Student Mini-Grants Recipients

2022-2023 Recipients

In 2022-2023, The Arts Initiative gave out 79 Student Mini-Grants to student-initiated arts projects and events, totaling over $39,000. There were an estimated 2600 students involved in these projects as participants and had a collective audience of over 27,000 people. Included here is an archive of information about those projects.

Navaratri Garba

October 7th 2022
Aaryan Shah, Wolveraas

This event is a school-wide Garba/Raas. A Garba is a traditional dance event, commemorating the 9-day festival of Navarātrī. It involves several people making concentric dance circles around a lamp/table and moving forward and backward with the music. Wolveraas celebrate Indian heritage at the Garba with fellow students performing their dance style in a more casual setting.


Tune In Turn Out Festival

October 20th 2022
Raj Koorapaty, Empty Mug Records & Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Empty Mug collaborated with Citizens’ Climate Lobby to host a live concert on the Diag to raise donations and awareness for climate action initiatives. The event featured 3 acts consisting entirely of UM student musicians and included speeches from CCL members about the importance of climate action.


Dia de Los Muertos Ball

November 4th 2022
Abigail Gonzalez, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.

The Día de Los Muertos Ball is an event with a focus on Latine culture, traditions, and customs. The event featured two speakers, one spoke about the theme which focuses on the victims of gun violence, especially school shootings with an emphasis on Uvalde. The second speaker discussed the traditions and history of Día de Los Muertos. Once the speakers had finished, there was a cultural performance put on by a local Mariachi band. Audience danced to Latin music, mingled, and learned about the culture by observing altars created by those in the community.


Self-Checkout: Helicon’s Annual Student-Artwork Exhibition

November 17th 2022
Kaitlyn Fa, Helicon History of Art Undergraduate Society

The Helicon History of Art Undergraduate Society hosted their annual one-night exhibition of student artwork. This year the theme of the exhibition was “Self-Checkout.” This exhibition was wholly curated, facilitated, and fundraised by Helicon members.

Senior BFA Dance Concert: A Place We’ve Seen Before

November 19th 2022
Katey Besser

Katey Besser’s A Place We’ve Seen Before, explores protection through a kaleidoscopic expression of togetherness and unity. A multi-media performance, this piece includes screen dance and live performance from varying points of view. Besser’s solo, Light Where She Wanted, embraces the multilayered experiences of past and present.

Becoming BFA: The Showcase Showdown

November 19th 2022
Stefania Gonzalez

“Becoming BFA: The Showcase Showdown” is a comic "mock"-umentary: an artistic, creative, and fun piece as a way for us to memorialize our academic endeavors that we have gone through together for the past four years as a senior acting cohort. This short film will take the process of the senior showcase that occurs every year for the acting department and delve into what it is like to prepare for this process through a comedic and heartfelt lens.

UMich Film Project (Film Festival)

November 19th 2022
Henry Posega Rappleye

Our group has decided to hold a one week film festival. The festival is going to operate through teams of contestants (students) who enter. The groups will then have a week to develop a short film based off of these prompts that they get. Films will be screened and evaluated by an audience.

The Great Greenie Baking Show: 58 Greene Fall Concert

December 3rd 2022
Angelica Fandino, 58 Greene Acapella

58 Greene Acapella’s Fall Semester Concert “The Great Greenie Baking Show” displayed the songs the group selected, arranged, and rehearsed for the three months leading up to the big performance––a night of singing and fun!. The hour-and-a-half long showcase featured songs by various artists.

Midnight Book Club Fall Shows

December 9th 2022
Paul Legallet, Midnight Book Club

Midnight Book Club hosted four hour-long form improv comedy shows during the fall semester. They are dedicated to bringing high quality comedy that is accessible to all and getting students from all walks of life to be a part of the amazing improv community on campus.

i need 2 be held

December 10th 2022
Justin Levine

"i need 2 be held" is a sketch comedy series that aims to show students that sketch is not an artform to be overlooked. University of Michigan film, STAMPS, and SMTD students were invited to join 9 unique film casts and crews that each work to produce a sketch that premiered on Tiktok, Youtube, and at a showing on campus.

“Secrets" Publishing Party

December 16th 2022
Thomas Droste, The Archive History Magazine

The Archive hosted a publishing party to celebrate the publication of their eighth edition, entitled "Secrets". The volume consists of articles written about historical plots and operations placed under secrecy notices by the respective countries/individuals, and the event celebrated the hard work their writers, designers, and editors have achieved!

If The World Ends Tomorrow It's All Your Fault

January 15th 2023
Marta Frank, Basement Arts

If The World Ends Tomorrow It’s All Your Fault is a devised theatre piece celebrating lost visual culture. It is a celebration of dwindling photojournalism and the stories physical news media once told. The exploration of how this loss has affected us as individuals as we transition to new forms of media is told through the lens of generation z, the first generation to grow up on the internet.

RC Drama - Melancholy Play

January 22nd 2023
Cam Robinson, LSA

Cam Robinson directs Sarah Ruhl's "Melancholy Play," a contemporary farce that premiered in 2002. "Tilly’s melancholy is of an exquisite quality. She turns her melancholy into a sexy thing, and every stranger she meets falls in love with her. One day, inexplicably, Tilly becomes happy, and wreaks havoc on the lives of her paramours."

The New American Vocal Project

January 27th 2023
Lucy Koukoudian, Touch of Blue

Touch of Blue: New American Vocal Ensemble is a group of all-student musicians who have a passion for creating and performing new music for vocal artists and beyond. This concert features five new compositions–written by Kenyon Duncan, Harry Baker, Karen Jane Ludwig, Jerome Walker, and Harry Castle–the combination of their music being a reflection of their unique perspectives, experiences, and creative voices.

MUSIC Matters' Battle of the Bands

January 27th 2023
Anna Lehrer, MUSIC Matters

Ann Arbor’s favorite music event was back! MUSIC Matters presented Battle of the Bands at The Blind Pig, where everyone’s favorite student bands competed for cash prizes!

MSA Malaysian Cultural Night

January 29th 2023
Shi Qi Lim, Malaysian Students Association

The Michigan Malaysian Student Association (MiMSA) hosted Malaysian Cultural Night (MCN) 2023 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Michigan League. This event featured “Rojak”, a play centered around an interracial couple overcoming parental disapproval of their marriage through sharing and understanding of each other’s cultures.


Strangers Anthology

February 1st 2023
Timmy Thompson, SMTD

Strangers is an anthology of three short films created by students from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and the School of Film, Television & Media. In these stories, themes of isolation, dating, superficial interactions, female autonomy and queer intimacy are explored.


Leim Irish Dance Annual Showcase

February 3rd 2023
Katherine Morrissey, Leim Irish Dance

This year, Leim Irish Dance's annual show was themed “Rhythms of Ireland”––a fun night full of Irish dancing with guest performances by MSU Irish Dance Club and For Good Measure acapella group.

CSA Lunar Gala 2023

February 5th 2023
Annie Huang, Chinese Student Association

University of Michigan’s Chinese Student Association celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit at their annual semi-formal, the Lunar Gala, with catered food and Chinese performances!


DigiPaint Zine Gallery

February 13th 2023
Linda Wei, DigiPaint

This Zine gallery was an exhibition of digital art pieces DigiPaint club members worked on over the semester. On the opening night, there was a reception where artists displayed their works for the first time.

Men's Glee Club- "To Repair" Documentary Film

February 18th 2023
Reilly Buckley, The University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club

We created and exhibited a feature-length documentary film that depicts the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club’s experiences with the choral piece "To Repair," as well as composer Tesfa Wondemagegnehu’s life changing trip that inspired it. In the Winter of 2022, the Men’s Glee Club began work on this new choral work, which is a reflection and reconciliation of America’s longstanding history of racial inequality and systemic injustices.


Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

February 24th 2023
Cortez Hill, Impact Arts

Impact Arts produced a musical titled “Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin,” written by Kirsten Childs. Bubbly Black Girl is a humorous and pointed coming-of-age musical that tells a story spanning from the sixties through the nineties, our bubbly Black protagonist, Viveca Stanton blithely sails through the confusing worlds of racism, sexism and Broadway showbiz until she’s forced to face the devastating effect self-denial has had on her life.



February 24th 2023
Hunter Davidson

Latent is a short film shot on 16mm film--suspense/thriller/neo-noir. One of the central themes of our project revolves around the two main characters struggling to keep the film development department of their school alive. Jake and Hunter (the writers) share a love for the old-school, traditional look and feel of 16mm film, and the Film department at Michigan is the only reason we're friends today.

XPLICIT Magazine

March 15th 2023
Bianca Trihenea, XPLICIT Magazine

Project XPLICIT conceived an art magazine compiled from submissions by students of all majors. Their aim is to deconstruct the typical magazine formalities and create a product more reflective of unfiltered expression. The pages themselves took the form of collages unbound by margins and captions, instead free forming visual narratives between different artists’ work.

Humans of Dil Se Magazine

March 15th 2023
Mlaika Azhar, Dil Se

Dil Se (translation: “From the Heart”) is an organization centered on reducing stigma around mental health in the South Asian community. This year, we worked on a collective project by students around campus to highlight the themes of beauty and acceptance within the South Asian diaspora through a magazine. Our goal was to capture a diverse array of voices so that our magazine not only reflects the breadth of our themes, but also shine light on how these specific themes impact the various identities within the South Asian diaspora.


You Got Older: A Home Video

March 16th 2023
Samuel Aupperlee, SMTD Theatre & Drama

You Got Older is a magical realism play telling the story of Mae, a young woman, as she returns to her childhood home in the suburbs to take care of her dying father. As she struggles through a breakup while trying to care for her father and siblings, she begins to escape through wild sexual fantasies of a Canadian Cowboy. At its core, this piece examines the unique human ability to hold two opposing things together; intimacy and logistics, repression and release, sex and death.

Arts in Color Showcase (SMTD)

March 18th 2023
Ruby Clay, Arts in Color

The Arts in Color Showcase is an entirely student-led and student-run performance which highlights works choreographed and performed by dancers in the university community. Each year centers around a theme that is generally related to social justice activism. This year the theme we focused on is the notion of existing in our bodies versus being perceived in our bodies as it relates to self-authenticity, stereotypes, expectations, and intersectionality.


Art Stations: Your Healthy Break

March 20th 2023
Ana Swanson

This project will implement coloring/art stations around campus. On rolls of white paper, students can color and sketch to take a break during the day. The goal of the project is to utilize what we discovered in our survey regarding high levels of academic and internal stress among campus students to introduce them to Whole Health practice of Art Breaks for self-care.

The Waters of March

March 24th 2023
Molly Schwall, SMTD

Molly Schwall’s senior voice recital, a multi-genre and collaborative production, features Peter Smith (piano, composer), Eddie Martinez (bassoon), The 418 Vocal Ensemble, and the student’s band Tea & Sympathy. The program works to dissect the symbolism of water in music through a variety of repertoire. The recital included two new works by New York-based composers Majel Connery and Catherine Brookman, along with a world premiere by Peter Smith.

The Canterville Ghost (RC Players)

March 24th 2023
Ella Soto, RCPlayers

Based on Oscar Wilde's short story "The Canterville Ghost," our full-length production is inclusive, diverse, and equal representation. The themes of this show include family, cooperation, trust, friendship, and new beginnings.

PSA Annual Nowruz Show: Simorgh

March 25th 2023
Sana Simkani, Persian Students Association

The Persian Student Association at the University of Michigan hosted their 23rd Annual Nowruz show “Simorgh” (سیمرغ): an evening filled with Persian culture, dance, music, poetry, and much more! In conjunction with the Woman, Life, Freedom revolution in Iran, the show is in support of fellow Iranians and will highlight Iranian voices through visual art and dance.


Deadbeat (FTVM)

March 25th 2023
Emma Burton, FTVM 423

The project is a short film produced under the class FTVM 423. It involved all activities in pre-production, production, and post-production for creating a film. The purpose of the class FTVM 423 was to bring students together to create an original film based on a student written script. Nearly all responsibilities ell upon the students in order to make sure the production runs smoothly through every stage.

Horse Girls- Basement Arts

March 25th 2023
Zachary Kerholaus, Basement Arts

Horse Girls is a play about pre-teens: their obsessions, their insecurities and their desperate need to find a place in the world. The dark comedy addresses the manipulation and suppression of female identities, especially during the developmental stages of adolescence.


Vibrance Dance Company Annual Showcase

March 26th 2023
Evelyn Peterson, Vibrance Dance Company

The Vibrance Dance Company annual showcase is an opportunity to allow others to view the pieces the company has worked on over both Fall and Winter semesters. The showcase consists of group pieces as well as solos or small group pieces, either of the jazz/lyrical/contemporary variety.

PERMIAS Indonesian Cultural Night

April 1st 2023
Eric Kumara, PERMIAS Indonesian Cultural Night

Indonesian Cultural Night is an annual tradition that presents a variety of Indonesian performances ranging from dramas inspired by local folk tales, Indonesian instrumental performances, and traditional dances from multiple parts of the country. Indonesian food was served during an intermission.


In the Round Inaugural Season

April 2nd 2023
Jack Rosenberg, In the Round

For our inaugural season, we produced three mainstage performances as well as aiming to hold many smaller performances with organizations at the University and businesses in the community. Each of these performances exists with the central focus of LGBTQIA+ voicing: Our productions aim to give our performers a chance to amplify queer stories and our audiences a chances to learn from them.


Cascade: Relevé Dance Company Annual Showcase

April 4th 2023
Lauren Roe, Relevé Dance Company

Relevé Dance Company put on their annual show exhibiting the hard work they have put into their dances throughout the year. Their show is completely student-choreographed, and they also include acts from other performance groups at the university to create a celebration of the arts. The showcase features Jazz, Contemporary, and Modern Dance Performances.

heartstrings (SMTD Dance)

April 8th 2023
Nana Otaka, SMTD

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Capstone Project involves an interdisciplinary performance that serves as a culmination of four years worth of learning, experimenting, and growing in the Department of Dance. As part of our degree requirements, four senior dance majors were tasked with producing a dance concert entirely on their own to be showcased over three performance nights, from April 6th-8th.

Senior BFA Dance Concert (SMTD): Nesting Place

April 9th 2023
Ariel Vidrio, SMTD

Ariel’s proposed project was incorporated within a greater performance where 5 student choreographers, including herself, premiered their own original dance works, approximately 10-15 minutes long. These works were the result of their senior capstone projects in order to complete the BFA in Dance. While the piece itself is very physical, it is also grounded in the physical objects that we use and have come to rely on each and every day; they help us create a routine.


April 14th 2023
Sehrish Hussain, STAMPS

Impressions was an exhibition that showcased a series of collagraph and woodblock prints. Through the analysis of archival images, the artist explores their Muslim-American identity, changing internal representations of self, and family lineage across generations and geographies.


*Midwestern Last Name* Family Reunion

April 14th 2023
Elle Schwiderson

*Midwestern Last Name* Family Reunion is a multimedia stop-motion film utilizing both visual and performance art to explore how the creator’s relationship to family has changed over time in relation to how their gender identity has also changed in the form of a stop-motion animation film/performance.


Misster Monster Movie Emporium (STAMPS)

April 14th 2023
Andie Ziemkowski

Andie Ziemkowski's exhibition project aims to critique masculine and feminine stereotypes in film, using costume design, makeup design, and photography. All of the characters appear with clown makeup that fits the character archetypes that are being critiqued to give it a humorous touch as well as push the ideas that we use clothing every day as costumes to build our desired personas. Each character has a written plaque describing the archetype they are critiquing and breaking down the costume and cultural history behind it.

Dirt to Dirt

April 15th 2023
Kristina Rogers, STAMPS

Dirt Considered is an exhibition that draws connections between soil degradation and histories of colonial violence. By decolonizing the audience's perspective on soils, Dirt Considered also highlights Indigenous knowledge and brings all people who are products of colonialism into conversation. This exhibition consisted mainly of a long (~30') quilted tablecloth with sewn text that unearths colonial violence. These soil samples were exhibited in a manner that subverts a traditional, colonial style museum, opting for a method of labeling that empowers dirt and the land it belongs to.


Reshuffling the Deck

April 18th 2023
Rose Albayat

Rose Albayat's project is an integrated Film, Television, and Media honors thesis aimed at challenging the gender norms in early cinema through a creative remake of Georges Méliès’ 1905 film LES CARTES VIVANTES. The project involves a 3D model of Méliès' studio that she built based on surviving historical photographs, drawings, and published accounts. A 2D, 3D, praxinoscope, and a flip book version, all will be shot within the virtual model of Méliès' studio with an all-female cast. The project pays tribute to the many under-researched women who performed on screen and worked behind the scenes during the silent era.


Midnight Book Club Winter Shows

April 18th 2023
Paul Legallet, Midnight Book Club

Midnight Book Club put on five long-form improv shows in Angell Hall Auditorium B on January 27th, February 17th, February 25th, March 31st, and April 18th. This show was free and open to the public at University of Michigan. In addition, our February 25th show was an all female-identifying performance. We are passionate about comedy and dedicated to exposing this incredible art form to all students here at University of Michigan.

Ya Satir

April 18th 2023
Mohamed Khashafa, FTVM

Ya Satir is a short film about childhood best friends, Yasmeen and Tamara. They have an upcoming big debate competition with the reward of a large scholarship, and must work side by side to win. What Tamara doesn't know is that Yasmeen has a secret she's not quite ready to tell. Through laughter, tears and suspense, the film explores themes of friendship, girlhood, and coming of age. Ya Satir aims to represent a diverse cast in a way that is not oppressive nor degrading, but rather through light-hearted and uplifting stories.


not fast, not loud: musicking with a chronic illness

April 24th 2023
Karina Howey, SMTD

As a chronically-ill person, what Karina Howey can do looks different than the average able-bodied person and percussionist, and her time at Michigan has focused on exploring my percussive limits. Presently, she has a growing collection of pieces that she can perform, all of which are not fast and not loud. This music selection aims to make Howey's upcoming recital and subsequent album (with additional pieces) both a celebration of my newfound musical sphere and an opportunity for professional growth.