive modalities.

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Penny W. Stamps School fo Art & Design

Olivia Arau-McSweeney
Sustainable Printing in the Age of the Anthropocene
Sustainable Printing in the Age of the Anthropocene is a printmaking and photography project that explores alternative printing and developing processes that are sustainable and non-toxic. The project will exemplify art practices that shift and adapt to our overly polluted world and address the environmental and health issues we face because of it.

Courtney Ignace
Ento-Mouth is an art installation in which the viewer is immersed within an environment of soft-sculptures, fed a food item containing bugs, and finally comes face-to-face with a insect from the same colony as the bugs they just ate. Ento-Mouth will raise consciousness of one’s role within the food system and by extension one’s impact on the environment through food choices.

Maite Iribarren
El Encanto
El Encanto is a sculptural installation that invites dialog between Cuban exiles in Miami and their descendants. The installation presents hypothetical relics of El Encanto, a luxury department store in Havana that was bombed in a symbolic act of terrorism during the Cuban Revolution. The installation indulges the viewer in both personal and inherited nostalgia for a pre-revolutionary Cuba while confronting them with the difficult complexities of this nostalgia.

Madeleine Messinger
Stories from the Typewriter
Stories from the Typewriter
is a culmination of a year-long engagement project with the public. Using a typewriter as a lure, strangers were prompted in public spaces to write poems about family, nostalgia and place. In the Stamps Gallery, this project will be shown in two parts: a short film documenting the process and a structure displaying the collected poems as well as archival objects associated with the poems.

Mayela Rodriguez
The Latinx Library
This exhibition showcases a growing collection of cartonera-style “Latinx Readers” made by the University of Michigan’s Latinx community. Responding to the lack of a clearly defined Latinx studies collection in the library system, the mobile library is housed within the high-traffic lobby of Shapiro Library on Central Campus. As part of this exhibition, the artist is leading several cartonera-making workshops. During these two-hour workshops, participants learn about the history of this Latin American publishing style, see examples of cartoneras from UM Library’s collection, and make their own exploring the question: what does it mean to be Latinx? The final cartoneras are showcased on the Latinx Library.

A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning

Jessie Mindel
Virtual Pavilion
Three students (two architecture, one PITE) are collaborating to tackle the challenge of integrating design, sustainability, and construction through a design/build pavilion that takes the course of two semesters (F’18/W’19). Designed with sustainable materials and constructed using augmented reality, the pavilion will push the students to work in ways that they have not before. The pavilion will be enhanced with augmented reality to encourage participants to see both design and sustainability in new ways.

College of Engineering Grantees

Spencer Haney
Future Black Electronic Artist Camp: 2019 Edition
Over two day-long workshops in the summer of 2019, a group of ten high school students from Southeast Michigan public schools will participate in an intensive electronic music program taught by SMTD and Engineering students and alumni, alongside professional black electronic music artists. Teachers that represent marginalized identities will bring critical perspectives of race, gender and queer identity to the context of electronic music performance. Curriculum will include an introduction to music technology as well as introductory programming concepts. We will cover: • Digital Audio Workstation software (DAWs) • recording engineering • programming with Processing and/or pureData • music composition Each day of workshops will conclude with a presentation or performance from a practicing black electronic musician with a following question and answer session for students.

Kevin Yiwei Huang
Tabletop Gaming/World Building Project
The goal of the project is to create a tabletop gaming system, complete with an interesting and engaging world founded on a steampunk theme. The expected end product for the project will be a player’s handbook complete with rules, lore and art, as well as a campaign story module that will serve to help the players visualize and immerse themselves in a different world complete with fantasy societies, cultures, magic and technology.

Saswat Sahoo
MedLaunch hosts the Biodesign Challenge, a yearlong design competition that empowers students to innovate in healthcare. Our mission is to work at the intersection of art, science and technology to improve the lives of people in our community. Our purpose is to connect people who are curious and want to make a difference so that together we can make the world a healthier place.

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