Each week, for 12 weeks, we will feature one of our top 12 reasons to live in Ann Arbor.
- Exceptional Public Schools
#2. Vibrant Local Culture
Ann Arbor has a rich tradition of a vibrant local culture. Downtown Ann Arbor has a variety of places to enjoy music, dance, theater and the arts, including:
Ann Arbor Art Center: For over 100 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has engaged the community in visual arts through classes, exhibitions, a gallery promoting regional artists and outreach programs for teens, education for children.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum: A non-profit organization, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum offers an interactive, engaging environment for children of all ages to learn and play.
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO): Ann Arbor’s only professional orchestra, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra preforms in the historic Michigan Theater under the direction of Arie Lipsky. In addition to performances, the Ann Arbor Symphony provides youth concerts, KinderConcepts, ensemble performances, and “Petting Zoos” where children get to try out child-sized string instruments.
Kerrytown Concert House: Named a top jazz venue in the world, Kerrytown Concert House is an intimate 110 seat venue offering live music, theater, and rotating art exhibits.
Michigan Theater: Considered a “shrine to art,” the Michigan Theater offers two auditoriums: the Historic Theater, which seats 1,700 and the Screening Room, a more intimate setting, seating 200. In additional to showing movies, Michigan Theater, home of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra since 1984, is also a great venue for live events, concerts and special events.
Performance Network Theater: A professional theater, Performance Network Theater produces popular plays, creates imaginative sets and costumes, and performs in their intimate downtown theater. With a wide-range of musicals, comedies, dramas, Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winners, Performance Network Theater performs something for everyone to enjoy.
Selo/Shevel Gallery: Located in downtown Ann Arbor, the gallery features the finest in contemporary American crafts and folk arts from around the world.
The Ark: Ann Arbor’s home for acoustic music, The Ark is considered one of the top music clubs in the world with live performances of the wide-ranging genres of folk and grass roots music. With live music over 300 nights a year, The Ark is an Ann Arbor staple.
University Musical Society (UMS): Focused on music, dance and theater, UMS presents 60-75 performances and over 100 free educational activities each session. While proudly affiliated with the University of Michigan, UMS is a separate not-for-profit organization.
University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA): With a recent 53,000 square foot addition, the restoration of the historic Alumni Memorial Hall and extended hours, UMMA has transformed for the 21st century. UMMA features more than 18,000 artworks, special exhibit spaces, “open storage” galleries and a range of lively education and event spaces.
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History: Offering a wide array of educational programs and exhibits, the museum is known for its displays of dinosaur and mastodon skeletons, pterosaurs, whales and other fossils. In addition, the museum has a planetarium and features Michigan wildlife, anthropology, and geology exhibits.
WSG Gallery: Formerly Washington Street Gallery, WSG Gallery represents contemporary regional artists and features original fine art including paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and art glass.
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