Museums, Libraries, Theaters, and Performing Arts

For indoor entertainment (after all, it must rain sometime), a number of libraries, museums, theaters, and live-music venues are located on campus and in downtown Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan makes a vast network of libraries and museums accessible to the public. The Clements Library holds a vast collection of original materials and regular exhibits centered around early American history. Hatcher Graduate Library holds thousands of language-related materials, as well as containing the Papyrology Collection, the largest papyrus collection in the western hemisphere. The Museum of Natural History contains a planetarium, as well as four floors of Michigan geological, anthropological, and wildlife exhibits. The Kelsey Museum houses more than 100,000 ancient and medieval objects, holds regular exhibitions, and offers tours. The University of Michigan Museum of Art offers 180,000 pieces of artwork collected by the University over the past 150 years.

Off campus, two theaters are located downtown. The historic Michigan Theater, often chosen as an official venue for the Sundance Film Festival, shows artistic and independent films, as well as classics. The Summer Film Series, which will run throughout the Institute, offers viewers the chance to see classic films on the big screen (some choices during the summer of 2012 are Jaws and Casablanca). A block away, the State Theater, an 1942 art deco cinema with two screens, offers a frequently rotating array of mainstream, independent, and classic films.

Ann Arbor is fortunate to offer many venues for live music. The Ark, a nationally renowned venue, offers shows nearly every night. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which runs the free, outdoor Top of the Park series, also has ticketed live shows that will run during the first several weeks of the Institute (the 2012 line-up included Ira Glass, Al Green, and Bonnie Raitt.) The Performance Network in downtown Ann Arbor offers high-quality theatrical performances, as does the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea (about 15 minutes west of Ann Arbor).

University of Michigan Museum of Art
Clements Library
Museum of Natural History
The State Theater

Photographs by Jae-Young Shim